Thursday, August 25, 2011

Marathon Widower

It happened a little bit earlier in the training cycle then I expected but last night Matt "delicately" noted that it seemed like I was gone all the time and that I always seemed to be smelly/in my running clothes. OUCH. And to his defense, he tried not to express this in an unkind way but of course I got defensive.

I immediately started jumping to conclusions: "What do you mean? I thought you said you supported my marathon training"

"I do...I am so proud of you, babe, but I don't know if I can handle you running 5 days a week plus the weekends" (He was being dead serious)

Well, I think we all know my training plan DOES NOT call for running "5 days a week PLUS the weekends" (I have 4 runs planned during the week plus at least 2 cross training sessions) BUT I get the point and I know that I am very rarely at home before 7:00p.m. these days for one reason or another.

I really do try my very best to find some sort of balance between work, training and my family and friends and it would be easy to say that Matt is being selfish but I don't think he is: He's not telling me stop running, but he IS communicating that he feels like we need more time together. And it's important to listen even though it can be hard.

You might notice in my training logs that there are a lot of "walk with Matt + dogs" and we both love and cherish that time together. However, and this is me being completely honest, sometimes my legs are sore and tired and tackling the hills for another 45-60 minutes feels like a sacrifice on my end...I would love to, at that point in the day, just plop my butt on the couch and relax but it's a healthy choice and one that ends up sparking a lot of great conversation because we are not distracted by TV, social media, our phones, etc.

Could I get up and get all of my runs done before work? Not all but maybe I can switch *something* to an a.m. schedule on occasion. (My long run is usually complete before Matt is even out of bed, so that's 1 run already accomodated) I am NOT a morning person and early morning meetings at work sometimes make this a fairly prohibitive option (If I need to be at work at 6:30a.m. I am NOT getting up to run, shower and commute beforehand!!) Maybe Matt would be willing to run with me after work? Even part of my mileage?

I was talking to L. about this at lunch today because it has been weighing on my mind and I talked myself into the following conclusion: For me, finding balance can often be harder than the actual workout

Yes, the workouts are physically demanding, often quite taxing and sometimes unpleasant BUT I can endure that for 45-60 minutes or whatever the length of my commitment. It's shuffling things around to make room for LIFE that can often cause consternation. "I have XYZ commitment, maybe I can move this run to the morning...oh but I have an early meeting OR well, if I move this to the morning then I have less than 12 hours between tough workouts and I don't want to completely kill myself before ABC OR well, I can move this to my rest day but then I will have run/worked out 7 days in a row and if I do that I put myself at the brink of overdoing it/risking injury, etc etc etc" And sometimes, there really is just no good way to shuffle, so you skip the workout or flake out on your friends/family/whatever other request may be coming your way.

I have to remember that what I do on any ONE day is not going to make or break my training; it's what I do over the course of the training cycle that will get me to the start AND finish happy and healthy.

Any tips you have for finding balance?


  1. Ugh, I can totally relate. So much of my day is sucked up by my commute that I feel like I shouldn't run in the evenings because I should be spending my time with my husband. So I sometimes wake up early and sometimes run during lunch at work. It doesn't work out too well though. I guess it just makes communication very important and making sure you actually get those walks in together! :)

  2. This is one reason I do all my runs early morning. I mean early…up at 3:30 sometimes on Wednesdays for my midweek long run. But it does give me some family time after work. We also do away weekends with the family for many of my races. But I still skip any run or race if family matters require that. Never easy to find and keep this balance.

  3. This is Melissa--Blogger isn't letting me comment on my own post!

    Kim--My commute SUCKS right now because of tons of road construction directly affecting my main (and alternate) route(s) can take 20 minutes or an 1hr 20 min and I never know what I am in for. I wish lunchtime running was an option for me, but with no shower in my building and afternoons usually full of meetings, not really an option! (or I wouldn't stay employed for much longer...LOL) I should work on getting up earlier.

    Johann--that is incredibly dedication getting up so early...I am seriously in awe!