Hump Day Giveaway: A Different Kind of Suffering

On random, rare days, if I'm being honest, the Octo-Mom has nothing on me.

Running makes me a more patient mother, a more loving wife, a more efficient worker.

That's all absolutely true. And I've said it so many times while promoting RLAM, I could probably make up a rap about it --if I had one ounce of coolness in me, that is.

After I've run, I won't scream when the kids have decided, at 8:16 a.m., to put the hose down the slide, make a massive mud puddle at the bottom and proceed to fly into it, getting their camp clothes, which they just put on, disgustingly dirty--and leaving exactly 30 seconds to clean up, change and load up the car. Check that: I won't scream immediately. Only when they decide to turn the hose on me. Then I scream. (That was all just a hypothetical example. Or maybe not.)

After I've run, I can sit down and have a civil, just-like-we-did-while-dating conversation with Grant about what color we should paint the hallway and laugh about the 7 Powerbars our dog ate this weekend. (Not hypothetical, and I did scream about that one.)

After I've run and sit down at my desk, after depositing the rugrats late to camp, the words flow out of my brain so much more easily than when I've slept in. The check-offs come easier on my to-do list. Tasks I've procrastinated turn out to be surprisingly simple. Why did I wait so long? I wonder Oh yeah, I hadn't worked up a sweat for four days. No wonder I was comprehensively constipated.

That's about 95% of the time. The other 5%? I suffer because I'm a runner.

On days when my run was horrible, or the post-run pain in my hip is debilitating, or I got four interrupted hours of sleep the previous night but still forced myself out of bed at 5 a.m. or my mental load is so heavy, my 45-minute run wasn't enough to even dent the sucker, I--and my family--suffers.

During those slivers of time, I cry about my pain, yet have no tolerance for Ben's 4th scrape on his already stubbed toe (or for the fact that he takes off every Band-Aid I put on it within 10 minutes). So my kids take a hit.

I walk by dog-hairballs at the bottom of the stairs, without at least mentally planning on grabbing a broom on the way down. So the state of my house goes from hairy to horrendous.

I eat crap: no real meals, just handfuls of chips (both the potato and chocolate kind) and chunks of cheese and ice cream sandwiches and maybe some stray baby carrots off my kids plates, if I'm feeling the need for some healthy food. So my body has no fighting chance in helping my mood.

I raise my voice way too often. The main things I communicate to Grant: 1. house tasks he needs to do; 2. how hard it is to work, run a house, mother and run; 3. my amazement that he's not more sympathetic towards me; 4. good night, before giving him a quick kiss and heading up to bed, as early as possible and alone, in the hopes that tomorrow will be a better day. So I aim squarely for the "for worse" part of the vows, which I'm not proud of.

We wanted RLAM to be a realistic portrayal of life as a running mom: mainly extolling the benefits of taking care of and time for yourself, while not denying the darker underbelly a RLAM lifestyle can sometimes expose. Because misery loves company, we want to know what part of your life occasionally suffers because you run. Your house? Your marriage? Your mojo? Your kids? Obviously not looking to judge here, but instead, to help us all realize that despite how it may seem, life as a mom who runs isn't always happy, fulfilling miles and endorphin rushes.

Let us know about your dark underbelly--and, better yet, if you have any proven solutions to lighten that sucker (a nap; deciding to clean just one room of your house; 30 minutes of Uno with the rugrats)--and you may win a gift certificate for decidedly not dark clothing. Lole, a Canadian clothing company

The snappy Lole pace dress: turqouise almost guarantees great miles.

for active, stylish women that both SBS and I adore, adore, adore, has ponied up a whopping $100 (USD) so a random winner can pick out some cute clothes. And really: what better antidote to a temporary bad place is there than cutting tags off new duds? Plus, the names of Lole clothes, which are designed for all shapes of women, not waifs, alone are enough to coax out a better mood: the Jovial Capri, the Cheery Skirt, the Calm Tunic.

