6'0 tall, former athlete, mother of 3, struggling to keep up on the RUN of daily life.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


What are your priorities?

How do you decide what is worth your time, effort and energy?

When I first started running these were my priorities...

1.  Lose baby weight

2.  Run a mile without stopping

3.  Finish my first 5K

Of course I had LIFE priorities in there as always, but for the sake of this blog, I will just talk about my RUNNING PRIORITIES.

As time passed I dropped weight, gained endurance and signed up for races left and right.  With new vision I ran on and on...

1.  Finish a Half Marathon

2.  Increase my speed

3.  Eat for fuel to get to Goal Weight

All good things!!  My first half marathon was SPEEDY (for me) and I was racing at my goal weight.  What an amazing feeling to know I could run longer and faster than I ever imagined..

While training for the Half I realized I had more in me...

1.  Finish a Marathon

2.  Qualify for Boston

3.  Become a Marathon maniac

These priorities took up a TON of my time and focus!! I was a Marathon training machine.  It felt good to be able to pop off 20++ mile training runs at a decent clip. I don't feel I am built to run long long distances, but during this time I made it a priority. Along the way I built friendships which made the miles much more enjoyable :)

A few months after I qualified for Boston…LIFE happened!!  My Dad passed away unexpectadly... When you suffer a loss of someone close to you it really shakes you.. I almost didn't run Boston because I felt like Running had taken full priority in my life and that was not sitting well with me..


Where are my priorities today?

1.  Help Muscle Man Finish his first Half Marathon

2. Let the miles come without expectations on speed or distance.

3.  Run for the joy of it, no pressure.

I feel like I have come full circle in my running "career."  Will I want to get back to training hard to set new PR's?  Maybe.  Will I want to see the Finish of my first ultra?  Sure.  Do I envy those who are running fast marathons?  TOTALLY!

But for now I am right where I NEED and WANT to be and wow does that feel good…I am so proud of what I have accomplished the past 4 years.  Running has become a way of life for me, which is AMAZING!!  If you know what you want, where you want to be it is as simple as charting the course to get there.. Or sometimes, slowing down to find what you needed was there all along..

A few quotes about Priorities:

The key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule, 
but to schedule your priorities.  
-Stephen R. Covey

Decide what you want, decide what you are willing to exchange for it.  Establish your priorities and go to work.
-H.L. Hunt

We realize our dilemma goes deeper than shortage of time; it is basically a problem of priorities.  We confess, we have left undone those things that ought to have done; and we have done those things which ought not to have done. 
-Charles E. Hummel

Goals are simply tools to focus your energy in positive directions, these can be changed as your priorities change, new one added, and others dropped.

Review our priorities, ask the question; What is the best use of our time right now?

What comes first, the compass or the clock?  Before one can truly manage time (the clock), it is important to know where you are going, what your priorities and goals are, in which direction you are headed (the compass).  Where you are headed is more important than how fast you are going.  Rather than always focusing on what's urgent, learn to focus on what is really important.

What is your RUNNING PRIORITY right now??

-Recover from injury
-Run while pregnant- Nancy :)
-Get Faster
-Run Longer
-Take to the trails
-Qualify for Boston
-Drop some baggage (weight or otherwise)
-Inspire/coach another person to their goals
-Enjoy the journey

***Determine your priority...and go for it.. knowing that you can change/shift at any time :)


Rachelle Q said...

Great post! This is so true for me right now. My boys just turned 10 an 12 and I feel like this is the year for me to make myself a priority. Sometimes I feel selfish, like this morning when I forgot to pack my son a lunch because I was writing my blog post:) Don't worry I made his lunch and drove him to school on time. Way to adjust your priorities as you go along:) Sorry about your dad, and so glad you ended up running Boston:)

Jess@themommymiles said...

I can totally relate to this post. My goals/ priorities with running continue to evolve. Ive spent time building my distance/ endurance. Now I want to set some speed goals!

Emz said...

completely love this.

I'm enjoying running now. Haven't said that [truthfully] in probably 10 months. love it.

Love your honesty.

christa said...

Mine are
get faster
stay healthy
lose some weight

robinbb said...

I love this post. I knew that after I ran Boston that my mind may change about my running and it sort of has. My priority of getting faster has taken the back burner and now I will run to get rid of stress that life hands me as I try to reach my next huge goal of getting into grad school. I love seeing others accept different priorities as it makes my decision to not worry about my running not seem so scary.

