Wednesday, February 2, 2011

More on training and relationship straining

The laundry clearly suffers
This has been my "running" theme lately - the need to find balance for work, family and running.

When I signed up for a full marathon, I wasn't prepared at how much the training meant rocking the boat in other areas of my life. I knew I would be running more, but I forgot to factor where that time was going to come from. I figured, I'd get up early and put in the miles. No sweat… (well lots of sweat but you know what I mean.)

Up to this point in my life it's always been a war against myself. Finding the motivation, the desire to leave a warm bed, turn off the TV or drop whatever else. Exercise was something I should be doing and at the time, didn't want to and that's why the marathon train/strain was such a shocker to me. I mean, I'm not going out to party with friends, shop 'til I drop or spend a day at the beach… I'm running on a crummy treadmill at the gym. I would've never figured that this activity could change my day so much.

Let's face it, training for these endurance events takes time and inevitably, someone or something suffers. It might be your work or home life. It could be your homework if you are in school, your sleep time, seeing friends or your other hobbies - but inevitably, something gets affected for better or worse. 

When one decides to do this kind of "life changing" bucket list type thing - no one ever really talks about the other part of it, the sacrifice that others will need to make for you, whether they are ready or not. And others do make sacrifices, whether we want to admit it or not. Well, at least in my case.

I spoke about my hubby last week grumbling about my running and when I did, I'm sorry it seemed harsh. I really don't blame him for being less than thrilled with all this running. All things considered, he's actually pretty supportive.  I can't say I wouldn't be the one grumbling if the running shoe was on the other foot. I'm working through it, still looking for as much "fair" and balanced time as possible. As the weather warms and the sun comes up earlier, I believe it'll get a bit easier.

It's not to say that I regret signing up for the marathon or that I'll quit. I'm glad that I've got running and without it - nothing else would be right. I suffer with depression and anxiety, running helps keep both at bay. I come up with some of my best ideas while running. I know that I wouldn't be persevering to get any miles in if I didn't have a big finish line dangling. 

I ran across this Wall Street journal article this morning, A Workout Ate My Marriage - it was an article about "exercise widows" and really spoke to what happens when one person in the relationship is an endurance racer. I appreciated this article because it really spoke to me.  

Can you relate to this?

So far this week, I ran 10 miles on Monday morning (instead of 14 - TOO BUSY!) and last night 3 miles instead of 7 (FAMILY TIME!) I hate missing the miles but I'm trying to ebb and flow, here. I read another article last week - I think it was from active.com (wish I bookmarked it) but it said that rarely a marathoner feels fully trained - we all hit bumps in the roads or miss a few miles along the way. That gave me comfort to keep going forward despite not always being perfectly on course. 

I am still trying to figure it all out - all we can do is our best - "shoot for the moon… land amongst the stars…" and all that jazz. 

XO
Jen


13 comments:

Emz said...

relate......
can
I
ever.

just make the miles you can get it "really count". That's my motto. If I have one hour. I push as freaking hard as I can for one hour.
no brakes, no excuses.

Jen said...

Thanks Emz -you are right. I had only a half an hour last night and I ran the fastest I could to do 3 miles - (previously more a 11:20 pace) so that was fast. I'm going to keep plugging to do the best I can without sacrificing other stuff.

Julie @ Hotlegs Runner said...

after reading this...I really wish you will win the Run Like a Mother Book. =)

listen to emz...great advice =)

Jen said...

:) I really hope I do too! I will pick it up if I don't win… now to just find the time to read it - haha...

Molly said...

Oh I can relate. We worked out a deal when I started marathon training, I got Saturday for my long runs, hubs got Sunday to sleep in. I got the summer for training, he got the fall for hunting season. you guys will figure it out.

Jen said...

Thanks, Molly - we will - this is just out of the norm for us and we'll make this work.

Adam said...

It has been a LOT for me to balance lately. Unfortunately, the thing that has cracked is me checking up on OTHER blogs. Bleh. getting up earlier has been helping, but not 100%. It is still a huge challenge.

Jon said...

I read that article as well and did an extensive post on it. It really hit home! Especially that quote about "when will the insanity end"....it really got me thinking about what is my limit with endurance sports. Is it the long distances or just the amount of time and money put into it or is it losing perspective on a well balanced life.

Jason said...

It is all balance. Even in training. You figure it out as you move along. This week I shut down the laptop at 7-7:30p each night to be with my family. I missed the blogs and wanted to read about everybody else but I just couldn't because I wanted/needed to be around my family. It happens. And just like training a blog missed this week won't kill me. 'Miss' a mile or two and it won't kill you and you will be more than ready for the marathon.

Your other lesson is to not schedule an early season marathon. Schedule it in the fall when the days are longer and you can get out earlier and not miss much.

Look for the lessons in your training and apply them.

Sara said...

Thanks for sharing. I'm going to email you! Long story, but I can relate TOTALLY....

Jen said...

Thanks for all the comments -

It is balance - and you're right Jason - next time I would schedule to run in Oct / Nov (NYC anyone!?) Because it will be easier when there's more time in the day.

The flip side, if I hadn't signed up for this Spring race, I would be sooooo slacking with this winter. I'm still coming in around 20 miles a week and there's no way I'd be logging those if I didn't have it on the calendar.

As I adapt to this new lifestyle, I'll iron it all out…

Hey, speaking of endurance races, did I just say "iron" ;)

Erin said...

oh man Chicky - you hit the nail on the head - How do we manage to feel GUILTY about RUNNING?!?!?!?!!?!? of all the ways we can neglect our family....doens't running seem pretty "crunchy granola" "wholesome" "healthy"?!?!?!?!??!?!

anyway - I think you are brave and courageous for training for this AMAZING feat!!

Jen said...

LOL -- Erin - it is sooo funny right. I always figured I'd get a medal for moving my fat a$$ not eventually feel guilty about doing it too much! HA. Oh sweet irony.