So what part of your non-running life sometimes takes a hit because you're a runner?


p.s. You all had some great, helpful ideas on pace: how you do it, why you don't, why you care, why you don't. Thanks for all the insight. We're announcing the winner really late not because I was in that 5% funk, but because the whole Friday is kinda a holiday, Sunday is a holiday and Monday is too threw me for an unproductive loop. And also, because the Keen certificates are on Sarah's desk in Portland, and she's on the East Coast for the last sweaty stops of her RLAM tour. New Canaan, CT tonight; Ridgefield, CT on Friday night; East Sandwich, Cape Cod, Mass on Monday night. Come if you can!

Anyway, the random winner (#9, picked by of a pair of Keen shoes is Laura Buchanan. Laura, a prolific blogger and runner who carries a meaningful, important purpose with her on every run, writes this about her (all-too-familiar, at least for me) struggles with pace:

During regular old training runs I am pretty good at running an even pace. Usually around 9-9:30 (and sometimes lucky enough to get some negative splits in without really trying). But when it comes to races, i am horrible at pacing myself. The rush of adrenaline over takes me and I bolt out like a wild banshee. The worst was a 5k a few months ago. I think my first mile was sub 8:00-7:30 and I was totally gassed by mile 2 and struggled to make it to the finish line. So I think the key for helping pace myself (especially for short races) first to get my nerves under control. ο»ΏOnce I figure that out, I can work on running short races at a slightly faster pace than during my training runs and finish with a decent overall time, instead of flying out of the chute and crawling to the finish line with a crappy time.

Congrats, Laura!

171 responses to “Hump Day Giveaway: A Different Kind of Suffering

  1. I so totally relate to how life suffers when a runner isn’t able to run. My kids and husband definitely see more of the “frustrated with myself because I’m too lazy today to get up earlier than usual and run” me than the “thank goodness I got that run in because look how great this day is going!” me. I’m more patient, more tolerant, more efficient, more of the person I want to be, when I get a good run in. I am a physical therapist, wife, and mother of two elementary age kids. When I returned to work full time 2 years ago, I let my running self go and focused solely on my family and work. In other words, I focused on just getting through each day with noone hurt and all relationships intact! I’ve just recently started running again with a great college friend, and can feel the different “me” creeping back in at work, at home, and out and about. “Things” aren’t so important and molehills don’t become mountains–and not just at home. I appreciate running more these days than I did the pre-kids or stay-at-home-mom days–I appreciate my body, my mind, and my family more for getting me through another run. With this said, I also appreciate your blog and message to all of us out there trying to just be the best we can be for ourselves and those we love…Thank you!!

  2. All of the above!! I think it all takes a hit sometime or other, I am getting back into running again after recently having my 9th baby( yes 9!) and am struggling to get into a routine, what with my children in activities and my husband training for another Ironman in July , things are hectic enough without me trying to fit in a run!! But I am trying to get up and sacrifice what little sleep I get in order to run before the chaos ensues! My husband is great and encouraging but I just need a few extra hours in the day!! So yes plenty of things are on the back burner the days that I get out to run but they can be easily caught up on and I am better for it , as the saying goes ” if mama’s happy , everyone is happy”!

  3. Coming in past Wednesday, but such a good topic!

    My house definitely suffers. Sometimes my time with my kids, when I can’t get myself moving early enough to beat when they get up…and yet…both of my older boys have run in a race with me recently (and beat the tar out of me!), and my 6 year old now has his first fun run under his belt with another coming up in two weeks. So, my hope is that some of this time away from them (while being a true balm to my soul!!) becomes an inspiration for them and something we can do together. πŸ™‚

  4. Honestly, I’d have to say my wallet!! New shoes, more BodyGlide, need for new iPod running apps, iPod tunes, need for Android running apps, new headphones – I am so picky that it took me 3 tries to find ones that were acceptable!! Not to mention the need for running clothes and my desire for the Nike iPod running sensor and pouch.

    My DH runs, but he’s so low maintenance with it that he doesn’t even own an iPod. He runs with a $10 AM/FM radio!! No fancy clothes for him – just spends money on the shoes.

    Bringing your book with me on vacation – looking forward to reading it.

