When things get in the way of running

It comes as no news that I am selfish. Doesn’t necessarily mean I am a horrible person (though I have my moments) but I see my selfishness as “put on your own oxygen mask first before assisting others” thing.

As a mother and wife you find yourself doing a lot of little things that the people in your family might not even notice, but that ensure everybody lives in a clean, healthy home and have something to eat. They will not know whether you steamed their mattresses when you changed the sheets or that the gas meter readings are sent on time each month to the utility company. Or that the squeaky door handles have gone quiet because you toured the flat with a canister of WD40.

With the kids and moving countries I have pretty much killed any ambition of having a “proper” career. Not that this would be impossible, I am not saying that once you have kids you can’t make that happen but I seem to have lost interest in that somewhere along the way. My social calendar isn’t exactly bursting at the seams either.

The one thing that I have any passion for, that gives me pure unadulterated joy and a sense of achievement is being able to run. And when I can’t run, go to the gym and kick ass on the Summit Trainer or Elliptical or whatever equipment challenges me… I need to sweat and feel the burn in my muscles and lungs to feel alive. I will do whatever I can to carve out the time for exercise; whether it is getting up at 5am to run or go to the gym at 8pm after the husband gets home from work.

On Saturdays I go to the gym and put in 1,5-2 hours of cardio and on Sunday I run my long run (which hopefully will get longer and longer). To be able to do that makes me feel good about myself and about life in general. Any stress or anxiety shrinks during the few hours when all you can think about is “keep on going”. I am protective of that.

So when the husband says that I am about to lose two weekends due to trips that he is planning my reaction probably wasn’t what he expected. I think it would be fair to say I went mental. And maybe a bit hysterical; gotta live up to the name after all. To me this was as good as him admitting to not understanding what that little bit of freedom means to me. Those few, precious hours. It is probably also a sign of an addiction – the thought of not being able to get my “fix” makes me more than a little anxious. And yes, I am being selfish but in order to be able to look after the family the rest of the time this is what I need. This is what it takes. I will clean the pee stains around the toilet, launder their drool covered pillow cases and fish out the mouldy vegetables from the fridge – but do not take “my” time from me.  Not sure my family would like the person I become when I can’t run….

9 thoughts on “When things get in the way of running

  1. I don’t walk in your shoes but I completely understand…mums need time for us. This is my second year of empty nest and it’s so awesome. I loved being a mum of little ones and school aged-children but now that they don’t need me for domestic things and they have all moved out… just let me say that I love it! I’m not selfish and neither are you. We just need time for us to help us when we need to be on call for the family. Hang in there x

    1. At times I am kind of looking forward to the kids being all grown up and moving out and other times I just want them to never grow up (mainly when they sleep – so cute!) 🙂
      I didn’t even realise you had grown kids!! 😮

      1. I know what you mean. The time that the kidlet are little is just so precious, I look back on those days with such happy memories. But also it’s great to get to the point I’m at now. I’m very proud of the life decisions my kids are making and that we have a close relationship no matter how far away they are. My eldest will be 23, the next 21 and my baby boy will be 18 this year!

  2. I think my reaction would be much like yours. I don’t think it’s selfish. It’s what you have to do so that your family are cared for by a sane person. I hope you find away to get you ‘fix’ while your husband is away.

    1. It is so good to hear that I am not being totally unique in my reaction. (Oh how nice it feels to be among my peers!!) I think u will just have to run every day during the week so that by the weekend I wouldn’t be able to run even if I wanted to. 🙂 Thanks for making me feel less neurotic!

  3. I hit the Like button not because of selfishness or that your running time will be a challenge on those weekends. I hit it because I support that you need time for YOU time. Everyone does…and that’s nothing to apologize for.

    For some there ME time is their early morning coffee alone. For others its a night out with the guys or girls. For you its running.

    I do hope you find a good compromise that works out.. and…while it might suck if you do have a less than stellar running weekends, just tell yourself that it is just two weekends…then buy yourself some cool running gear/toys for the third week. 🙂

  4. Though I will admit that it was not my husband’s fault (as much fun as it can be to blame him for all life’s woes), I missed my long run this weekend due to the long planned visit of a long lost friend. I tried every which way to figure out how to fit in two hours of running before or after, but it just couldn’t work. And you know what? Yup, you guessed it. Total meltdown that would impress even my terrible two year old… So I’m making it up to myself with extra sleep deprivation this week – an extra couple of very dark early morning wakeups should hopefully keep me (relatively) sane until I can get out for a proper daylight run next weekend.

    1. Husbands are probably quite used to being blamed for most things. And fairly often rightly so. 🙂
      I am glad I am not the only one who needs their runs in order to stay more or less mentally healthy. And you know, really early morning runs are quite amazing – as long as you don’t have to do them too often… zzzzzzzzz

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