#MicroblogMondays: Making Room In My Schedule.


(Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.)


On my last post, Turia asked me: When are you fitting in your exercise if the first 60-90 minutes of your morning is yoga/meditation/journal writing? And what time are you going to bed at night to make this work?

So I started writing a response in a comment, but then it got long enough to devote to its own post.

I am not a night owl. Never have been. In high school, once a week, my friend Jess would pick me up at 5:30 and we’d go to Denny’s for breakfast before school. And in college, my favorite classes were the 8am ones.

I find that I have a finite cutoff at 8:30-9pm. If I’m up later than that, I get bitchy and cranky, and I’m always asking Jeff, Can we go to bed please?

So most nights I’m in bed by 9:00 or 9:30.

For training, my schedule has been something like this.

I work in Boston two days a week – Tuesdays and Thursdays. Those are my run days, where the alarm rings at 3:40 or so. I drive into Boston, bring my stuff to my client, run before work (usually 6ish miles, but this summer my plan is to make Tuesday my long run, so I’ll work up to 12-14ish miles or so), then shower and start my day.

Those days I do not practice yoga in the morning, but I do try and steal 10 or 15 minutes to meditate.

On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, I am responsible for getting Owen onto the bus at 8am, so that’s when I get up at 5 to do yoga/meditation. On Mondays and Fridays I swim or bike right after he gets on the bus, and on Wednesdays I work for a bit from home and commute via bike to my relatively local weekly meeting in the afternoon.

Then on the weekends I do a long ride, then a recovery run/swim/bike session. I also get up early those days for yoga and meditation as well, but it’s unlikely I do 90 minutes; I shorten those sessions to 45-60 minutes.

The keys, I think, to fitting all of this in is prioritizing, flexibility, and self-care. I know I am a happier and less anxious person when I have some form of exercise (and, I’m finding, the stillness of yoga and meditation helps with that too!) in a given day. On days where I’m crunched for time, even a 10 minute meditation using an app helps, as does writing in my journal for 15 minutes. And when my body’s tired from a hard workout, I leave my watch at home, keep my pace slow enough that my breathing is easy.

And I let other stuff go, especially when work is busy. I don’t blog like ever as much . I leave dishes in the sink and mail on the dining room table and we make super quick and easy meals at night. I use my crockpot a lot.

I’m also practicing putting stronger boundaries around work. I work part time, but I treat my job as if it were a full time job a lot. Especially this summer, I’m working on really making space between work and the rest of my life. It’s harder than I thought it would be, but worth the practice.

But that’s a whole other post in itself, I suppose!

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14 Responses to #MicroblogMondays: Making Room In My Schedule.

  1. noemi says:

    Wow. This is a really impressive schedule. I will admit that when I read 3:40 my eyes bulged a bit. I’ve been waking up at 5am to teach at 7am this year and it’s been really brutal for me. I just can’t get to bed early enough to make it work. I’m not even done putting my daughter to bed until 10pm! I’m nervous about making time to exercise this summer. The problem is our elliptical is in my son’s room. It fits well there and would fit horribly anywhere else. I’m not sure where that leaves me. I guess I could start running again, but I have no idea where to do that on this side of the city.

    I think you’re right that you have to make it a priority. I have been doing that for the past year and I do feel better for it. I hope I can keep it up, because like you, I need exercise to keep me mentally and emotionally functioning. I become a stressed out mess without some weekly endorphins. Thanks for the inspiration! I know there will be days this summer when I’m dragging my ass out of bed really early and thinking, is Karen can do it, I can too. πŸ˜‰

    • Karen says:

      We are really, really fortunate that Owen is not a night owl. We have our other issues of course, but sleep battles aren’t part of it, thank goodness. It would be impossible for me to get up at 3:40 if I was just coming out of his room at 10pm most nights; it’s just not sustainable.

