Linking up today with Mar, Cynthia, and Courtney for Friday Five.
Today's theme, for the first Friday of the month, is "fitness". Not something that I've been working on lately to the degree that I'd prefer! Due to a variety of factors, most notably that it's tax season and I'm supposed to be working 60 hours a week (and somehow thought I'd join a choir, and keep up Toastmasters... yeah, smart choices...), it's been super challenging to fit in even what I'd consider a bare minimum (4 days of running plus at least a couple workouts of something else).
This always a challenge, and I suppose I knew going into this career that something always has to give for this portion of the year. I still think it's important to do what you can. For me, it's very integral to my mental health to keep up some activity. It's also beneficial to training cycles the rest of the year to maintain some kind of base, not to mention just general health. Here's what I try to keep in mind to make it work to do something.
1. Fit it in where you can. For me, that often means taking advantage of a slight lull in brain power in late afternoon anyway, and taking a "dinner break" to go for a run (and when I'm back, it's after normal business hours so it doesn't matter what I'm wearing). On Fridays or Saturdays, I might run after getting home, at say 7 pm. Feels like the wrong time to be exercising instead of socializing on a weekend night, but it's when I have the time.
2. Something is better than nothing! Wednesday night this week, I got home even later than usual and felt like crap. I decided to head out for a run (in the rain, even), and only got 1.6 miles - even in the offseason, doing super slow, I like to think of 2 to 2.5 as my minimum! But really, I felt better after, it was still better than spending an extra 20 minutes on the couch.
3. Speaking of that 1.6 mile run - that was at night, about 9 pm, in the dark, in the pouring rain. It was pretty much the least ideal running conditions I could come up. That's what it takes when you have minimal time. You can't put off the run until the rain lets up, or fit it in earlier before the sunset. You have to be willing to take the time you have when it happens.
4. Though I always do the vast majority of my running alone, I have been trying (and enjoying!) doing some group stuff. When I got into triathlons I did a season with a local tri group, and more recently I did some runs with the local No Meat Athlete chapter. There was a run this past Sunday that I thought I'd join - I'm actually available on Sundays! But realistically, by the time I got there in the week, I was exhausted. I only had that day to get stuff done around the house and to relax. Though it'd be fun, meeting up with the group would take an hour round trip of driving, plus the socializing was just that much more time when I was already limited. I did about the same length of run on my own, but I just couldn't rationalize making time for the social aspect, right now. I'll get back to running with the group when it's not tax season! Right now, doing it by myself is usually what it takes to make it happen.
5. Accept that sometimes, it's just not going to happen. Swimming is just pretty much a no go. Unlike running that I can head out at any time, I have to go at certain lap swim times, and if I need to work later and it eats into that - too bad. It took weeks to fit weight lifting back in to start the last phase of NROLFW - and what ended up happening was it just replaced biking. I'm trying to fit in a minimum of 10 miles of running a week (ha! it wasn't that long ago I was aiming for a minimum 10 mile long run each week!), and at least one other workout on top of that. If I can do more, that's great. If I can't - it is what it is.