I've had to ask myself this question a lot this month as I begin my endurance building phase of marathon/50 mile training. The goal I set for myself for June was to run 42 miles a week - an average of 6 miles a day. This was/is doable but challenging. If I take a rest day I really have to scramble to get in the miles, but having this goal ensures I do whatever it takes (most of the time).
Whenever I think I want something, this question arises. Just how badly do I want it? The answer is found in what I'm willing to do to get it. I've wanted to write a book for most of my life but I've never done it. I've started a thousand times (good stuff, too) but never finished. My conclusion: I must not really want to write a book. If I did, I'd do it. When it comes to running, however, I'm usually game. As spring gave way to summer I ran some races and wanted to get faster. How badly did I want that? Well, I trained and eventually ran a 23:42 5k. Not my best, but fast for this new mom and I was satisfied. I wasn't overly happy with my 10k performances and for a while I thought I wanted to do something about that, but in the end, I really just wanted to focus on the miles, the running, fitting it in and starting to train for my #1 goals.
Answering this question has meant running with the jogging stroller, something I have grown to LOVE. As the days got hotter this has gotten harder, but I hung in there until it was too hot to get many quality miles. I was then willing to hop on the treadmill during Eloise's morning nap time. I'm not a huge fan of the treadmill at all, but I could gut out 6 miles because I had a goal and I wanted it.
Now I answer the question by getting up early in the mornings. I'm falling in love with these early morning runs once again and I am so relieved/happy about that! I sort of thought for a while I'd never get that back. With a baby girl who doesn't always sleep the whole night, and who is now teething so its really hit or miss these days, it was so hard to manage even one early morning a week. But once it got hot I knew something had to happen. I asked how badly I wanted to train through June, how badly did I want my 42 miles a week, how badly did I want to run a good marathon and 50 mile in the fall... and my answer was I WANT IT!
I think being a mom has made me tougher in that I have to work harder for my miles. I share my time with Eloise and Jason, and in truth I want them to have the best of me. I want to run well, but in the end, more important than running is that I am a good wife and mother. I think running makes me better and so I'm willing to make it work, but the moment it starts to take away from the two people who hold my heart, I pull back and take stock of my goals.
Now I'm having to ask myself how badly I want to get fit in other ways. I want some strength in other areas and I believe it will make me a better runner (and also able to tote a 20 lb baby around!). My goal here is 3 times a week. It only takes about 25 minutes in my living room with my weights, and I can do it any time! Eloise likes watching me, tackling me when I lie down to do sit ups, giggling when I do push ups, so she isn't an excuse on this one. We shall see how badly I want this one. I am on week 1... for maybe the 5th time.
In other news tomorrow we are running the Firecracker Chase 10 Mile in Fayetteville, TN and I am so pumped! I had the best time at the RC Cola Moonpie 10 mile two weeks ago and I am looking forward to another longer run through the beautiful Tennessee country side. Have a great weekend, my friends and don't be afraid to go out and get after it!