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Can You Really Balance Family, Work and Running?

For years, I remember seeing women who juggled successful careers, families and running and thought they had the kind of balance I hoped to one day have.

I returned to work full-time this past fall after almost five years of being home with my two children. I’ve learned that (for me) there is no balance.

I don’t know if it can ever be balanced. There will never be enough time in the day. And I believe the phrase “doing it all” is misleading.

I would love to spend every possible moment with my boys and not miss a school pickup or a soccer practice on Wednesdays.

I would love to not feel heartache when I am at work late finishing a project for a deadline. Or feel that I should have stayed longer at work rather than rushing home to see my boys.

I would love to have more time to cross-train, stretch and recover properly from the miles I do run.

And I would really love to sleep more.

Related: The Secret To Accomplishing Those Big Scary Goals

But I have found a balance in the imbalance.

And here’s what I learned:

I can’t give 100 percent of myself to everything all the time.

But I can still give 100 percent all the time. It’s just that the 100% is now divided.

And I can focus 100 percent on what I’m doing THAT moment, whether it’s work, housework, family or running.

I have to be okay with “good enough” rather than perfection.

Priorities can shift from one month or week or day to the next. The closer I get to the Boston Marathon, the more important my workouts are. I’ll choose a run over folding laundry or vacuuming the house. Offseason? Running isn’t as high a priority as to other aspects of my life.

I have to be kind to myself.

Sleep is always a priority.

Sometimes, it’s best to do what will make me happiest, even if it may be viewed as selfish.

I shared these thoughts on my Instagram several weeks ago and loved the feedback from other women who are experiencing the same struggles of balance.

Related: The Mental Side Of Running

NYC Running Mama

NYC Running Mama

Michele Gonzalez is a mom of two young boys, a marathoner, Ironman and ultrarunner. She is a West Point grad and former Army Captain/Iraqi Veteran x3, as well as an ambassador for Sparkly Soul Headbands, Garmin and Generation UCAN. She blogs at NYCRunningMama.com