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

I love your focus right now. What a great feeling to support your hubby just like he supported you. That's a great circle!!

I think I have always ran just because I loved to run. If my husband hadn't egged me on about his speedy one time marathon (when he was 17!) I might not have discovered distance racing. (Thanks Hubbs for making me wanna beat you!) And now I'd rather run 30 miles on the trails than 3 on the road. And pace, well my pace only get compared to my previous paces so speedy isn't really in my running vocab anymore. And I'd okay with that. I run because it is simply part of me. But I need to remember (at times) that it is not ALL of me. ;-)

Laura said...

Before kids I ran to run fast. I tried to do that again last year. I was a bit disappointed.

Now I run 1) stay mentally healthy 2) stay physically healthy.

I occasionally run hard, but only when I feel like I need it.

Jill said...

Great post! Wow, look at all you gave achieved! I think you're right on with what your doing!

XLMIC said...

Love this, Mel.

Ryan said...

I really enjoyed this post. I'm just starting out, so it's nice to read that the experienced runners that I follow were once at the same place I am. I know everyone started somewhere, but your first three goals are essentially my current goals (except change "baby weight" to "McDonald's weight")

1. Lose weight (I don't have a goal weight, I just want the number to be less when I step on the scale once a month)

2. Run a mile without stopping

3. Compete in a 5K

I'm doing the Cool Runnings Couch to 5K program for the last two.

H Love said...

Happy for the place you are in! You have done so much...you forgot to add coach to that list as well:)
Running is a gift and brings me JOY and that is where I am!

Ginny said...

loved this post. I am a slower runner. I know everyone says that but I was hitting 11 + minute miles during marathons and last year at mile 21 when i was about to blow up i made a commitment to get faster because even though its a slower pace, its still being in motion for 5+ hours and its hard. I have seen a big improvement on my times (at least at the half marathon level My PR half last year was 2:28 and two weeks ago I hit 2:01). But I got distracted and signed up for too many smaller races. I just gave my saturday race away to a buddy because I want to get back to marathon training as opposed to recovering. I really felt like a loser doing it but once i did i felt total relief.

Kris said...

This is an awesome post!! This post is a lot of what I have been thinking about. My goals are to get faster but enjoy the journey to getting there. I want to train for a full marathon but I might wait for that since my mommy priorities are more important.

Alili said...

Great post - I really appreciate the evolution of priorities. So many times we get stuck and stay stuck because we can't re-evaluate and adapt. Can't wait to start running again!

Catey said...

Love it! Love that you are in a happy place right now.
I fear not being able to step back and find that when I don't have pregnancy to *make* me step back and slow down every other year. ;) Guess the herd of kids should help that, right?

Sue's Ramblings said...

- Run faster
- Run longer
- Train my mind not to talk myself out of going out longer!!!!

Jess @ Blonde Ponytail said...

What a journey. I'm looking forward to your next 3, but enjoy the current 3 priorities now!

SanAntonioRunMom said...

This post is great it motivated me to make goals! I recently had my firsh child (2.17.2012) and delivered c-section. The monthe before I found out I was pg, I was in the best running shape of my life, ran my fastest half without even trying and was about to sign up for my first marathon! I ran a half while pregnant at 7 months (2:38)! My blog highlights the preggorunning journey (runcrazedpreggo.blogspot.com) But now I can barely run/walk a 14 minute pace for three miles! Now, I will think about goals, it seems they will make the getting back to running journey simpler if I have something to aim for!
To start I want to run a mile without walking. Gosh I feel like a beginner, but the first priority is to take care of myself. (If anyone has any insight or blogs they can connect me that highlight running after. Csection, please let me know! I will include my journey in my blog so hopefully it can help others running post csection!

Anonymous said...

You achieved amazing things in only 4 years!! Boston is a BIG dream. Congrats!

I love helping others to finish a strong race, that's even more rewarding than doing it myself.

5 Miles Past Empty said...

Priority #1 definitely drop some SERIOUS baggage-get on the road and heal my heart and my life. Run to a happy future.

But in order to do that I have to get #2-heal up this stupid knee.

Thanks for this post Mel...pretty sure you were thinking of ME when you wrote it. ;)