This week I was getting real down about not being fast enough to actually run professionally. Speaking of which, did you see how fast Jordan Hasay ran Boston!? Can you imagine doing that in your first marathon? Cripes! At any rate, it’s easy to resent my ‘real’ job, the nursing one, which takes away so much time and energy I could devote to running. The pros get to spend at least double the hours on massage, weight lifting, physical therapy, and nutritional perfection, that they do on running itself. Practical for the rest of us? I think not.
Having a job that gets me out of the house by 6am — and in bed by 8:45pm — keeps things real for me, and my client-athletes. Sandwiched between weekly long runs are hours spent running around like a stressed (and headless) chicken, taking late lunches just like most other working adults. I get hungry and dehydrated on a daily basis, without the luxury of product sponsorships and 25 different pairs of running shoes to chose from. Every mile of training has to count, because I don’t have the leeway of a 90-mile/week base.
As you can probably tell, this whine-fest is well-rehearsed.
And yet, reluctantly, begrudgingly, I believe that nursing also makes me a better coach. I’ve seen the full spectrum of sedentary debilitation, and it makes me extremely enthusiastic about supporting other people’s active lifestyles. I’ll believe you when you tell me that there is literally no way you can squeeze a 5a.m. run and expect to remain upright by the end of the day — but we’ll also talk frankly about what obligations you might start saying “no” to. I am a proponent of rest days and self-care, and will do my darndest to convince you to safeguard the 60-90 minutes of selfish exercise you stake out for yourself 4 times a week (no matter how many children you have). I know what it’s like to work nights, holidays, and weekends, and how that makes your family time infinitely more precious. I also have learned that despite these hurdles, we can make a runner and a racer out of you.
Shout out to my night-shifters!