I think I can, I think I can

When I looked at my google calendar yesterday morning, it sent me into a bit of a panic. The combination of not being able to say “no” and a type-A personality often causes me to overbook myself. I’m trying to get better at realizing I can’t do everything, but it’s an on-going process. It’s a good thing that I’m happiest when I’m busiest! So what was on my crazy Tuesday to-do list?

  • 7:30am drink coffee, answer emails, blog, commute to the office (no time for a shower, oops)
  • 9:30am – 1:00pm work, work, work (and occasionally update Twitter…)
  • 1:00pm – 2:00pm Run 4 miles at the gym and SHOWER (huzzah!)
  • 2:00pm – 5:30pm eat lunch at my desk and work some more
  • 5:30pm – 6:30pm travel to Soho for a 6pm appointment
  • 6:30pm – 7:15pm take ridiculously crowded subway uptown
  • 7:15pm – 8:00pm volunteer at my CSA during veggie pick-up, manual labor was involved. Note to self: next time skip the ballet flats and pencil skirt.
  • 8:00pm – 8:20pm Carry home 20lbs of organic veggies through Morningside Park. In the dark. By myself. (Mom – pretend you didn’t read that)
  • 8:20pm – 8:45pm dash into my apt, change clothes, and jog over to my polling place to vote in the NY State primaries
  • 8:45pm – 9:30pm 5.5 mile run with a friend (running buddies make night time running safer!)
  • 9:30 – 10:30pm chug chocolate milk (recovery drink!), wash and prep CSA veggies for storage, make simple dinner
  • 10:30pm – 12:ooam prep lunch for tomorrow, catch up on emails, SLEEP
  • 5:50am wake up to run and do it all over again 🙂

Yeesh. That schedule was daunting, but most of the things on my to-do list were very important to me (running, voting, CSA volunteering) so I just made the best of the busy situation.

I’m lucky that I don’t have kids to take care of (God help them if I did…) or a super stressful job, but working full-time, managing the blog, running 50-60+ miles per week, and occasionally being social does take a bit of planning and work. I’m by no means a time management expert (I probably spend wayyyy too much time on g-chat and twitter), but I’ve come up with a few tips for getting it all done.

Figure out your priorities: Running is one of the most important things in my life and sometimes I will choose running over showering or making myself look pretty. I get a lot of questions on how I fit in long-ish runs before work/after work and my answer to that is 1) planning 2) a simple beauty routine. I seriously don’t do much besides wash and air dry my hair. No blowdrying, no make-up, and my outfits are usual pretty simple. I also tend to eat dinner pretty late (usually sometime around 9pm). That makes running 10+ miles after work possible on some nights. That routine won’t fly with some people, but it works for me! So basically what I’m saying is: figure out what’s important to you. If it’s training for a race, then you might have to give up some other things.

Think of alternative options: I planned on running 9 miles on Tuesday morning, but the body said “hey, I need some extra sleep!” What to do, what to do? Instead of skipping my run I looked at my schedule and figured out another way to fit in my miles. I managed to run 4 miles during my lunch break and then another 5.5 later in the evening. If you sleep in, don’t automatically write off your workout. Can you exercise during lunch? Before dinner? After dinner? Make it happen any way you can.

Prepare simple meals: I love to cook, but on nights when I get home at 9pm or later I am NOT in the mood to wait for dinner. On nights like this I make simple things like yogurt + fruit + granola or pb & j or a big “junk salad”. As soon as I get produce from the grocery store or my CSA, I wash and prep my goodies so they’re more easily accessible. Making a salad is a lot easier if the lettuce is clean and the cucumber is already chopped!

Sliced tomato, cheddar cheese, salt, and pepper on broiled bread.

When I have an early a.m. run scheduled, I scarf a carby snack before bed. Nutella on whole grain toast is a favorite of mine!

Make running/exercise dates: I’ve been loving my Wednesday morning runs with Kelly and Nicole. To be honest, knowing that they’ll be waiting for me rain or shine really gets my butt out of bed at 5:50am. If I didn’t have a running date, I can guarantee that I’d be more likely to sleep in.

Use a reward system: I’ve made a deal with myself – on days that I wake up before 6am, I can treat myself to Starbucks. It makes getting out of bed (in the dark…) just a little bit easier. I also try to plan something fun mid-week (tonight is a wine tasting with Leslie, Sofia, and BT). All work and no play isn’t any fun!

And since I’m a sucker for good advertising campaigns, I’m going to leave you with one of my favorite Nike ads. Without fail, this gets me pumped to run.

“You pretended the snooze button didn’t exist. You dragged your butt out of bed while others slept. While others ate their pancakes you had a feast of protein, glucose and electrolytes. You double-knotted. You left the porch light on and locked the door behind you.

You ran 5Ks, 10Ks, 26.2 miles. Some days more, some days less. You rewarded a long run with a short run. And a short run with a long run. Rain tried to slow you. Sun tried to microwave you. Snow made you feel like a warrior.

