Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Time to Go

The autumn school term started this week, not only for my wife, but also for my daughter, who started kindergarten on Monday. So not only do I need to be home from work early twice a week, but I also have to get my daughter to school in the mornings. And as will happen with the year waning, sunrise has been gradually coming later and later each morning. These things have necessitated some major adjustments to my schedule.

My routine throughout the summer had been to get up at 5:00, eat breakfast, and get out and ride for an hour or two after the sun was up and my food had a chance to start digesting. Recently, I've been trying to get out of the office for an afternoon run a few times a week.

But now, by the time the sun is coming up, my daughter needs to be well on her way to getting ready for school. And she needs to be there earlier than I was typically returning from my morning ride. Running in the afternoon cuts into my work productivity and sometimes conflicts with my ability to get home to watch the kids so my wife can go to class.

It has been tempting to complain that there are just too many obligations and needs competing for my time. But I'm not the only one having to make adjustments to accommodate the changes we're experiencing. So I've just got to try to figure out something that will work. The best plan I've come up with is to turn my whole work and exercise schedule on its head.

  1. Get to work earlier. After dropping my daughter off at school, I'm going straight to the office. Heretofore, I've enjoyed coming in a little later, but that's going to have to change.
  2. Leave work earlier. I have to do this some of the time anyway, so I'll make it part of my normal routine.
  3. Daily morning rides are out. The weather is too nice for me to resign myself to spinning on the trainer in the basement. Since I don't want to ride on the road before sunrise, this is just going to be a fact of life for a while.
  4. Daily morning running is in. I like pre-dawn running, and right now my mileage is low enough that I can get back to the house at a reasonable time. This morning I set my alarm for 4:45, started running at 5:30, and was back just in time to wake my daughter. I think I can do this five times a week.
  5. A few afternoon rides during the week will have to do. On evenings that my wife doesn't have school, I should be able to squeeze in a ride after work but before supper. They can't be long rides, but an hour or so of intervals will serve just fine to keep me in shape.
  6. Weekends are for longer, more enjoyable rides. If cycling were just about getting a workout, I'm not sure I'd be able to keep up my motivation. Hopefully I'll be able to do at least one fun ride each weekend to help me relax and recover from the higher-intensity work during the week.
Between these changes and some help from the rest of the family to keep things going smoothly, I just might end up in better shape that I have been all summer. We'll see how it goes.

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