Where does running fit?

I’m supposed to be finishing up my run right about now, not sitting at the office typing up a blog post. My blog post, due later,  was supposed to be about renewed commitment, successes, and the joy of a new playlist. So what the heck happened?

This morning started off well. Up early; recharged and updated ipod playlist; fueled up with healthy breakfast. I was even looking forward to my run…this doesn’t happen often folks (still new; still in the “why do I do this to myself” state) so I was jazzed.

Mornings are hectic in most households. Add a toddler and you get complete and utter chaos any particular morning with no rhyme or reason. Despite getting organized the night before, this morning, our house compared to the atomic bomb of chaos theory.

Yesterday, our two-year old daughter broke out into hives. Allergies run in my husband’s family so this was no surprise. Anyway, so began new routines of increased meds and specialized cream, adding more into an already packed morning routine and adding to everyone’s stresses and moods. It was one of those mornings where I could not get organized and I ended up running up and down our stairs grabbing things and throwing them into various bags (hey, does that count for anything? we do have a lot of stairs…). There was my daughter’s daycare bag, her after-daycare playdate bag, my purse, my lunch, and my gym bag. Many of these bags were even packed the night before, but it just so happened we forgot to add important stuff.

Cue 7:40. I’m already 10 min behind schedule and I have a screaming kid refusing to budge. “I don’t want to go….!” as I stand there begging her to move. Throw everything into the car and, ignoring protests from my already overworked back, grab child and get her into car as well. We arrive at daycare and, while frazzled, I am still determined to make it to the gym. A ten-minute delay is nothing in our house! I begin updating K’s caregiver on her medical status when BOOM…it happens.

“She has this new cream, right…”

It’s not there. And in that second I knew I had to give up any chance I had for my morning run. My child’s health was clearly more important, worth the drive back to the house to find the cream and drive back to deliver it.

It happens, yes. I find, sadly, for me, it happens all too often. Where does running fit into the daily grind?

My husband, fellow co-blogger, is training for a marathon. He has a training schedule. I’m actually envious of this. Not of the marathon part (I still contend that is full o’ the crazy), but of the priority that gets placed on it. He runs when he is supposed to. Why can’t that work for those of us just trying to run? All too often, my runs get overlooked for other duties.  I work; I’m a mom; I do side projects. If something has to give, it’s my time for myself…my running.

It makes me mad b/c I’m so much better off for fitting in my runs, but it can be so hard to do. Our priorities shift, especially when, like me, we wear many hats. Today it became clear as I stared at my little girl’s spotted legs, that my hat was Mother and not Runner. I know I made the right choice here, but what kind of world do we live in anyway, when a slight detour like that can throw the whole gig off track?

Any other running moms reading this? I would love to hear how you do it. I’m at a loss these days. What used to work for me is not working and I’m not sure how to make it work. Early morning runs post child drop-off are my ideal times, but as this morning showed, they can be disrupted so easily. Should I try getting up before everyone else wakes up and go for a run in my own neighbourhood? Perhaps. Something needs to be done though b/c I’m losing out by not going. I need to make running a priority—I’m just unsure how.

My friend and fellow co-blogger, Amy, loaned me Run Like a Mother and I’m so excited to look through it, hopefully finding useful tips in how to balance it all. One recurring theme I hear from mothers is that running provides much-needed silent time; a time for us; a time when the only expectation is to take step-after-step and not be “on.” It’s important.

Now I just need to find the time to read the book.

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About Christine

Christine is the co-owner of Manley Mann Media and on the Board of Directors for the Islanders By Choice Alliance. In her spare time, Christine enjoys a good cup of coffee, an excellent book, and a square of chocolate (to off-set her love of food, she also enjoys various exercise endevours!).
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5 Responses to Where does running fit?

  1. What if you stood back and looked at the big picture? I mean, do you really need to go for a run this morning compared to getting The Kid to day care? At some point priorities are going to shift because they must shift, and we’ve got to account for that. Your daughter, her hives, and her daycare is going to be more important than whether you run 5k above or below your goal time or whether you run it at all.

    What I’m trying to say is try to be Zen about running. Sure, AKM has got a schedule about it because he’s set his sights on running 42.2km on an October morning (as well as the hundreds of KMs he’ll rack up in the training process), but what does he sacrifice from his own days to meet the demands of this schedule?

    I can only speak from experience (we can all only speak from experience) but I find that I tend to dislike running the moment I let running rule my life. Yes, there is a sense of disappointment when I miss a planned run or when I must cut short a run like I did yesterday, but I try to stay focused on making this thing I do – running – work with me, as opposed to trying to make me work with the demands of running itself. i.e., don’t let it rule you. you’re boss.

    And that’s a little bit of sleep-deprived, caffeine-induced nonsense for you. There’s a point in there somewhere, I promise.

  2. Christine says:

    I would like to be Zen, Michael, but I think my problem is that I have been Zen about my exercise routine for a long time. It’s been okay for me to say “Oh well, it didn’t happen today,” and, for me, I need to have something to keep me going or I fall off the wagon. The 5K race was a good motivator as I had something to train for…but what now? Perhaps I need a new goal.

    Obviously I never put K’s needs in competition with my running and when the two shall meet, K will always win. It’s a balance game isn’t it? And today, the scale was shifted in favour of K.

    Also, I’m lucky to get 2 runs in in a week. So when something like today happens, I’m down to 1. And, for me, running once a week isn’t enough. It means that it’s hard every time I go, not to mention the health benefits to me (I’m a much happier person when I get exercise, meaning I’m a better wife, partner, employee, all-round person).

    Now that it’s summer and it gets lighter earlier, I may actually try getting up and running outside from 630–700. That would still give me enough time to get everyone ready at home and leave the house a bit more relaxed knowing I’ve already achieved my personal goals. And it would challenge me in terms of terrain and incline…

  3. Amy says:

    First of all…”full o’ the crazy”? Made me choke on my coffee-definitely made me smile and i needed it this morning 🙂

    Second-you HAVE to make yourself a priority. Now, allergy meds are important and this morning you chose the right hat to wear. However, just because one is running on a schedule doesn’t mean your ability to exercise has to take a backseat. I trained for my half last summer and there is definitely some wiggle room there. Perhaps Allan can get up and have one of his shorter weekday runs done before Kait gets up so YOU can get your exercise done. My husband makes room for my exercise for the most part because he knows it makes me…therefore the entire house happier.

  4. Christine says:

    Glad I could make you smile Amy!
    The problem isn’t Allan’s running schedule vs. mine. He runs when I’m at work. The problem is my running schedule vs. everything else I do.

    Tomorrow, I’m going to try and run 630–700 around my neighbourhood. Wish me luck! It’ll be something new for me.

  5. Amy says:

    Ahhhh…i see what you mean now. Good luck tomorrow morning-I’m sure it will feel awesome!

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