A typical pre-workout conversation with myself: It’s 4:15am on Monday and that damn alarm is already going off. Are you seriously waking up??? Yup. C’mon. Let’s do this. grrrrrr. I just want to sleep! I am so freaking tired. Quit bitching – more moving. Let’s go.

The Pre-Dawn Workout – My Attempt at Work-Life Balance

The moral of the story is that it can be extremely difficult to stick with your workout plan at 4:15am, even when you have the best intentions at 8pm the night before. Parents know finding time for yourself, much less time to workout, can be a daunting task. A recent survey from Runner’s World showed that there are few reasons regular runners will skip a workout….but 62% will pass one up if a child is sick. Think that stat just highlights “running” parents need to be flexible because you never know what can come up.

Last week, “good” me woke up and did fit in a core workout on Monday. I’ve also run three times in the last seven days. Why do I stick to 4:15am workouts? Because it’s how I can best balance my workout needs, my “me” time, work obligations and family time. It’s how I make sure the job gets done in light of a demanding career.

To say my job is demanding could be an understatement. Not trying to make excuses, but when you layer on a rough work schedule it can make you push certain things to the back burner. Why so demanding: I travel at least monthly. I am in the office by 6:30am daily and on good days am there till 6:00pm (bad days can stretch to 10:00pm or later). That being said, I do enjoy work. So, the key is making it fit with the family and finding time for me.

So, how am I making sure to fit in workouts…here’s my top 4 ways to make sure I make time for working out:

1. Talk it up!

Communicating with my family about my goals, schedules, their needs is crucial. We’ve actually found apps like LoseIt – a food diary and Cozi – family calendar to be pretty useful.

2. Be a boy/girl scout….be prepared.

Planning ahead of time is also a must: workout schedule, shoes, gear, alarm, etc. The more I have to think about things, the less likely I am to crawl out of bed. I admit it…I’m lazy.

3. Go early, go often.

Less thinking more doing. Just get up and go. After you start doing things repeatedly, it becomes habit. And we all know that habits can be hard to break.

4. Keeping goals set

Right now, I am still trying to hit 1000cal/wk and thinking about trying to lose two pounds per month. Former is easier to hit than the latter but having defined goals let’s you see progress. And seeing progress makes it a little bit easier to hit the ground running in the morning!


But, is it working????

recent weight loss progressSlowly but surely seems to be the key here!  First and foremost, my family’s on board with my running/workout plans which is reassuring that I can put the nix on the mom guilt.  Second, the changes I have made that count (cutting out soda, increasing fruit/veggies, avoiding greasy food) seem to be sticking.  I’ve bypassed the scale for awhile so was surprised to see it dip down a bit after a horrendous work schedule that involved a lot of hours sitting, traveling and not working out.  Today I even managed to put in a good 3 miles at a reasonable pace ahead of my Santa Hustle 5K!   Nothing’s a gimme, but I’m starting to turn the corner.  As that black line is eeking closer to that target blue line on the graph I’m starting to think and BELIEVE it may actually be possible to get there.  C’mon skinny jeans!!

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