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Tribes and Tribulations of A Working Mother

I have exactly 11 minutes to write this blog because in 11 mintues I need to leave to pick up my youngest son from daycare. At 5:09 I ran downstairs to my treadmill, determined to blast out a very quick 4 miles. It is now 5:40 and I am furiously typing. If only there was more time.

Work has been hell. With the down turn of the economy we are forced to handle more work than we did before. While this is great because it creates job security I find I am working around the clock…and my running has suffered for it.

If you are a type A working parent who runs like I do, running is what I sometimes fantasize about on my way to work – that and hundreds of other things like what to make for dinner, the upcoming birthday parties, soccer practices, job-related tasks, billing clients, managing a cadre of people and now thrown into that is the holiday season.  But on top of it all, running is what I think about – the work outs, the races, the writing for this blog!

Yesterday I had mapped out a repeat mile workout on my running trail but got out of work late enough that I could not run. So today I got on the treadmill today to run a fast run. That was the plan. I ran a 10K two weeks ago and while I did alright, I was fatigued before and after the race. I took the week off, went for a 5 mile walk on Saturday and did some speed drills with my sister on Sunday. Monday I resolved myself to go to bed early and this week so far, I’ve gone to bed at 9:30 or so and have given myself the luxury of 9 hours of sleep. So, I figured, now I am well rested, I should have a great run. However, work left me mentally fatigued today. I went from feeling great at noon to ready to go to bed by 3 – and I know I did not eat enough today. I was setting myself up for this disaster all along.

On top of it all (but not an excuse for not running) I am on full duty this week. My husband gets back from his business trip at midnight and I’ve been doing the whole routine meaning I am getting into work an hour later than normal and as a result, I am leaving later so today I resolved myself to leave early  – to get in that precious 4 miles before picking up the kids.

I turned on my treadmill and ran inside because it’s 84 degrees outside that’s too hot for me. I turned on the treadmill and ran through a 9:13 mile and got frustrated immediately. I felt great but that left hamstring – you know the one – the one that got me into writing this blog in the first place, was yelling – no SCREAMING at me. I walked for a minute and then started what I thought was going to be a treadmile 4-mile repeat workout.  I set the treadmill at an 8:34 pace and started off. About a quarter mile in my hamstring started to yell. By a half mile I turned the machine down to a walking pace. I walked a couple of minutes and started off again, this time at an 8:49 pace. Same thing, but now pain is on the upper part of my thigh and I turned the damn treadmill off. I just over did it and there’s not a thing I can do about it except stop.

Now I am furious. I will not finish my run and I have an injury.  As I sit here with my Nano blowing heavy metal, pop, and all sorts of other stuff at a decibel you’d never let your kids listen to, I am dripping sweat on my couch with an ice pack on my thigh and now – I am out of time. I need to go get the kids.

To my fellow runners who have gone out and gotten injured I can pretty much tell you that the stress of parenting and working full time absolutely have an impact on our (my) running. I want to be faster, thinner, better;  but sometimes, its just not the right time. As McJagger says, “you can’t always get what you want.” It’s a mantra I seem to be repeating a lot these days.

I hope race again in 10 days in Harper’s Ferry, WV God willing. I need to register for this race but I plan to do it and be home in time for my son’s soccer game at 4.

Let’s hope you had a better day.



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