And we made it! By now, you’re ready to be a work.run.mom with all four strategies! You can work out smart scheduling, you are aligned with your partner, and you have a running stroller ready to use, just in case.
Even after you have set up these structures to make it easy for you to go for a run, there is still the matter of lacing up your shoes and getting out the door. And the number of barriers we make up for ourselves grows with every squeak from the kids’ bedroom or ding from the work email.
Here’s how to make sure you follow through!
Everyone’s accountability needs are different. Mine are the following:
- To myself: a goal and habits to reach the goal
- To my immediate community: a running partner
- To others: public commitment
Accountability to myself
To follow through, I need to set myself a goal and institute habits that make it easy for me to reach the goal. In the world of running, that means signing up for a race and setting up a training schedule. So, thanks to my neighbor’s suggestion, I registered for the Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon, which takes place on September 1. It’s both terrifying and seems a long time from now!
I also leveraged my love of spreadsheets to put together a 16-week training plan, which includes short-ish runs 2-3 times per week, an increasingly long run once a week, rest days, and the option for cross-training. I even have a sheet dedicated to tracking my progress and how I feel on each of the runs (though I haven’t actively used it yet). Then I transcribed the spreadsheet into my Google Calendar, indicating how many miles and what time of day for each run. (See Partnership for the communication and coordination part of calendaring runs.)
Other habits that work for me:
- Putting out my shoes and running clothes the night before
- Convincing my kids that every weekend morning includes a run/walk in the double Bob
- Using the Habit Loop app
- Tracking my runs on MapMyRun and my food on MyFitnessPal
Accountability to my immediate community
Unfortunately a promise to myself isn’t quite enough to keep me honest, despite Rachel Hollis’ advice in Girl, Wash Your Face, to “never break a promise to yourself.”
So, for most (if not all) of my scheduled runs, I’ve coordinated with my neighbor, so we can run together. We text to check in and when we’re on our way out the door. And without those reminders that someone is actively waiting for me to show up and run with her, I probably wouldn’t go half of the time. The perception that I would be letting her down if I don’t run is enough to set accountability to her for my runs. A running partner is a GREAT accountability mechanism!
Accountability to others
And the icing on the cake is my accountability to the proverbial “rest of the world.” I’ve told many friends, coworkers, and family members about my upcoming half marathon. I’ve had to reschedule other activities due to planned runs. And most obviously, I’ve started this blog and am posting twice a week to share my journey toward running as a working mom. So, hey readers – others – it’s also up to YOU to keep me accountable!
What tips and tricks do you use to hold yourself accountable? I could always use more ideas to get me out on a run!