Who Moved My Cheese? And Who Threw in More?
By: Laura Mitchell
Wow, what a year this has been. It’s already about half way over and it seems like I’ve been drinking from a fire hose, running around like a chicken with its head cut off all-the-while trying to meet all my season running goals. I sit in my parked car in front of the track, waiting for track practice. It’s 90+ degrees outside, and I’ve got the air conditioner blasting. I notice that Franz Liszt’s” Hungarian Rhapsody” is starting to play on the radio. I remember how I used to play that song on the piano when I was younger…Thanks 89.5FM.
I’m a very observant person, and I can multitask. My boyfriend, Stephen, gets mad at me for my uncanny talent of recognizing songs or the artist who is singing within split seconds of hearing it before easily sliding back into whatever I was doing, be it a conversation or task or whatever. I mean I wouldn’t vocalize it if it was the wrong time, like say in a board meeting at work or something. But, hey, I’m guess I’m proud of my knowledge.
Anyways, as we’re on the subject of multitasking, I’ll tell you about my busy year and how I am still trying to fit in my running/training season goals as well. This year is busy in many different ways. There are some new journeys I’m taking, and let’s face it, that can lead to trying times when you are a runner who is used to routine.
First, I started a new job in April, and for any of you who know me, this job schedule is very different from the previous job I had. Before, I was working from home, had my own schedule and as long as I got my action items completed on time everything was good. It was very nice. It really enabled me to fit my running and recovery in well. But now I have an office job, I have to wear suits again (which sometimes means, yes ladies, I have to wear heels), and I have to work until 5. Sidebar: I always wonder (now that I’m old) how all those NCAA XC girls wear heels to the Banquet dinner the night before! While having steady income is great, trying to squeeze in track practice after work when you are mentally tired, hungry and not to mention dealing with traffic can be rough. I guess everyone has to deal with stuff in their lives and obstacles in their way. You just press on and think about the positives.
The next big adjustment this year has been in my personal life. I have met the most amazing man to share my life with, and he is pretty much the best boyfriend one could ask for. He comes with four beautiful children that I get to share my life with as well. Yes, I did write four. And for people that are runners who don’t have kids, this can sound like a lot, shocking…crazy…or whatever. It’s ok; I thought pretty much all those things at first. But, they have all welcomed me into the family and I am very honored and grateful to be part of them.
At the beginning, I was worried about how to juggle my running with all of this. When it came to training, I was used to doing what I wanted, when I wanted, and not having to take into consideration other people. I could take a nap when I wanted on the weekends, sleep in, and get up early to run, go to bed when I wanted…you get my drift. Now, this is my situation: I need to get to bed early, yet someone wants me to read them bedtime stories, oh and now another one wants me to. Or, I just get done with training and I’m exhausted and just want to plop on the bed and take a nap. But, no, we have to jump on the trampoline and ride bikes and run around and play. One of the toughest things to get used to is the noise level that can rise, especially in the car. I was used to listening to music, turning it up when a good song came on, turning it down or listening to classical at a nice calm volume. Haha, that ship has sailed for Mitchell! I tell my running teammates at training who have kids how I just want to put in headphones, and they all have a laugh at my expense.
I knew it wouldn’t be easy, and I would have to make changes in order to fit everything in. I was willing to try, and it’s been most rewarding. Sure, I just wrote about all the new things I had to get used to, but all kidding aside, having them and Stephen in my life has been greater than I had even imagined. As I have embraced the new changes and adapted my schedule to fit in training, they have taken to my running and supported me as well. From coming to cheer me on in my races, to even the 7-yr old gymnast pushing my back down to help me stretch; they are evolving and growing too. Some of them are even joining Cross Country this year and go out on my warm up runs. I couldn’t be more grateful, humbled, and delighted.
My goal was to run a faster 5k time than last year and keep ratcheting down. I really wanted to break 20min. Carmen had me extend my 5k training into June and after a few 5ks, I managed to do it at the Moonlight Margarita run with a 19:45. Now, we are having fun with some of the local track meets, (due to the new job, still accruing vacation, no Masters Nationals for me this year) but it’s been fun with our group to do some 1500s and 800s and then go celebrate with a nice dinner afterward.
Until next time,