Last updated: Aug 17, 2011

By Colleen



I just got back from vacation with my family (my four kids, all my aunts, uncles, cousins—there were 65 of us!). While I was away, I chose to sleep in instead of doing my usual morning runs; little did I know once I was back and ready to start training for the 10K, my mind would agree but my body would not.

The first day back was rough—just ask the paramedics team stationed next to the treadmill (it rained all week, so I stayed indoors). It was as if I had never run a day in my life! I survived, but couldnt get over my poor performance. Finally, though, it dawned on me that I was simply exhausted—probably owing to the fact that not only do I have to run at 5:30 a.m. (before the kids get out of bed), but I'm also caring for an infant who is still getting up twice a night.

So I made some adjustments. Instead of going to bed after the 12 a.m. feeding, I went to bed at 9 p.m. and woke up for the feeding. Even with the baby getting up again at 2:30 a.m., I still felt rested enough at 5:30 a.m. to get moving. I've realized that the split second the alarm goes off is the most important split second of my day. Its the moment I make the decision to get up and run, to do something for myself—or not.

The rest of the week went fairly well after that. Not only did I have more energy, but my running time began to really improve. The two miles I ran on that first day back took a lousy 35 minutes (yes, I know your grandmother can go faster; so can mine) and I was terribly winded. By the end of the week, though, I had shaved eight minutes off that time and no longer needed to keep the paramedics on speed dial.

All in all, the first week was a success—despite the fact that I trained solely on the (immensely boring) treadmill, thanks to the weather. This coming week I want to get outside. I mean, the 10K is not going to take place in my house! (I checked the website, just to be sure.) I'll be running with some other people who are training for the 10K, too, so that should help; I'm pretty competitive, so groups tend to push me to go faster.

And if it rains? I just might be able to convince my kids to run around the treadmill for me so I can pretend to be with the group. (Hey, a runners gotta do what a runners gotta do.) It would be good exercise for them, and it would help get me pumped to keep making the decision to get out of bed when that alarm goes off at 5:30.