I started running again in December, after a long hiatus. Even years ago, when was first running, it was hard to keep up with it, but now that “going for a run” involves me, both kids, and a jogging stroller that doesn’t really fit in our elevator, I really struggle to find the time and motivation to run regularly.
For me, at least, running is one of those things that goes so much better when I can set up a schedule and stick with it. When I’m constantly getting interrupted in my routine, I’m constantly having to “start over” — I have to go back to walking for a week or so, then ramp back up through the run/walk intervals until I can jog a solid 20+ minutes at a stretch, which is when it really starts to be enjoyable for me again (enjoyable being a relative term — I’ve often said that I actually don’t like running, I just like how I feel when I have run).
Just over a month ago, I started up again, and instead of going in the afternoons or evenings with both kids, I started going in the mornings when I just have Liam. It’s one less person to worry about — two less, if you count Dan — and then I get it out of the way first thing (which is good — that’s when I have the most energy and motivation). So, my routine was to drop B off at school, go home, change, and then go out and run. Unfortunately, by the time I do all that, Liam was often asleep, or he would fall asleep shortly after I started my run. The problem with that is that the only “jogging” stroller I have is the aforementioned double with doesn’t really fit in our elevator, so part of the bonus of going with just Liam was to just take our “regular” stroller. I don’t mind running with Liam in the regular stroller, but not when he’s sleeping (I worry that his head bounces around way too much as he dozes).
I know what my solution to this would be in the US. I’d get dressed for my run, drop B off at school, and run immediately after. A mom in workout clothes at preschool drop off is a non-event in the US. But it’s not what they do here. I’ve never seen anyone drop their child off for kindergarten in exercise clothes. Not once. I usually feel underdressed because I don’t have “work” clothes on — just jeans and a sweater or something.
I don’t want to embarrass my child. I don’t want to be culturally inappropriate and embarrass myself, either. And, if I’m honest, some of my discomfort comes from the fact that I haven’t seen a heavy person (even as heavy as me) in workout clothes in Vienna . . . ever. (Apparently only people who are already fit exercise here — outdoors, at least.) So, I’m already self-conscious about being the chubby girl in workout clothes, and adding to that the fact that I’m apparently supposed to dress up for kindergarten drop off has kept me well-dressed and made up for my mornings so far.
But, honestly, I’d rather get my run in and be embarrassing to my 3 year old (who, I realize, doesn’t care one bit — I’m completely projecting my insecurity on to him as an excuse) than not get a chance to do it. So, today, I wore workout clothes to school. And I got to run before Liam fell asleep. And I’ll do it again tomorrow. And, I’m going to keep doing it, because it’s SO MUCH MORE important that I do what I need to than it is to “look right” when I drop B off at school He doesn’t care, and a year from now I’ll live on a whole different continent than all of these people, anyway.