Saturday, March 31, 2012

Husband, Parent, Coach, Employment

Happy Saturday everyone!  Perfect conditions for a run this morning - partly cloudy, mid 40s, low humidity!  Did an 8-mile run this morning in my best time ever.  This weight loss is starting to work for me...

So...  One of the questions I get asked a lot is:  How do I juggle working full-time, being a Cross Country and Track coach, chase a rambunctous (spelling?) 5-year-old-boy around, be a good (I hope) husband, and still manage to squeeze in half-marathon and marathon training?  Well, it's not exactly easy, but once you get into a routine it's actually not too bad to manage.

The one thing that stinks is getting up at 5:30 a.m. during the coaching season.  This might seem easy for lots of other people, but for a night owl like me I absolutely, positively detest it.  I hate mornings.  Not a morning person at all.  I was going to start taking my runs early in the morning to get it out of the way, but that ended the moment the alarm clock went off at 4 a.m. and my hand slammed the snooze button multiple times.  So when do I get it my week-day runs?  When I get home from track practice, which is sometime around 5:15 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. or so.  So basically I wake up, at work from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., hustle to track practice (which the assistant coaches start at 2:45), wrap up practice around 4:45 p.m. to 5 p.m., hustle home, run 4 to 5 miles, eat dinner, play with Little Guy and spend time with my wife.

What makes everything bearable is the support system I have - particularly at home.  Heidi has started running and she fully supports my endeavors.  She has actually started running with me so that's a big positive.  It makes up for time that would otherwise be lost if I were running by myself.  I think I'm extremely lucky to have a wife who runs with me.  Around my area, you don't see very many couples who do this.  The Cross Country kids are also great.  I think they like seeing the ol' coach strap on the running shoes and tackle the course with them - particularly during the hot, humid days of August and early September.  At least, I think they like it...

After working a full work day, running also serves as a sort of "therapy" for me.  For me, it's a really good way to decompress and process what happened over the course of the day - particularly if it was a busy or bad day at work.  I actually look forward to the week-day runs.  It's "running therapy" as it's known in the runners' circle.

So, is it a lot work juggling all these duties (heh heh, I said "duties!")?  It sure is.  I'm usually whipped by the end of the day, and by the end of the coaching season I'm pretty much toast.  But what makes it bearable is that I enjoy what I do.  Work is okay.  I have some good co-workers who make the days bearable to be at work.  I love coaching.  I love teaching kids the sport of running and I really enjoy watching them improve over the course of the season.  And I've finally discovered the joy of running again.  So, yeah, the rigors I put myself through both physically and mentally - particularly during the coaching seasons - is well worth it.  You have to enjoy what you're doing.  You have to have a positive outlook on things.  You have this, and you can make it through the days, weeks, and months with no problem.

So here's my Zip-ah-dee-do-dah Tip of the Week:  I learned this lesson the hard way this morning.  If you're going out for a run in which you know you'll be gone for over an hour.  Always remember your water bottle.  I didn't bring one this morning and was regretting it around mile 6 of an 8-mile run.  I used to never run with a bottle unless I was going 10 miles or longer.  I'm not sure if it's because I was sick or what, but I will never go without water again on the long week-end runs.  Something else I try and do is gauge my water intake.  For example, I know Disney has water stops every mile.  During my training runs I'll only take water in at every mile.  I try and adapt to the water zones of every race I run.  It gives me one less thing to worry about on race days.

Until next time...  Stay tuned...


  1. Hey bud, I totally hear you. This is the most difficult thing about my life right now. Creating the time I need to get my rehab and exercise in is very difficult - darn near impossible. I have yet to figure it out. Sounds like you've got a good routine and a great support system. Keep it up! And congrats I the speed work.

  2. Well, i guess I just meant congrats on the fast 8miler, not necessarily "speed work" per say...

  3. Thanks Josh. I couldn't imagine throwing in rehab on top of everything else! You're a better man than I am for that. Yeah, a great support system is really helpful - especially on the home front. And thanks for the props. Keep up the work on the rehabbing!