  5. Some days…what DOESN’T suffer. πŸ™‚ But since I started running in January, I will say the noticeable sufferer is my creative outlet…I haven’t scrapbooked or even made a card in a good long while. My mind is enjoying the mindless entertainment and my butt is enjoying the hills…and my photos and paper and adhesive sit patiently on my desk underneath my latest running read, the latest Runner’s World and my ipod. Oops.

  6. The thing that suffers the most is my sleep. I run at 4:30 AM…when the household is asleep so that I don’t feel guilty for missing out on family time. This then CAN roll over into being too tired in the evening for the hubby. He has grown to understand however, since he now is a runner as well.

  7. I am an early morning runner, so what suffers most is my sleep time. I am not always disciplined about getting to bed as early as I should, and I am usually paying for it by 2 pm (the infamous “post-lunch slump”). I also live a mile from work and would love to walk/bike every day, but I drive because I am always running late due to said early morning run. So…I guess the environment suffers a little, too.

  8. A few months ago I started working from home and thought, Oh this is going to be great- I can keep up on my laundry, load up the dishwasher on a break, etc. At the same time I began my journey to become a runner. LEts just say my house is in worse condition then it was when I worked out of the home, but the benefits of running definelty outweigh the house!

  9. What suffers? My old morning routine — wake up, pour coffee, sit down with a good book or magazine until the kids wake up a couple hours later. Now – wake up, put on running shoes, and I’m out the door. But it’s worth it.

  10. Without question, when I’m training, my house suffers severely! Time is one issue, but mostly it is because I do most of my house cleaning on Saturdays – and that just doesn’t happen when I’ve run a long Saturday morning run….too tired.

    I think my family time suffers some too. It is especially hard during the summer when the kiddo can stay up later than I can! I’m lucky to make it to 10:00. Hey, 5am comes early!

    All of that being said, everyone suffers much more if I don’t get to run….I’m grouchy. So I think my family would much rather pick up a few extra chores and let me go to be at 10 πŸ™‚

  11. What suffers when I run……well, 2 areas really…..

    The only way I can run is by getting up at 5am (oh geez, who am I kidding…it’s usually 5:20 before I drag myself out of bed and out the door). Because I am a person who needs TONS of sleep to function properly (who knows how I made it through the sleepless newborn months!), I have to be in bed, “asleep” by 10:00pm. My husband goes to bed a little later than me so this often causes problems in the “intimacy” area. My rule is “no funny business” on weeknights! But, hey, what can I say, if I don’t get to sleep by 10pm, I will not be able to get up to run in the mornings. As it is, 7 hours of sleep at night is pushing it for me. I’m usually good with 8-9 hours.

    But I figure that if I can lose some sleep and intimacy during the week so I can get my runs in, I will make up for it on the weekends!

  12. Most of the suffering is endured by my husband, who used to be at work by 6am at the latest. Now he doesn’t roll in until 7 two days a week. When I come back from my morning runs at 6:30, he is waiting outside by his car, vibrating because he is so stressed that he has to get to work “late”. But, he suffers through, so I can get in two weekday runs without a loaded double stroller.

  13. What suffers….Usually my house. I often find myself using my trusty treadmill to log some miles which can’t be done until nap time. (I am SO not a morning person. The only reason I get up early is to be alone with my coffee.) When I run during nap that means run time plus a shower, which eats up a significant if not all of nap time. Meaning laundry the mornings dishes, any cleaning all gets pushed until after bedtime for the kiddos. It creates a pile up effect, and I usually end up staying up until atleast 11pm in order to get everything done so I can start with a clean slate the next morning.

  14. My love life suffers the most. I get up at 5am, run, shower and go to work. After working all day, coming home and doing chores and then all the activities that go with having two teens, I’m in bed by 9pm. I go to bed alone 90% of the time, and most often, don’t even notice when my husband joins me later.

  15. I definitely choose running over work. I don’t suffer a bit, but I’m sure my e-mail response time would be much shorter if I weren’t always sneaking out the back for a run.

