Sunday, October 13, 2013

Oh, Hello there...

Umm Hello. I think I fell off the face of the plant. I fell off plant Earth and into plant work (that sounds clever in my head...)

I am not sure when I last wrote but things have been busy around here. I have run three Halfs since Sept 14th, and I am not signed up for any other races this year. The other awesome running thing is yesterday Pam ran her first marathon. It was amazing to be there with her at the finish. She ran the Prairie State Marathon in Libertyville, IL. This race is in a gorgeous nature preserve in Libertyville, IL. The trails are amazing. I would kill to live by this place and be able to run these trails on a weekly basis. They are in a reserve called Independence Grove (link HERE). I ran the half, and it was my slowest half ever. But I didnt expect any differently. I guess I should back up and explain a bit more...

I think the last time I wrote I had just started a new position at work, a managerial position, and I was working on learning the work/life balance of the position. I had not really figured it out yet, and then I was asked to take on a different role within in the company, also a managerial role, but one that really seems to have a whole different level of responsibility along with it. And ever since that switch I am struggling a bit with work life balance. And I need to figure it out. I love work. Love love love what I do and my role. But I have to figure out how to keep doing the other things I love, mainly running. And also taking care of myself. Ive gained some weight, and I feel very out of control with food. One of the biggest things I am finding is that during the day I am having more lunches where I am not in control of the food, and I have not been making good choices during these options. I am not used to being presented with dessert so often, and I seem to have forgotten how to say no. So between that and the lack of running, I feel chubby, flabby and not overly happy with myself physically. So while I love my job, I have to figure this stuff out because its part of my life now, and it will be, so I need to adjust.

ANYWHO. What I am getting at is that with the change in position, I have not been running consistently. In the last month I ran the three halves, and NOTHING in between. Run a half, take two week off, run another half, take two weeks off, and then run a third half. I am sure you can see how that would result in getting slower and slower, and loosing fitness. So I am expecting a slow time. But, I finished, and it was beautiful and thats what matters. After I finished we hung out and started the wait for Pam. We saw her at mile 18, and then again at mile 25.5 she ran past and I ran with her for a few minutes. She was miserable, and hating it, like you do at that point in a marathon. As we got closer to the finish I broke away from her and got the to finish line so I could record her finishing. I balled as she crossed the finish line, and then as she went down to her knees in exhaustion I gave her the biggest hug ever. I am so proud of her. On the day of the Boston bombings she said she wanted to run a marathon. And here she is, 6 months later, a marathoner. Amazing. Determined. Awesome. Love her.

She makes me want to do better. To do better at taking care of myself, and not loosing myself in my work. Its so weird, because I love my work. And if I didnt have Shane or Hercules, I would probably loose myself completely in it. But I can't get lost in it because I have them. Not only them, but I have me. And I know that if I am not running, and if I gain weight and feel out of control with food, I will not be happy. And it will have a ripple effect.

So I have to figure it out. Any tips for work life balance?


  1. Ever since you told me about it I've had your blog link on my tool bar and occasionally checked it. I just saw this post today and it really rang a bell for me!
    I love my job too. It's interesting, challenging, and I feel appreciated by superiors, colleagues, and the people I serve. But sometimes it's been easy (maybe I've made it too easy) for me to be so involved in what I love doing, that I forget about the rest of me. I had some staffing issues in August and decided to drop off training for the full marathon in October and just do the half. It caused me to really take stock in the notion of "forgetting about me". Could I have taken care of it in a different way? (Yes.) Was *I* the one who had to carry it all? (No.) And my dropping out of the training DID have a ripple effect. I didn't run as much -- dropped it down to a few short ones/week, felt like a loser, got irritable and depressed, and ate more shit food. And it also had an effect on my relationships.
    My wife and I had a discussion while peeling apples earlier this morning-- right after I read your post. She (and I also) struggle with beginning good intentioned things: Exercise plans, eating healthy/refusing "bad" foods -- basically, just sticking to it. Her need to improve is more serious than mine: Preventing as much as she can the recurrence of cancer. We talked today and came to realize that She-I-We usually begin by saying we're going to "gradually" make a change in these areas, but we soon end up where we started. The "gradual" made it too easy to make excuses; it wasn't challenging (drastic) enough; there was not enough discomfort involved to keep us motivated (if that makes sense). So we're going to make a plan that won't leave room for excuses -- with exercise, diet, and other health-related things. We also know that we have to be accountable -- to ourselves and one another -- and friends too (who might be more likely to kick our asses in shape).
    Running, for me, is at the heart of it. When I'm running regularly I feel so much better in my head and it's easier for me to stay on track with the other good intentions I've made. It's easy to post a run, but maybe we ought to also post "I passed up chocolate brownies at work and chose ______ instead".
    I appreciate your post. It really got my brain going in the right direction. I'll let you know what the plan's gonna be too.

    1. Hey, thank you for the comment Ken. It definitely helped get me thinking again. I am thinking about what you said about a gradual change vs a complete switch over. And it makes think back to when I first did weight watchers and started the journey to loose 60 pounds. When I first started, it was a drastic change, and I stuck to it. And I was successful. But as that drastic change became more of a norm (if that makes sense), it got harder and harder. I think part of me is telling myself that it would not be a drastic change to go back to WW but I think if I am honest with myself, I have reverted back to not good habits at all and it would be that drastic again. I am rambling a bit...Anywho. I have gotten better with life work balance a bit. I am not bringing work home every night, which is good. I am still working on figuring out the running piece again. But I will get there. I LOVE running in the winter, so I just need to remember that and take advantage of any opportunity I have to get out there.