You cramped. You bonked. You paid no mind to comfort. On weekends. On holidays. You made excuses to keep going. Questioned yourself. Played mind games. Put your heart before your knees. Listened to your breathing. Sweat sunscreen into your eyes. Worked on your farmer’s tan.

You hit the wall. You went through it. You decided to be man about it. You decided to be woman about it. Finished what you started. Proved what you were made of. Just kept putting mile after mile on your interval odometer. For 25 years, you ran. And we ran with you. How much farther will we go? As far as you will.”

Happy Running! xoxo Megan

  • You’re super busy!! Me, too!!

  • You earned that Starbucks, superwoman. 🙂

    Love the Nike ad. I felt like I was being microwaved on my run yesterday but I cranked it out anyway!

  • Holy cow, and I thought I was SuperWoman! You got me beat, girl. I like the Starbucks rule…little tricks like that get me outta bed to run. Well, it’s not even a trick…I eat a snack before I run…I’m ALWAYS excited about eating 🙂 ha

  • I love nutella! its delicious on ANYTHING even on my finger plain! straight out of the jar. YUM !

    man yall are so crazy for doing morning runs on a regular basis! what time do yall wake up for these runs?

  • Maren

    Love this post! You rock, Megan! Happy Running to you, too!

  • very daunting schedule indeed. but you have a great plan for tackling it 🙂 it’s exactly what i do so of course i’ll say that. great minds think alike 🙂

    and i love that ad. so i just printed it out to hang on my bulletin board. or at least it will be once i put one up 😉

  • Way to make the important things in your life a priority. I completely agree with you. I schedule my daily runs and little keeps me from them. Who doesn’t want that energy high on a daily basis? And, it does help to have a good buddy system in place to keep you on track. Gotta have some nutella after reading this post …love it.

  • Thanks for the inspiration! Muy cool!

  • Thanks for the advice! I am going to need some time management strategies as I become busier this Fall!

  • Sveta

    Love those inspirational nike ads 😉

  • Megan

    1) I cannot express how proud I am of you for taking a shower after the gym.
    2) LOVE the nike ad!!
    3) Plan something fun midweek w/ me. kthanx
    4) SEE YOU TOMORROW.
    5) As long as I’m commenting, let’s go on an easy run sunday?

  • I’ve never seen that Nike ad. Super cool! Your post is totally making me nostalgic and think about my running days!

  • you forgot to omit the spoonfuls of nutella after the toast….

    too much time on gchat?? nahhhhh….

  • Eileen

    I LOVE THIS POST!

    When I was marathoning, I would occasionally run after work, then meet friends out without taking a shower. Running was non-negotiable. Friends are more important than showering. Anyone who thought less of me for going out for a beer with a little sweat clinging to me probably wasn’t going to be a long-term friend, anyway!

  • I totally feel ya on the crazy schedule but am so inspired that you squeezed in multiple runs! Awesome job!

    And thanks for the quote…it’s fantastic!

  • I am so proud of both your superstar running and your fabulous self overall. And that BT has a RK blog-identity. I have a feeling the kid’s gonna be famous… only after you, of course!

  • Love love love the Nike ad! You are such a machine! I’m pooped just looking at that!

  • Nike haven’t shown that ad in the UK, but I’m loving it. Printing it out and putting it somewhere prominent!
    Big thumbs up to you for your day.

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  • I love our Wednesday morning runs 🙂

    With crazy schedules like we have, planning and prioritizing is so key!It really helps me not go insane.

    That ad give me goosebumps – thanks for sharing!

  • suz

    I love that ad too–have gazed at it over and over in Runner’s World! I think I may put it up on my work bulletin board along with the lululemon manifesto!

  • Busy girl! If you’re doing it all over again, just make sure not to vote twice 🙂 That’s only permissible in Illinois!

    I’m happiest when busy too, and when running is a big part of that. If you can’t have me in sneakers and a racing t-shirt, you’re most likely not going to see much of me!

  • Love the Nike Ad too!

    I also <3 our morning runs (thanks for the shoutout!), the whole accountability concept works wonders! Now I know I can get 20 extra minutes of sleep since the C train doesn't exist until 6:20 anyways!

  • Love the end quote from the nike commercial. And man, do I feel guilty about my schedule now. It’s nowhere near as tough as yours!! And now I will most definitely be running this evening – no if, ands or buts about it. 🙂

  • Lordy lord, lady, you are a STAR! I’m so impressed with how you managed to use every nanosecond of your time and still manage to do it with a sense of humor.

  • Great post, Megan! I can certainly relate to having an extremely busy schedule, and love your time management tips. Also, those tomatoes on toast looks insanely delicious!

  • i still don’t know how you manage all that, but rock on sister! you have inspired me to stop being so lazy hitting that snooze button all the time!