      That said, what gets me out of bed when I am running low on sleep is the fact that the only way my work is bearable is if I’ve had a run beforehand. There’s something to be said for endorphins taking the edge off! πŸ™‚

  2. Justine says:

    Wow. 3:40. You have officially blown me away.

    But on the other hand, going to bed at 9 makes that sound totally doable. I go to bed at midnight and get up at 6, not terribly rested. I bet if I went to bed early, I’d get up earlier, and feel rested to greet the day. I don’t get a whole lot done between 10 and midnight, either …

    • Karen says:

      Have you read Arianna Huffington’s book “Thrive?” She actually set an alarm every night for a specific period of time in order to remind her to go to bed. It’s hard sometimes, especially on the nights where we have baseball and then dinner and by the time we’ve cleaned up from it all it’s pretty much bedtime, and Jeff and I don’t get a lot of time to decompress with “us time.” But totally worth it.

  3. mrs spock says:

    Since I just dropped to working 3-4 days a month, my schedule has now opened up for exercise too. I can’t run, but I am dropping the kids off at the Y, doing Zumba Monday and Friday, Yoga Tuesday and Thursday, and swimming, elliptical, or treadmill on Wednesdays.

    Thankfully I don;t have to get out of bed at 3:40 to do this though! Yikes!

  4. Mel says:

    I am very impressed with your activity schedule. I find that I will fit in all the stationary activities like writing or meditating. But I make a lot of excuses for why I don’t have time to exercise. I find that part really hard: getting motivated, getting moving.

    • Karen says:

      We’d make the perfect person, Mel – I actually have to force myself to sit still. Writing, especially, is hard for me right now. I have days where the meditation is easier than others, but right now I have trouble with the sitting still and listening. I have a theory that since I’ve been running regularly for 5 years now that my habit – my default – is movement. Sitting still is hard for me. Which is why I think it’s good for me, too.

  5. Deborah says:

    Wow. I cannot get up before 6 am. I usually go to bed around 11, but even if I were to go to bed earlier, before 6 is just Nighttime to me. I tried getting up at 5:50, and I just Cannot Do It. I am quite impressed. And also, no matter how you fit it all in, the exercise and the meditation are a serious time commitment.

    • Karen says:

      I think there are people who are Night People, and others who are Morning People. I am naturally more of a Morning Person (though don’t talk to me early in the morning, I need that time to wake up!).

      And with the meditation time commitment? I think, right now, as I begin, I have to make it a commitment, mostly because I’m so new to it. I feel like the more practiced I am with it, though, the more I can do it whenever I’m waiting in line or in traffic or whatever. That’s what I hear, anyway. We shall see if it plays out that way. πŸ˜‰

  6. loribeth says:

    Wow — I thought 4:50 a.m., when we were working & commuting, was early!! I bow to you & your 3:40 a.m. alarm clock!!

    These days I tend to wake up by around 8, have my breakfast & tea, and then dh & I head out for a walk somewhere between 9 & 10 a.m., for 30-45 minutes. This is great when the weather is good, but I’m going to have to figure something else out for next winter — perhaps a regular yoga class at the local rec centre? I have to admit, we lead pretty sedentary lives, but even I went a bit stir crazy this past winter…!

    • Karen says:

      That sounds delightful, actually. Trust me, I wouldn’t get up that early if I didn’t need to shoehorn things into my schedule. And I’m not certain I could do it every day, either. Twice a week is more than enough! πŸ™‚

  7. Turia says:

    Thanks so much for answering my questions in such detail! I cannot believe you get up twice a week at 3:40 a.m. That would just kill me.

    I am in awe of your focus and your willingness to make it a priority and fit it all in. I have to confess I am really enjoying sleep right now. But I think I’m finally filling my deficit as I’ve started to wake up naturally a bit earlier in the last couple of weeks. So hopefully soon there will be space for running. I just don’t want to push it because these good sleep habits are so new. I’m afraid to disrupt them before they’re established.

  8. Deborah says:

    Color me impressed with the discipline.

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