“Tomorrow will be better than today.” In the past week or so, I’ve found myself repeating this phrase to myself all too often. Yesterday, in particular, I was having a “moment”– one of those life moments where everything is not all rainbows and sunshine and unicorns. And what seems to be contributing to these moments is my difficulty maintaining focus with my marathon training.
In less than two months, I will be running the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon – my first full marathon. I decided back in February that I was ready for a full. At that time, I was unemployed (bar tending here and there for some cash, but working 12 hours a week basically constituted unemployment in my eyes) and I decided that with my copious free time, I would focus on myself. I started eating healthier (I had to, with no money to spend on dinners out), I went on glorious mid-day runs in the park, I was free to run wherever and whenever I wanted because my day had no time restrictions. And, since I had no real money to spend, running became my main hobby/source of exercise and entertainment. It gave me a focus and a sense of purpose to my life, beyond my search for a job.
And then I got a job. This statement should be followed with exclamation points and smiley faces, and any punctuation and emoticons that express excitement and jubilation, right? Well, in general, yes! I was (and still am) ecstatic to have found a job that I enjoy and that suits me so well, and allows me to constantly learn about the running industry and keeping a healthy lifestyle. But, what I have learned since getting into the full-time groove, is that my “me focus,” that zoned-in approach to marathon training I had during my no-job days has dwindled. I’m not just trying to have a work/life balance; I’m trying to have a work/training/life balance. Upon further revision, let me amend that to work/training/sleep/life balance. My new-found schedule has also brought with it, a desire to drink tea at bars instead of a cocktail (don’t want to be hung-over for my 5am wake-up time), and a propensity to “push back” my run to later in the day. Or the next. And finding the time to see and hang out with friends past 9pm – forget it. I recently got my Friday night shift covered at the bar where I worked just so I could sleep. I went to bed at 10pm that night and loved every minute of it.
What I’m getting at here, is that the diligence I had with my running while unemployed has seriously suffered and I’m still trying to figure out how to regain it, while also finding time to go out to dinner with friends, go see some music on the weekends and finally take that dance class that I’ve been telling myself for the past month I’m going to attend. While my job at the SF Marathon is to keep things on schedule and make sure all of the details happen the way they’re supposed to, I’m definitely no expert on how to make all of this happen with my own life.
In the long run (at least my ability to make a pun hasn’t suffered) I’m the type of person who, once I make the decision to make something happen, makes it happen no matter what. I had an invigorating long run last weekend along the Lands End Trail and I feel totally prepared for the US Half Marathon this weekend. And while there may not be any rainbows or unicorns today, there is sunshine. And I will do my run after work tonight. That definitely makes today better than yesterday.