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How Running Became One Woman’s Full-Time Job

Helly of Helly on the Run shares how running started as a hobby and eventually became her full-time job.

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This article originally appeared on Angelica “Helly” Bermudez’s blog Helly On The Run.

It’s been a bit of a whirlwind career-wise as I try to figure out whether I want to be a working mom or a stay-at-home mom (SAHM). I was a teacher for a long time, had a kid, went part-time, had another kid, took a year off, went back to work, then left work altogether.

When I’m asked how I’ve been able to improve so much with my running, I must admit that I think a big reason is just that—I haven’t been working. There’s definitely something to be said about how work stress impedes on one’s running performance (at least for me).

I honestly think I did so well racing last year because running became the only thing I worked for and toward. Besides taking care of my kids and home (two huge things), my only other big commitment was staying on track with my training schedule. I really thought of it as my job. When Thursday called for 11 miles at tempo pace, that’s what I did because that’s what I was supposed to do, per the schedule. When that 4 a.m. alarm went off, I got up and went to work.

Since I wasn’t employed, running and training was something I could get fulfillment from–something that could make me feel a different sense of accomplishment. Not to say that I don’t get fulfillment as a SAHM, but having had a job my entire life, being employed had become a part of who I was.

Running became my job. And since I really do love working, this wasn’t such a bad thing. I clocked in and out on my Garmin, and each week I’d collect my mileage paycheck. My bonus? Finish lines (and PRs).

It hasn’t been a bad gig, but I’m still at a crossroads when it comes to what I really want to do. I love having a job and actually really miss it. On the other hand, I’ve also enjoyed being at home with my kids and making training a big part of my daily life.

I always admire those who can do it all: work full-time and train full-time and be parents full-time. I just know that, for me, one of those is eventually going to suffer. When it comes down to it, I know that one thing will most definitely be my training.

With big goals like trying to qualify for Boston, a part of me wants to sign another contract with running.

Yet the workforce keeps calling…

Helly shares her monthly workout schedule.


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