  16. You know, ugh, a lot suffers. I mean there is more food on the floor than on the table after a meal and I just look at it. Actually more like glare at it. How is it I can run 5 miles a day but it is excruciating to imagine squatting down and gathering up some grahm cracker chunks? Plus the kiddos–they want to play, do crafts, miles of interactive plugged in momma stuff. And some days I just space out ” Mommmmaaaa–YOUR TURN” and I am like “what-whos did what to whom?!” Crazytown. I feel bad but the real thing is what would suffer if I didnt run? That, my friend, is far more deep than crumbs and a rousing game of High ho cherrio. Its my sanity that would suffer. And that would cover the rest of the day in a spiderweb of grey. I need it-my kids need me–even if they can grab a snack off the kitchen floor. They need a healthy, mentally clear mom. A mom that prioritizes her health so she can brush up on her board game skills and try her hardest to balance the maddness of life. One way or another something suffers, but running helps me keep the important things away from the worst of it…grahm cracker dust and all.

  17. Sleep and my tv watching hobby. Yes, I consider it a hobby. πŸ™‚ I’ve been a lot more selective about the shows I follow (Mad Men, yes; The Bachelor, no).

    My house was messy before I started running so nothing really changed there!

  18. what suffers? Well, my hair for one! I feel like I am either yanking it under a hat, into a ponytail or washing it far too much. I remember being able to go two days without washing it! sigh. Also, anyone around me (husband, sons, daughters) who aren’t into running, because of course I think its the bomb and keep trying to convince them to take it up too.

  19. I get to run at work – so I am very lucky, but the big thing that suffers home is my husband. After our daughter and, of course, my dogs I find little time for him.
    Also my joints are suffering!

  20. I’m lucky in that I have a wonderful stay at home husband that takes care of the house and 9 and 11YO girls that don’t cause chaos when I go for a run. What really takes a hit is my personal primping. I have from 6:00-7:00am to get in my marathon training and that includes getting dressed, warm up, and cool down. That gives me about a hour toget cleaned up, breakfast, and connect with the family before I walk out the door. That just isn’t long enough to spend 30 minutes styling my hair, painting my nails, or trying on three outfits. I least I have a runner’s figure to fall back on!

  21. What suffers? Any hope of being on time for the rest of the morning’s activities. I run in the morning and, on a good day, run a little longer than I have time for. That means I come home a little later than I should. And get in the shower a little later than I need to. And get my son to preschool a little later than he’s supposed to arrive. And get my daughter to dance class a few minutes after it’s already begun. You get the picture. As much as I hate being late for most everything, it really feels good to do so with a little flush still left in my cheeks from running a little longer than I should have.

  22. I’m a SAHM. My sleep suffers and quality time with my husband after the kids go to bed suffers too. Since my husband leaves for work early each morning – 5:30am – I end up doing my runs at night during my kids’ bedtime. I am not a morning person so a 4am run has never been an option. But what happens after I run between 8-9pm is that I end up wide-awake usually until 1am, sometimes until 2am. My kids wake up at 7:30am so the next morning I’m exhausted. It’s a very vicious cycle. And since my husband has to go to bed early at 10pm to get up at 5am the latest to get ready for work, some nights we find ourselves having just 30 minutes to catch up on our days. So yeah, feeling guilty about that, but like what most runners posted earlier, my husband (who’s a runner too, but runs in the morning at his office gym – I know, lucky!) understands that if I don’t run, hell breaks loose in the house, and we don’t want that! So how am I able to maintain this vicious cycle? I run every other day so on my off days my husband and I can actually have longer conversations and on days when I don’t get enough sleep, it’s coffee coffee coffee and early bedtime. So it all works out in the end! πŸ™‚

  23. I am a runner and my house suffers because of it. Now, it’s not the vacuuming, the fridge, or even the toilets; somehow, the running fairies do look after that. It’s the clutter – here, there and everywhere, on the floor, on my desk, in the family room. But, like running, there are days when that second wind comes in and blows everything away.

