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Multi-Tasking Momma

March 16, 2010

SBS doing PT while cookies bake (photo by Phoebe, 8)

Maybe it’s hormones or maybe it’s hard-wiring, but I am convinced moms are unable to sit idle or only perform a single task. While I talk on the phone, I put away laundry or make my kids’ bed. I set my alarm clock and lay out running clothes while brushing my teeth. And there’s always the classic: folding laundry while watching “Survivor.” (Leaving me feeling like maybe having only one pair of shorts, undies, and sports bra wouldn’t be so rough…)

Now I have a new activity to add to the multi-task mix: doing physical therapy exercises. Knock on wood, I’ve been injury free during all of my marathon-training cycles (sorry, Dimity!), but I finally decided it’s time to pay attention to my nagging left Achilles tendon. Ever since I resumed running after the twins’ birth in summer 2005, that spot has been my, well, Achilles heel. It never out-and-out hurts, but it hums and huffs on a fairly regular basis. It had been lying dormant for quite a while, but as I started training for the Big Sur Marathon, it started acting up again. While meeting with a physical therapist for a magazine assignment, I asked him about my heel and he told me of a protocol that has 100% success rate. Sold!

Only hitch in my giddy-up? It involves doing 6 x 15 repetitions twice a day. Each session takes 8 to 10 minutes. I realize that’s not a ton of time, but it means I’m now setting my alarm that much earlier. But in the spirit of mommy multi-tasking, I quickly realized I can mix the exercises (basically, calf raise on my good leg, then lowering myself on the sore ankle, all while perched on a step) with making the kids’ lunches or cooking dinner. Last night, I did two sets of the exercises, then basted the chicken, then a few more sets and put the broccoli in the microwave. This morning I brought in the paper, and then mixed in some much-needed ab exercises. Maybe I should try blogging in between sets…

Something tells me I’m not the only mom being pulled in multiple directions (while trying to stretch!)…

10 Comments leave one →
  1. March 16, 2010 12:59 pm

    Glad you are tending to the tendon, Sarah. Yeah, how would I ever get anything done without doing 4 things at one time?! Your post reminded me of when my hip got really sore during my first marathon training. There was no way I had time to lay on the couch and put an ice pack on it after long runs, so I dug out my old fanny-pack, filled it with frozen peas, strapped it on and positioned it right on the sore spot. Viola, mobile ice therapy… and laundry folding.

    • bowenshea permalink*
      March 16, 2010 1:13 pm

      Cleva solution!

    • Jenny C. permalink
      March 16, 2010 5:31 pm

      That is a brilliant idea! I have used a bandage (the wrap type) to hold the frozen peas in place – your idea is so much better!

  2. Jenny C. permalink
    March 16, 2010 5:33 pm

    Shea – I have a niggly achilles too and it’s been easy to ignore for the most part even knowing it’s always lurking, always threatening to rear it’s ugly head. You’ve inspired me to do my exercises too! Thanks! And good job with the multitasking! Where would we moms be without it?

  3. March 16, 2010 5:43 pm

    Love your post and the Achilles info…I think the fact that we running moms have so much to juggle makes us multi-task. I know the more things I can get done at the same time, the more time I have for something else – chilling with family instead of commanding kids to do things to get ready for the next day. Today, “Homework, homework! The Biggest Loser is on tonight!” That motivates them to focus & get their stuff done. I don’t idle. I can’t. I think being devoted to running helps me focus on so many other things throughout the day. It really clears my head & keeps me moving…I’m always doing something, usually many somethings! That’s the way we moms roll… I can’t believe no one has come up with a Survivor weight loss/get fit island. Can you picture it? Wouldn’t that be great? Biggest Loser Meets Survivor!!!

    • bowenshea permalink*
      March 16, 2010 6:18 pm

      Mary–Brilliant: Survivor + Biggest Loser! Shall we add in Dim’s favorite, too: Project Runway?

      And no doubt about running clearing the mind to prep for the coming day. It’s like a snowplow clearing the road for whizzing cars to come through. Oh, wait, being from the South, what analogy should I use?! “;>)

      • March 17, 2010 6:41 am

        How about it’s like clearing the table, spreading out newspaper and getting ready to spread out freshly boiled crawfish?? heehee.

      • March 17, 2010 10:47 am

        Let’s just go for it and throw in Celebrity Rehab while we’re at it…;]

  4. Allyson permalink
    March 17, 2010 5:45 am

    Hey there,
    Hope you are feeling better..and I loved the your comment about how running is mental lubricant. My husband says running keeps my “cuckoo bird in the clock!” without it I’d be crazy! I’m finding it hard to take it easy this week after a lovely half marathon on March 6th with a big PR for me. Speaking of personal records, what do I do now? Crazy me is scared that I’ll never match or top my new PR again.

  5. Julie permalink
    March 17, 2010 4:34 pm

    SBS – Your post was totally timely! I was reminded Sunday of how mother’s who run have to do so many jobs – and dig so deep on the race course and off. After my race on Sunday (which started with a kid’s race running with my kids, then MY race) we came home, I cleaned the kitchen, and then, because there is no rest for a weary mom, took the dog on a walk as the kids rode their bikes. However, the training wheels of the little bike broke on one side so here is me: a too-heavy steel bike hoisted on my shoulder being dragged by an excited young dog (who is used to running alone with me) and one crying little girl who wants to ride her bike and, by the way, can I carry her helmet too? And the older child is annoyed because she is having to wait for us. Ahhhh…. the race was really the easiest part of the day.

    p.s. great achilles exercise! I’ve been doing the same for weeks.

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