Scheduling – in technicolor!

Once again, my busy life has gotten me in a position that I don’t like.

We have so many things going on this weekend that I am stuck trying to figure out exactly how to do it all.  And the thing is, I don’t really have a choice in the matter.  We have to do it all.  I have to do it all.  I just have to figure out a way.

And so comes the stress.  For me, one of the most stressful things in life is trying to figure out schedules.  How to get one child here, the other there, leave a car somewhere else, drop off a carseat there, and so on.

I thought about listing out all the things that I need to do this weekend, but after typing it all out I deleted it.  There really is no reason to drag this blog post down further than it already is.  What purpose would it serve?  Either it will make me feel like a wimp for being so stressed about it, or it will make me feel worse.

So the dilemma that I’m faced with, that is causing me the most agony, is my 19 mile run.   I was, like the last few weekends, planning to run my long run on Saturday with the LU group.  But we are planning a trip to Chicago for a concert on Saturday.  And it turns out that my husband wants to leave by 9:30 am.  Meaning I would need to have run, showered, and be dressed and ready to go by then.

So I realized that in order to get in 19 miles with the group, I would have to show up at 4:30 am.  That didn’t sound half bad, until I started to realize that I would have to get up before 3:30 am in order to make it there by 4:30.  I’d spend an hour in the car just driving there and back (which is an hour I probably don’t have Saturday morning).  Plus I’d be running with a smaller number of runners who are faster than me.  Even if they tried to hold the pace back, I know I would run faster to keep up with them (and probably would pay for that faster pace at the end of the run).  But I love running with the group.  There is nothing like conversation to get me through the miles.  And when conversation fails, as it sometimes does, at least I have another person to share in the misery.

Option 2 is for me to get up and head out on my own for 19 miles closer to home.  Part of me wants to think this would be a glorious option.  3+ hours of peace and quiet!  3 hours on my own!  Another part of me is yelling “Are you crazy? ”  But, I suppose it would be a good way to test out my mental stamina.  I could practice mantras, visualization, and all the other “tricks” I have read that I will need to get through 26.2 miles.  Or, I could load up 3 hours of podcasts…

My husband suggested I wait and run my 19 miles on Saturday afternoon, after we get to Chicago, and run on the lakefront.  Sounds awesome, right?   Not so much.  I’m not that familiar with the lakefront.  I’m freaked out by strange people, particularly men, when I’m running alone.  There’s no way I’d feel comfortable running for over 3 hours in a strange place alone.  Plus, he and his mom would be out shopping and enjoying the city while I slogged out a 3+ hour run in the mid-afternoon.  Fun for him, not so much fun for me.  I’d love to run on the lakefront.  Someday.  But I think that jumping into a car for three hours, then getting out and running for three more is a recipe for disaster.  I’d much rather run for three hours, THEN have the three hour car ride.

You’re probably asking why I can’t run on Sunday.  Sunday morning is shot as we’re driving back from Chicago, and then we are working at a local 5K race that I am helping organize, so I’ll be tied up with that from approximately 12-3.  And sure, it sounds great to go run 19 miles after driving home and running around for three hours at an event.  I bet my legs would love running from 4-7 pm.  And surely my brain wouldn’t talk me out of it.  Surely not.

I’ve mentioned that I’m an engineer, right?  Yeah.  So you know how engineers solve problems, don’t you?

We make spreadsheets.

I’m not kidding.

And you can probably guess what I sat down at the computer tonight to do.

Yep.

A spreadsheet.

I actually have a Excel spreadsheet, with color coded fields, that I started to help me visualize the weekend.  I even used a formula to calculate how much time I need to allocate for the run.  (Honestly this is kind of embarrassing.  You should see the spreadsheets we engineers develop.  I need to add more formulas.  This just isn’t quite up to my standards.)

I thought that this would help, but in reality it just made my problem more colorful.

So I’m back to my original two options.  Wake up before the vampires hit the sack so I can run with the group, or get an extra hour of sleep and run alone.  Right now I’m leaning towards running alone, just because it feels like the lowest stress option. No worries that the group will leave if I’m running a few minutes late, and nobody to “keep up” with.  But I still have time to decide.

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