In what bizarro world is it even OK that a 4 a.m. wakeup call isn’t early enough? As I was kicking myself for hitting snooze one too many times the other day, the thought occurred to me that I could possibly share a bit of my training schedule, but not to brag (though I am proud of the effort); more, to be honest, to share those times I did hit snooze, or read a book with my daughter, or slept off a sinus infection—because however you make it work, it works.
a typical wintry day in early 2018
4 a.m.: Alarm
4:10 a.m.: Wake up*
Make sure kids lunches are ready, bike is tweaked, clothes out, lights charged, podcast set
4:30 a.m.: Check email while “TCB” (taking care of business, my acronym at the office for pumping, as my 5-month-old is still 100 percent breast milk-fed—there, I said it)
5 a.m.: Weights or other cross-training
6 a.m.: Morning park-and-ride** (Most days the past three months temperatures in Minnesota started around 0 degrees F)
7:30 a.m.–4 p.m.: Work; some days a midday lunch run, 3–4 miles fartleks or hills***
Ride-to-park, pick up the “littles”
6 p.m.: Home for dinner****
Reading with first-grader
Times tables with third-grader
7:30 p.m.: Kids bedtime
By 9 p.m.: My bedtime
*this is sometimes 5:10 a.m., then I miss either my cross training or my morning ride, which means it’s the trainer for me in the evening. Boo.
**some mornings a run instead; or, when too tired or Baby Bash was up too many times during the night, ride relegated to trainer in the evening (see above)
***most of my runs are done on weekends and, let’s be honest, my best-laid plans of running up to 26 miles capped this past week instead at 20. I’m still confident: Between the freezing temps and the mounds of snow we’ve been dealing with up here in Minnesota, I’m thrilled with any and all I can get
****it needs to be said here: a huge THANK YOU to my amazingly supportive husband, who rotates childcare drop-off duties with me every other day so that I can have longer early rides, makes the ever-popular dinners of waffles/pancakes/pizza at least once a week so I can ride right into the dinner table some nights, and in general is my grounding light. It is NOT lost on me that this “active working Mom” thing could not be accomplished without a selfless, yet balancing partner, who knows how much to let me take and when to remind me about the important things, like books and times tables and movie nights with the kids]
The asterisks are what’s important, people: Nobody’s perfect, and the effort is what matters to me today. But even as I give myself grace for my training indiscretions, I’ve discovered it’s what I need—this ridiculous schedule, this early morning adrenaline rush, this “me” time. After all, what is all this bicycling business if not a long, winding, hilly (or in my case this past month, snowy) gravel road to self-discovery? In January and February, I’ve discovered I am a better version of my whole self when I’ve gotten in a workout, and preferably a ride at that. It’s grounding. It’s stress-reducing. It’s my “think” time. I’m a better mom. I’m a better wife. I’m a better worker and, I hope, coworker. Thank you, Land Run and other gravel events, for the excuse to find more of me.
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Running and mountain biking with her dogs in the great outdoors—rain or shine, winter or summer—are two of the things you’ll find me doing when I’m not gathering inspiration from my daughters, Ella, Cora and Lili. I have a recent fascination with wellness topics that include circuit training, TRX, HIIT and any other fitness acronym of the day—a simmering-beneath-the-surface competitive edge means I’m willing to try any form of exercise once. Helping my husband Scott’s wedding and lifestyle photography biz offers a bit of creative balance to my everyday routine.