Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Veterans Marathon Training: Week 11

Motherhood cramps my running style.

There's just no other way I can put it. For good or bad, better or worse, having a child - and a young one at that - has changed me and the way I trained for distance races and the way I perceive others train for distance races. It's something I've known for some time but not a fact that I felt fair to admit.

After a second weekend of buddying up for the long run, though, I could no longer deny it.

"Who picked 7 o'clock?" a new running friend said from the parking lot as she stretched and savored the last few sips of her coffee.

A pang of guilt stung. It was me, me who picked 7 a.m. It was me who was responsible for the yawns, for getting everyone out of bed early to drive downtown.

I didn't select the start time because I wanted to avoid heat or humidity or had to work but because I didn't want to leave Miles all morning. The early I started, the earlier I could be done, the earlier I could be back to Miles. Maybe I shouldn't think this way. Maybe I shouldn't feel guilty about taking three hours on a Sunday to run 17 miles. Maybe I shouldn't feel like I'm thrusting my parental responsibilities onto Mark so I can seemingly destroy my body.

But I do.

As we ran, the unofficial leader of the group and active club member was encouraging in her invitations to run during the club runs. I feel sheepish having to turn down opportunities because I have to get home, make dinner and read stories. I feel silly, sort of, turning down invitations because I am tied to a 7 p.m. bed time routine.

But there's no other way. And no real point to this, either, except I want to feel sorry for myself a little bit.

The one good thing out all of this, though, is that I am breaking out of my shell, seeking out new people to run with and may have found a training partner in the same pace range for the marathon.

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Scene from start of my Sunday long run.

The week, in training:

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Piloxing (taught) + Bodypump (taught)
Wednesday: 5.36-mile run
Thursday: 6.25-mile run + Rip (taught)
Friday: 30-minute indoor cycle
Saturday: Bodypump + 2.25-mile run
Sunday: 16.65-mile run


  1. Love this.

    And here's why I can't be part of a run club: I would ask to meet at 5am. Ain't nobody got time for that. :)

    1. Kim, you would love our running club - that is when a lot of us are meeting!

    2. LOL, me too! I am up at class or running most days at 5:30a. I do it for the same reason, so I can be back with the kiddos. And I try to get my run in before the rest of the family is ready to be up and about, so I don't feel guilty and so I don't miss out on what they might be doing

  2. You would be surprised at how many in my run club run early for the exact same reasons. You do the best you can to balance all the things in your life - we all do.

    Leave the guilt on the side of the road :)

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  4. This is one big reason why I run with the trail runners now. Our standard weekend run start time is 6 am, and if you're there at 5:30, you'll still have company. Heck, if you posted it on Facebook a few days ahead of time, you could probably find takers for a 4 or 4:30 am start.

    There's nothing like having the long run done, stopping for a massive second breakfast, and still being home by 10 am!

  5. Oh, another strategy: Start your run as early as you want to (5 am, 6 am), then meet up with the group for the last miles. Breaks up the run, you still finish early, everyone wins!

    I did this last weekend when I was registered for a trail half marathon. Got to the site 2 hours early (7 am), ran 1:45, checked in for the race and ran the half. BOOM, 21 miles. Followed by beer and brats. It was fun and felt more like a couple of separate runs than like one big monolithic LONG RUN.

  6. I am happy you ran with peeps! LOLing that 7:00 was early. A friend of mine was just saying that seems so early to her... and I was like, I would like to be almost DONE by then! And I don't have kids! But my husband wants me to spend time with him, and I try not to be gone that much.

    Anyway, do what is right for you, and talk it all out with Mark! You can make this work and be there for the important stuff with Miles! :)

  7. a lot of races start at 7am. i'd think you're doing them a favor getting them used to running at the time a race might start?

    i hear you on the motherhood balance. everything is more complicated when there are children. i think you are doing a FABULOUS job balancing, but i can definitely relate to all of your feelings.

  8. My girls are older, 6 and 9 (next week) and I still have this guilt. I swore off training for a full next year because of the toll it takes on family and my girls for the long runs. I had to have them sleep over at family members houses so much this summer so I could get up at 5am to beat the heat for our 18,19, 20 mile long runs. It sucks. The good thing is, those kids love being with the family and don't seem to mind. I'm sure Miles is the same way :) Mothers guilt will never end though!!

  9. I'm the same way - I want a super early meet up time so I can get my run in AND enjoy my family. All the run clubs around me start at 8 a.m. on Saturday or Sunday. That's TOO late for me so I'll usually meet up with someone beforehand or do solo miles before meeting up with the group. If I had 17 miles and started at 8? That's the whole morning and then it's nap time for the kids!

  10. I feel the same guilt, no just with running, but anything that is purely for me. Josh and I just had this discussion the other night about how I think of my absence in terms of how it affects the entire family, rather than just me. It's a nasty double edged sword.

    Since Ella was born, I've planned workouts around her sleep schedule. With two sleep schedules to think about now, I've determined there are not enough hours in the day. I'm seriously considering staying up after Anderson's 4am feeding to go to the gym.