The actual running is usually enjoyable, but the planning to run is usually not fun at all!
I have struggled with this for over three years now, which is how long I have been consistently running. Being a homeschooling mother of five children has presented many challenges to my running schedule. But I know that everybody, no matter what stage of life you are in, no matter how many children you have (or don't have), no matter you if work outside the home or are a full-time homemaker, has their own personal obstacles when it comes to scheduling time for exercise.
I want to encourage you. If you have the desire to exercise, particularly exercise by running/walking, you can do it!
However, it is NOT easy!
There are many nights that I have a 1.5-2 hour run planned for the next morning at 5:00 AM, and I simply can't sleep because of the anxiety! I worry that I have gone to bed too late. I worry that Sam will wake up before I am through (and then I will have to stop running to attend to him). I worry that I will oversleep, and therefore not get started early enough to be through on time. If I plan to run during the children's lunch, I stress thinking about what will I do if someone is not through with their schoolwork when I am ready to run. I wonder if I am asking too much of my older children to fix lunch and feed the younger children while I run. Then, if I plan to run in the late afternoon or early evening, I worry that the younger children will get hungry for supper before I am through running. Then there are the races that our family runs. This presents a whole new set of worries. Who is going to watch my younger children while I run? What if they change their mind and cannot come at the last minute? Etc. Too much worry!
Currently I am taking all of the children to our local city park at 7:30 AM 2 -3 mornings a week. The older three children and I run, and the two younger ones ride their bikes and play on the playground. It is not too hot for them, and the park is not crowded at this hour. In fact, we are usually the only ones there! This is a great plan that is working very well for me right now. But, we are not doing school right now. So while it is a good running plan, it is only a temporary running plan. I am trying to focus on enjoying this workable plan, and not spend time worrying about how I am going to fit in running when school starts back in August!
I have begun training for the Tupelo 14.2 Miler on Sept. 5th. Just looking at the training plan stresses me, but I am trying to take it one run at a time. I really enjoyed this race last year, and I am looking forward to running it again.
So is running even worth it? YES. As I have said many times, while planning to run is a big stressor for me, the actual running itself is the best stress reliever. For the most part, I enjoy every step of my runs. I do have days (like about a week ago when it was 90 degrees and 96% humidity) that my legs feel like lead, I can't breathe, I think I am going to throw up, and I don't think I can complete my run. Then there are the days like last Sunday night after our church service that I ran 8 miles with two friends from church, and felt like I could have run even more!
Be encouraged. Exercise is not easy. Planning to exercise is not easy.
However, the benefits of exercise far outweigh any challenges you might face.