In Grade 12 English, one of the themes that kept popping up again and again was the power of time. “Time has the ultimate power over man” was how my teacher phrased it. As a seventeen year old studying world literature, that idea made perfect sense but it wasn’t for many years that I truly understood those words.
More recently, I was complaining to a colleague about my huge to-do list at work, to which she gently reminded me that “we don’t own our time.” Memories of Grade 12 resurfaced again. “No,” I replied, “which is why we need to learn to control the time we are given.”
I do manage my time well; as a working mother who is running high mileage weeks, I have to if I want to get everything done. One way that I have been able to do this is to run during my lunch break. I have exactly 50 minutes, which usually means 45 by the time I get out the door, but really leaves only 35 minutes so that I can clean up and change before I put on my teacher hat again. In my running life, it means that I can run 3.5 miles a few times a week to keep my mileage up; once or twice a week, I can creatively find time for another mile.
In January, my coach said that he wanted my mileage over 40 miles a week. I initially thought that he was insane and doubted that I could really run that kind of distance over a long period of time, but I took his advice to heart. Adding in a few easy lunchtime miles has made what seemed to be a lofty goal almost effortless; in fact, I feel stronger than I have in years. Running at lunch has the added bonuses of letting me escape the drama that breeds in a Grade 7 classroom, fills my body with fresh blood and gives me the mental strength that intermediate teachers often need.
With summer holidays less than a week away, I am planning my time – time with the family, time to write, and time to run – and I realize how much I really enjoy my lunch runs and plan to keep them as a part of my training. And now that I have a bit more control over the time that I am given, I’ll use it to build on the base that I set over the past six months, keep chasing my dreams, and catch that unicorn