Well, guess what? Most of us runners out there are not actually professionals, no matter how darn fast we feel at the local Superbowl 5k or how epic we think we look in our nifty new rabbit racing kit. Most of us just love to run, and we manage to find time somewhere or another, in otherwise busy life schedules, to fit in the miles. Do you struggle to find the time to fit in training, and work a full time job, and have a family, and have a social life, and and and? You aren't alone. The two co-founders of rabbit have the same struggle, along with our friend and RADrabbit Alexis Wilbert. In this blog, Alexis shares with us her ability to manage her (limited) time, while adhering to her values, and finding time to train...hard. And, you will notice, the training pays off, as Alexis is one smoking fast rabbit!
Here are some titles that describe me: runner, psychologist, (Army) wife, mother, and dog owner. What do those identities have to do with training? Well, for one, as runners, we are whole people. We have lives outside of running, and those other aspects of our identity are important. For another, those things all take time. Time that is not spent training. Sometimes, it can feel like there is not enough time to BE all of our identities, or to DO all of the things that make us happy.
I work full time as a psychologist. I have a two and half year old son who has incredible energy. I have three dogs who also require attention and exercise. I have an amazing husband whose work requires that he is away sometimes; and when he is, that means I manage the aforementioned things on my own. I could “easily” say I do not have time to train and give it up. I put “easily” in quotes because I really couldn’t. I could not give up running. Being a runner, being a competitive runner, is something I value highly. It is a core part of my identity. So I make time. I run during my lunch break at work. I put in miles on the treadmill while my son is sleeping. I do squats while I brush my teeth. (The other day I caught my son doing the same thing.) My teammates laughed at me when I shared an exercise that I call my “pre-bed core work.” I replied that I have to get it in when I can! So, that means core before bed.
As a psychologist, one thing I often ask my clients about is their values. I want to know what is important to them. Is it health? Is it family? Friendship? Financial stability? The potential list goes on, and we all have a set of core values of which we place of utmost importance. The problem is, we do not always live in accordance with our values. One school of thought believes that failure to do so leads to unhappiness. We may value health, but not feel like we have time to be physically active. Or we may value success, but won’t put in the effort it takes to be successful. We have to make time and create opportunities for the things that are important to us.
Since one of my values is success, specifically in running, I make time to train. And I love it. I love how I feel when I push my body. I love setting goals and chasing them. I love being a role model in my community, and most importantly, to my son. I love seeing his face when I cross the finish line. It can be hard to put in the time and dedication when sometimes I feel like I have a million other things to do, but if I can convey to him the importance of doing what you love, and honoring your values, I will have done a good job.
There is always the potential to feel pulled in too many directions. Work, family, obligations, social-media-time-suck, friends, chores, training, etc. Whenever I feel that way, I try to take a breath, and get re-centered on what is important to me. I focus on those things. I make time for reading with my son, taking hikes with our dogs, running, laughing with my husband, being outside, and working with students at my job. Those are the things that truly make me happy. Maybe it means the dishes don’t get washed right away. Or I don’t attend a social obligation. Or I put down my dang phone. And that is okay. I have to remind myself of that sometimes.
So, as we venture forth into 2017, I am looking forward to another year of making time for the things that I value, and reducing the time spent doing things that I don’t. I am excited to train harder than ever, chase some PRs (2016 times to beat: 5k: 17:06, 10k: 35:03, and half: 1:19:23), set lofty goals (sub 17 5k, 34 and change 10k, and 1:17 and change half, I’m coming for ya!) and run free!
- Alexis Wilbert, RADrabbitPRO