  24. The main thing that seems to suffer is my sleep. I seem to not be able to fall asleep at 8 like my kids, so I end up awake until 11+. A 6 am run is just about impossible at that point and if I do pull it off, I don’t get all the benefits of a runner’s high because I am sleep deprived. Then if I am lucky enough to slip in a nap while my little guys sleep ( which is rare that they both sleep at the same time) my laundry piles up higher and higher like it is now as I am trianing for a 10k and half marathon. I was brave enough to post a picture of the carnage on facebook recently if you don’t believe me. It’s ridiculous.
    Then there’s my love of reading and my oh-so-crucial running that I have to decide between each night. But all in all, I am a better person for becoming a runner in the past year and wouldn’t trade it for my old ways for anything.

  25. The question is so difficult because really it is my family that suffers because they get an hour less of me each day, yet they also gain so much by losing that hour. I’m not cranky, or nit-picky, or angry after I have run. I’m pretty sure it is better for my children for me to get out and run and be a fun and happy mom than to be stuck inside with a miserable angry mom all night.

  26. My house cleaning is definitely what suffers most when I sneak out the door for a run. Today I looked at the living room/playroom and it just looked like it had thrown up toys everywhere. Empty sippy cups, cheeerio crumbs, magnets from the fridge…..on and on. Can’t remember the last time that it was picked up! So I did a quick shove-the-toys-in-the-toybox and all was good πŸ™‚ (Still didn’t get my run in since it’s been like 100 degrees in MA this week…ugh! hopefully tomorrow morning!)

  27. I consider the following my hobbies:

    Running, Reading, Quilting, Scrapbooking, Knitting

    So when I run more, I read less, or while obsessing about a marathon I want to do, I could be cutting out the next block that is due for my quilt club. It’s definitely a time sucker, but by considering it a hobby, I know it that since it’s me time I will benefit and chase away the crazies.

  28. Quality dinners if I run in the evening or being on time to work if I run in the morning. Oh wait, I have a hard time getting to work on time even when I’m not running!

  29. There are times it almost feels that it would be too easy to ditch the run in order to clean the house, take the kids out somewhere fun (I usually run in the evenings), spend time with my hubby, run errands or do a gazillion other things that I haven’t done yet need to. So often it feels my running just gets in the way of all the “important” things. Yet then I realize that after a run I usually AM a bit more motivated and productive and can clean the house in double time…and while I missed out hanging with the kids,well, I kinda did that all day anyways and it was some good daddy time for them…and speaking of daddy because my mental state is improved I’m a much better companion as a wife. So all in all, life is better with running but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have to remind myself that a few undone chores can wait, that tomorrow is another day to hit up that to-do list, and the rest of the world will go on while I run for a measly 45 minutes. And then, all is well with my little world and I feel balanced again.

  30. I think my biggest problem is timing. Choosing between running and other responsibilities, mostly cleaning the house. I have certain days and times when I don’t have work scheduled and during those times it is the debate of running or doing something “more productive.” I suppose I should consider getting up earlier to create more time in my day, but then I am worried that it would be me and my sleep that suffers. It is all a balancing act and I don’t have the perfect answer yet.

  31. I find my sleep time suffers because I so much look forward to the mornings I meet my two running partners that I can’t sleep. I’m afraid I won’t hear the alarm and I’ll miss out on my could be only time in the day when I can make time for me and my friendships. Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday nights are definately my “Do Not Disturb” nights for my husband!

  32. Since I started back to work as a physical therapist part time and I can’t seem to give up my love of teaching women’s fitness classes…I think my kids suffer the most. Before fitness class, I put the 5 yr old on the bike and the 2 yr old in the stroller and off we go for as many miles as I can log before the first person shows up to class. My poor five yr old takes some knocks…like we don’t have time to re-tie your shoe for the 100th time and can’t we stop at the next water fountain. As I see it, my 5 yr old may be the next Lance Armstrong (minus his drama and his illness) and my 2 yr old may learn to ride a bike very rapidly so he doesn’t have to sit in the stroller anymore. I will say this that when I get my run in, I am a more productive wife (house cleaning dinner ready etc) and I am a more attentive fitness instructor and physical therapist.

    I think a little bit of everything suffers when you run or train or decide to be a fit mom…however, I think that being a fit mom is better than being a mean mean mean mom (my two year olds quote when I won’t let him have ice cream for breakfast). Happy running.

