Happy Friday! Wow, what a day! I told you, Fridays are insane for me. Started off with a glorious 3.5 mile run. I almost didn’t get out of bed. I was so exhausted. I’m so glad I did, though. 3.5 miles, beautiful weather, and negative splits. Can’t ask for more.
After Little Bee and I dropped Boo off at camp, late of course, we went to the mall. What was supposed to be an hour or less trip turned into an hour and a half, and a frantic race home to eat lunch and pick up Boo from camp on time. During all of this I did start my challah dough. Which of course is probably why Fridays are so frantic in the first place. When will I ever learn and make two loaves at once like my sister-in-law? Oy…
Today is running-life balance day! Debbie is here to share her words of wisdom. She is transcontinental and has a great story. Enjoy!
Hi everyone! My name is Debbie Rodrigues. I am 39 years-old, Brazilian from Rio de Janeiro, living in Belgium since 2001. I have degree in Management Assistant and Languages, but since 2013, I have a full-time IT job in a medical corporation.
After years of neglecting my health and physique, I realized it was time to get back on track. It is not only my shape, but mainly my health that needed extra attention.
I am lucky for working at a company that stimulates and provides all conditions for workers to practice physical activities. In 2008, I decided to join some colleagues and run again. Later that year, I participated in my very first race. I have to admit that my performance was none to be proud of. I walked for most of the time during the 5km event. I was so ashamed of it that it took me 2 years to get things going again.
In March 2010, I participated in a 10km run. It was the first time that the event was being held and despite me waking up as sick as dog, I did it anyway. I could not eat or drink anything, so again my performance was not a remarkable one. My time was my worst ever even though the route was runner-friendly. After that event I got worse and even needed to go through a minor surgery. The seed was planted though, and it was only a matter of time for me to race again.
Even though I returned to the gym life in September 2010, I had lots of ups and downs throughout 2011. In 2012 after going through a 12-week physique transformation, I decided to compete in fitness as an IFBB Bikini amateur. Before the first show, I running was my main cardio activity to support weight loss. Unfortunately, afterwards, I could not combine it with my training routine anymore.
2014 has become the year of me doing what I love most. I found the pleasure of running again!
What are you training for (if anything)?
Recently, I put together a 40 things before 40 list (http://debbieinshape.blogspot.be/2014/06/40-things-before-40.html) and I added running a 5km and a 10km to it. I already reached the 6mi milestone recently. Now I am a woman on a missing to improve my pace.
I have signed up for Belgium’s The Color Run that will take place next September. Ideally, running the 10km Dwars door Dendermonde next year in less than an hour will be fantastic! Participating in it again after 5 years of the first edition would be fantastic.
How do you balance your training with family time? With work?
Running is a passion, but it is not the only physical activity I regularly practice. I do weight training between 3 to 5 times a week and I incorporate yoga to my routine whenever possible. Running is my favorite cardio though. Mainly when the weather starts to get warmer here and I can go outdoors.
Organizing myself and my daily responsibilities, doing my cooking on the weekend and sleeping at least 7 hours per day are some of my tasks.
Without setting up clear priorities and after some planning, I would not be able to anything but work. I am lucky for having a boyfriend who is as interested in training as I do. Still, it is not like we have nothing else to do during the day.
Planning is really the key! Setting clear (and realistic) objectives is the basis of success. Feel free to check my blog How I get things done (http://debbieinshape.blogspot.be/2014/04/how-i-get-things-done.html) to learn more about my schedule.
Who is your biggest supporter?
Even though I moved to Belgium almost 13 years ago and my mom still lives in Brazil, she is still for sure my biggest supporter. It has always been this way. Unfortunately, she cannot join me in my races, but she is the first one I call after crossing the finish line. She has been always been a present mom and I am very thankful for her support. In fact, you will probably notice that I do not have a picture of the medal I received on my first race. It is because I gave it to my mom as a souvenir.
Besides her, my boyfriend not only gives me hints on how to improve my performance, but he also deals with my crazy schedule and plans. We do not have children, but still it is not always easy to work around a busy calendar like mine. He plays my photographer, supporter and everything else. Without him by my side, it would simply be impossible.
As I mentioned above, I have forced myself some times and I paid a price for that. Nowadays, when I think about balancing my training, I take my body into consideration as well. We are not machines that can be programmed to perform at any situation the same, ignoring restrictions. In fact, even machines fail under certain conditions.
We all have days when we do not want to wake up early or we wish to sit around and do nothing. When it happens to you, evaluate your thoughts. Are you really tired? Are you feeling unwell? Or are you just postponing things? Listen to your body. Do not force yourself just for the sake of it. Remember that you run because you love yourself and the person that you are becoming. It is not to destroy what you have built so far.
Enjoy every step you take and happy running!
Thanks, Debbie! I love your story. Keep going — can’t wait to read more of your progress.
Who is your biggest supporter when you’re in training?
Who is your biggest supporter when you’re in training?
What’s your next big race or event?