Juggling Work, Family Life and Running

This week has been one of those weeks. As a wife, mother of two daughters, business woman, marathoner and wannabe ultra runner this week has been less about knowing how I do it and more about just getting on and doing it – even if it does leave you a little stir crazy.

Juggling running and family

“I don’t know how you do it,” is a phrase that I’ve heard quite often over the years and when asked ‘How do you do it?’ I normally just say, “I just get on with it.” Unfortunately daughter the younger had a minor vomiting incident on Monday evening which meant 48 hours out of school. As any working parent knows that means that you have to take time off to look after them which also means no running at my normal run times, i.e. during the day when the girls are at school.

I’ve learnt that when trying to balance running, family and work the very best thing you can do is make a decision. It doesn’t have to be the right decision, but you have to make a decision. If you don’t make a decision then you don’t accomplish anything: the washing doesn’t get done, runs get missed and the family starves (well not quite, but you get my point). So shortly after the vomiting incident I made the decision that I was going to get up at 5am to get my Tuesday easy run in.

It was a decision I was regretting when the alarm when off the following morning, and I seriously thought about just staying in bed but a minute or so later I thought, ‘Sod it, let’s do it.’ So off I went into the dark: the stars above my head twinkling in the clear sky and the frost beneath my feet twinkling as my headtorch lit it up.

Wednesday was much the same and very different. I was up again early, I was out running again early, except this time I was doing it in the company of Jen and Dennis who’d kindly reduced their normal 9 miles at 9 min/mile pace to 7 miles. I’ve learned that strong, fit friends (aka running buddies) pull you through what you think you can’t do alone and that was the case here. I’d have never have managed to do 7.1 miles at just under 9 min/mile pace if I hadn’t been with them, but if I want to get faster I need to run with friends who are faster. And although effort-wise it was harder than the easy run planned (more like half marathon effort) it was totally enjoyable.

Saturday meant more juggling. I’d originally swapped my parkrun with Kev so that I could go and support/run with with Donna Law in her first marathon. Unfortunately Kev decided he was going caching straight after parkrun. So faced with no Parkrun and no mid-morning when I volunteered to do the pre-event setup for MK parkrun, so I was finished running by 8:30am. Add in a pet guinea pig that died during the night as well and I didn’t even make it to the marathon course to see Donna. I was gutted to miss her marathon but she ran brilliantly and finished in a great time of 4 hours and 42 minutes!

Kassia, thanks for volunteering today at Milton Keynes parkrun. Have you realised that it’s November and you’re still running in vest and shorts whilst everyone seems to be overdressed in layers? #hardandnorthern Your efforts are greatly appreciated by us and all the runners

This week’s training:

  • Tuesday: 6 miles easy with 4 x strides
  • Wednesday: 7.1 miles at half marathon effort
  • Thursday: 12 x 200m plus 4 x 100m (same distance recovery)
  • Saturday: 35 mins easy
  • Sunday: 1 hour 45 mins long run

Until next time…

Kassia Gardner