    1. oh you mean, mean, mean mom, Katie. πŸ™‚ this is from a stupid, stupid mom. quoting ben when I send him to his room. even though, of course, we don’t allow the word “stupid” in our house.

  33. As a stay at home mom who prides myself on having everything “together” I truly enjoy the stolen 30-45 minutes when I am able to run. However, the minute I step back through my front door, I am met by the results of what my husband calls “free play”. Free play entails my children emptying the toy box, eating messy snacks and dropping their crumbs throughout the house, and leaving it all in a heap while they move on to watch TV. So, for those 30-45 minutes, my house suffers the most…but I must admit, it’s worth it.

  34. My to do list suffers, and my anxiety about getting things done grows when I am on a deadline, but I’m only just starting out so it could change as time goes on…

  35. What suffers!? Well, it’s a slippery slope. Starts with lack of sleep, which leads to crankiness, which leads to yelling and no one wants to help me with chores, so eventually a messy house πŸ™

  36. Up until now I hadn’t realized it but my house suffers in inverse proportion to age. My husband gets the brunt of it followed by my 9 year old, 3 year old and one year old. Trickle down suffering. I think the dog escapes it because he’s my running partner and when I’m feeling my worst he’s asleep in the corner!

  37. Right now I’m lucky to be on maternity leave so I’m not trying to fit running in with being a mother, a wife and an employee, but at the same time I’ve just starting running since January and working out the kinks is a big part of it. Right now the biggest things that suffer are my house and my husband. He’s not a morning person and because where I leave we are having a BRUTAL heat wave I need to run in the am, as it on the treadmill/out the door by 7am. So our days are as follows, peppy morning person me gets up at 6:30am. I nurse the baby, eat something, get dressed, hand happy chatty 9 month old to still asleep husband, watch baby smack his face and pull his hair until he wakes up, smile and say “I’m off to run. Love you.” and bolt out the door. He then drags himself up to do something with the baby until I return, then he rushes to work, only to come home and listen to me complain that I have no time to clean b/c I’m always running. So I give him real credit because some days he deals with the evil side of my running but he’s always very loving and patient about it.

  38. Well, that is a good one. Many things are not as up to par as I would like them to be, but life does and will go on. It has taken me hours of therapy and many repetitive conversations about “not sweating the small stuff” to make myself understand that. And really it is all small stuff. Really it is. That that one little phrase alone has helped me come a long way to fully enjoying my runs. The other stuff can wait, need to take time for me.

    To really answer your question though, yark work and my flower and vegetable gardens are really suffering. I should be out there weeding in the early morning before the days events get in my way, instead- I go for a run. Oh well, some weeds have really pretty little flowers on them.

  39. I am new to the whole running thing, training for first half marathon in October but have noticed I can get a little grumpy if I haven’t run for a few days–well, actually my husband was the one who noticed so I guess he was the one suffering! I have a 3 year old and a 1 year old so sleep sometimes suffers too. Can’t say that my house is any worse since I started running-it hasn’t been clean since I had kids! Since I started running I think I have strangely been able to stay awake longer at night. I actually stayed awake for an entire movie!

  40. When I run my overall outlook and interactions with my family are much better and my head is clearer but my house is messier and my husband and kids often feel neglected and resentful that I took time for myself……..when I don’t run, I will often vent on them and hate the tone of voice I hear coming out of me when I talk “at” them…….I am definitely a nicer person for getting that good night’s sleep and getting up early to get the run in, even if I get grief for doing it…….

  41. I am too new to this – just started the Couch-2-5k program last week so I can’t really comment on what suffers with me “running”… but it has been interesting reading all these and I hope to someday call myself a ‘runner’ too!

    1. Nancy: congrats on getting started! you’ll be there sooner than you think. in my mind, you run, you are a runner. for what that’s worth.

