It is definitely somewhat serendipitous that our topic for this month is “balancing running and life”.  The past few weeks have been particularly challenging for me to keep juggling all of the balls that make up my day-to-day life without dropping one.  These are a few things I’ve had to remind myself in order to avoid going absolutely insane :)

Make a List- take a second to think about all of the things you need to get done and write them down, then organize and prioritize each one.  It should only take 5-10 minutes and it is worth every second to give yourself a concrete outline of what needs to be done and what is most important.  I find getting it out of my head and onto paper helps decrease the “crazy buzz” a little.

An example of how I lay out my "To do's".  Sometimes I'll add how long each task will take too!

An example of how I lay out my "To do's".  Sometimes I'll add how long each task will take too!

One Thing at a Time- now that you’ve made the list and you know what your plan is, take each item one at a time.  This is just like 20x400 on the track—if you think about all 20 at once it’s a nightmare! However, if you take each 400 as a single repeat, it’s really manageable—just one lap!

Be Present- along the same lines as the last tip—since you’re taking things one at a time, only focus on the task at hand.  Enjoy the good parts of your day—be it your first run, second run, lunch with a friend, etc.  Just because you’re busy and you have a lot going on does NOT mean you’re not allowed to have fun. Schedule it in so you don’t feel like you’re avoiding other tasks or eating up precious time and do NOT think about the rest of your list while you’re enjoying your scheduled fun.

Don’t get me wrong—there are days where things seem totally out of control and there is nothing that a list, schedule or plan can do to stop things from turning to chaos, definitely been there.  The important thing is to remember why you do the things you do.  Sure, planning workouts around the rest of your life can be stressful at times, but you should always be able to come back to why.  I do it because it makes me feel alive—I love seeing the measurable growth in myself both mentally and physically, and I love striving for goals that seem just a little out of reach. So, when things get a little tough and stressful I have to take a minute and reflect on why this is so important to me.

Happy Running and Balancing :)