How to Balance Life and Running

how-to-balance-life-and-running-happyfitmama-comThank you Florastor® Daily Probiotics for sponsoring this post. Visit your local retailer to pick up your bottle of Florastor® Daily Probiotics to complement your active lifestyle!

Balance.

Something we all try to strive for, right? I’ve been told I’m unbalanced. Muscularly, that is.

But do I think that I have my life in balance?

Absolutely not.

In 2013, I used the word balance as my word of the year – what I would focus on all year long. What did I find? There is no such thing as balance. I think life is a constant state of tipping the scales in whatever direction is most important in that moment. It then readjusts in the other direction as needed.

Since I started running more seriously after my twins were born in 2010, I’ve needed to find a balance in life and running. Training eats up a ton of time. It’s hard to not live and breathe by a training plan. But life isn’t cut and dried so there needs to be flexibility.

Here are 5 things that helps me to (somewhat) balance life and running:

1. Support – If Ron did not support my crazy running habits, none of this would work. He knows that running is what I love and what makes me happy (and most importantly, sane). In turn, he never gives me any grief about running a 20 mile race that begins in the middle of the day that practically eats up a whole Sunday of family time. Or leaving town for four days so I can hang out with my friends and run a race. It’s important to me so he makes it work. And he keeps the kids entertained so no one even realizes I’m gone.

Post Zooma Cape Cod | happyfitmama.comOh you ran a race? I didn’t notice. I was too busy digging a gigantic hole.

2. Schedule workouts – I’m a big fan of routine schedules. I think it stems from when my twins were born. I was all about the schedule. Nothing messed up the schedule. Thankfully, I like to workout in the morning. Ron likes after work. Perfect! When I go to yoga class, it’s usually after the kids have gone to school on my days I work from home.

3. Prioritize – My daily to-do list is usually a mile long. With my job as a part time Clinical Exercise Physiologist, managing a blog, my coaching clients and picking up more freelance writing projects, I feel like there’s always something to do that I haven’t done or that needs to be done ASAP. Rather than feeling overwhelmed, I prioritize from most important to least on my list. For the most part it works, but I can’t say I never feel overwhelmed.

4. Multitask – I stretch while I’m on the floor with my kids playing a game. I foam roll, do my core and PT exercises while watching TV at night. Or use my kids as added resistance. I clean the shower and stretch while taking a shower. What? I know I’m not the only one that does that!

Planks with kids | happyfitmama.com

5. Make Myself a Priority – For years, I’ve had mommy guilt. I’d get the side eye from other moms when they asked where my kid’s were while I was training for races, at a yoga class or working out in general. It was like – How dare you leave your kids for that long! But I got over that guilt really quick when I realized that I’m a better mama, wife, friend and overall person when I take that time for me. If I don’t make myself a priority, no one else will. And I can’t take care of my family if I’m not well.

I exercise, eat right and take supplements to fuel my body so everything runs smoothly. Finding balance in my digestive tract is equally important. That’s why I take a probiotic.

A few years ago, my iron clad stomach decided to get funky. It wasn’t pretty and I was beginning to think something was seriously wrong with me. Around the same time, I read an article about endurance runners being more likely to have leaky gut syndrome. When you exercise, cells lining the intestinal wall pull apart a little bit. Gaps between cells allow things from the GI tract to leak into the bloodstream causing problems. One of them being an urgent need for a mid run potty break. Like any runner, I’ve been in that position one too many times.

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I don’t think I’ll ever have a total balance in my life. But that’s o.k. as long as I have harmony!

How do you balance life and running?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

4 comments on “How to Balance Life and Running

  1. I am always looking for better balance in life. I strive to be more organized like you. You are so on top of things and I am always impressed! Definitely so thankful for family who helps to support our crazy running dreams. Now we just need to get more running and just hang out meet ups planned!

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