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Open Mic Friday: Fitting It In

Open_mic_friday A big hello, welcome, and thank you to Coffee Betsy!  We have had the privilege of meeting her in person twice as she traveled to our hometown for two races and then the weekly joy of enjoying her blog.

It’s inevitable.  When I mention my running to a non-runner, I’ll get a big sigh and a, “Must be nice to have the time.” Because surely, it’s a surplus of free time that has inspired me to be a runner, right?

Oh, so very wrong.

Yes, I run.  I also have a full-time job, a husband, and a three-year old son.  I have never served cereal for dinner, and I read four books in the past month.  I update my blog on a semi-regular basis.  And I also write for and edit a website about reality TV .  Boredom is definitely not what’s driving me to strap on my running shoes and hit the road.

So, how do I incorporate running into the rest of my life?  There’s a passage in the book The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer that really spoke to me: “You only have to make yourself a priority equal to all the others in your life.”

My work, husband, son, house, and reality TV addiction are important to me.  But I’m important to me, too. And as soon as I realized that, fitting in running didn’t seem quite so daunting.

Running has taken the place of, for lack of better words, dumb wastes of time.  Instead of going home and watching the news (all of which I already heard in the car), I go out for a run.  My son doesn’t need the presence of both of his parents to lounge around in front of cartoons on a Saturday morning, so off I go. The TV show that I didn’t really love, but that was a decent way to pass the time on a Monday night?  Gone, replaced by a quick run.

If you truly make running important to you, you will find the time. And if you’re still not sure how, here are some practical tips on adding more time to your day.

·         Don’t cook dinner.  Yeah, I know, I said that I don’t serve cereal for dinner. I don’t order take-out either. Instead, I cook food like soup, spaghetti sauce, and casseroles in huge batches on weekend afternoons.  All week long, we reheat and eat the food I already prepared.

·         Hire it out.  I have not cleaned my bathroom in three years.  No, I am not living in a mass of filth; I have a wonderful cleaning service that comes and takes care of it for me.  Let me tell you, it’s the best money I’ve ever spent.

·         Technology is your friend.  If you haven’t done it already, get yourself a DVR.  You can watch shows whenever you want, not just whenever they’re on.  And watching commercials is for suckers.  The time you save by not watching commercials for two hour-long shows is enough for one run right there.

·         Make a trade.  Running is my “me time.”  But my husband also deserves his own time alone. So, the two of us have a deal. I go for a run immediately after work, while he takes care of our son and heats up dinner.  The three of us eat together, then I take over.  I clean up the kitchen and hang out with the little man while he heads upstairs to write, read a book, or whatever he wants.

So, how do I find the time?  When you truly make yourself – and your running – a priority, it’s hard not to.

Next week .... sit back and enjoy a few words from Bob Gentile.


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I can relate to this lifestyle. However, I still have not found my rythem and "me time". I definetly could use some help convincing my husband to step up more than one day a week.

Janet Green

Great post, Betsy - I'm not a runner, but there certainly are things I'd do "if I had the time." Like more creative writing. I'm pretty sure all I have to do is substitute the word "write" for the word "run" and your post will sound like it was written just for me! :) ~ Janet


Great post as always, Betsy!! You are an inspiration.


Loved your post here Betsy. I agree. My non-running friends think it's nuts that I get up to run and go to the gym at 5am but it's the best time for me to do it first thing in my day and not have to leave my family when they are all awake later in the day. So even though, I'm totally NOT a morning person, I am a person who knows the magic of running and so I make myself get up early to do it.


I agree, too, that not being a morning person (like, at all) can make finding time later a bit more daunting. As a homeschool mom, however, when the boys were younger (much younger), they knew that school was over when mom laced up her shoes and headed out on to our very long gravel driveway. Sometimes they sat on the back of the pick up truck and waited for me so they could tell me, "He hit me," or whatever. I'd tell them I'll see you again in about 3 1/2 minutes.

One of the greatest truths about running (or probably any fitness plan) is that it really multiplies your time ... not taking away but GIVING it back to you by what you invest. In yourself.

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