  42. Truthfully, and I was just thinking about this today, my work suffers. I work part time, from home and although I have a pretty set 9a-3p schedule, I often break from the short work day to get in a run and push off the work until after the kids are in bed. But often I am trying to squeeze in 8 hour into my 6 hour day of work, so taking that break is not always as simple as one might think. Today was a great example, it was 101 F and because I was up for three hours last night with both kids in the middle of the night and so way short on sleep, I missed getting up early for a run. So instead of even trying to run outside in the heat, I shut down my laptop early, sneaked off to the gym and hopped on the treadmill, ran 5 miles, did a quick post run stretch, changed my shirt and jog bra in the car, threw on a baseball cap, and raced to pick up the kids from camp/day care. I missed about 1.5 hours of work for this luxury. I’ll try to make up the lost work hours tonight, but I always feel guilty, like I’m a bad employee, and that maybe I’ve missed an important call or that interrupting the work day has an overall negative impact on the quality of my work.

    1. hey carolyn–I had a boss once–an editor in chief of a national magazine–who once told me, nobody is that important that they can’t slip away for an hour. I’m not saying you think that way; I’m just saying don’t sweat it. I bet you cruise through your work a lot better after that ‘mill session.

  43. Oh dear…my house is really the area that suffers the most…I have to invite guests over if I want to make sure my house gets cleaned once in a while!

  44. The house doesn’t get cleaned to the hubbys specifications which means that the house and the hubby are usually what suffers. Of course finances too since I’m not working I feel like my “hobbies” are pretty consuming on the budget. But I cannot tell you what a better mommy and wife I am when I do run! I’m much more civilized when I get my miles in.

  45. I work 8 hour shift work. I get one weekend off a month, two kids, one hubby, and three dogs. So fitting in running anywhere I can anytime of the day is what has to work. So, my sleep is what suffers the most! Just going to start training for a half in September! I try to stick to the Hal Higdon running schedule with a few modifications. We’ll see how it goes!

  46. Oh my, how my life suffers πŸ˜‰ I’m sure it would be 200 times worse if I didn’t run, but running does give me an excuse to do a little less house work. My laundry piles high because of all those smelly clothes, which left undone will smell up the whole house (viscous cycle!). My husband gets a little less romantic time, which I really wish wasn’t the case. Even with the smelly house, that has loads of laundry, and the husband who is always too understanding about my need to hit the pillow early, I wouldn’t give up my runs!

  47. I guess I would say couple time. There are only so many hours in the day, and if I must run during one of them, well, that’s one less hour I could devote to a better marriage. However, my husband and I have JUST started hiring a sitter for 1 hour a week to go on a run together. It’s not exactly date night, but it helps.

  48. Right now my yoga is suffering, which is not the place I want to be. I have returned to running after a hiatus, during which time I was only practicing yoga. Now that I’m basically on vacation for the summer, I have this idea of running 3x per week, lifting 3x per week, and getting on the mat 3x per week. However, I can’t seem to find the time to go to the studio b/c I’d rather build up my endurance so I can run 3+ miles.

  49. the house suffers. . .definitely, the house. . . and I feel so bad actually admitting this out loud that I just cleaned the bathrooms. . .thanks for the motivation πŸ™‚

  50. Some of my freedom. I’m a SAHM who (most days) takes my 4 kids to our Y so they get child care and I can run. This means I have to wait until the child care is available at 9am to run and that running becomes our “morning activity.” I gained more than I can list when I started really running again, but we also lost a lot of the “let’s see how the day unfolds” and “spontaneous playdate” joy of SAHM life. I feel like I am forever turning down am activities/playdates b/c they would interfere with my run.

    Also, I’m energized for part of the day…but the midday slump can be vicious! Bad form to fall asleep while your 7 year old is reading to you!

  51. I have a new baby – and a 3 yr old, a 6 yr old and a 7.5 yr old. . .. .

    I’m already tired, and the house tends to be cluttered, and the laundry needs to be folded. . .

    But if I run, at least I can say Hey! I did that today! and I’m happier, more focused, and control the chaos a little better.

    Colgate 1999 – physics degree, former software engineer,former professional musician, stay at home mom…
    I need the sense of accomplishment and the race goals to feed my ego.
    Otherwise I don’t feel like I ‘did’ anything that day.

    1. Hey Carol–you’re right. So much of running is about the sense of accomplishment, especially when the ways we used to get that feeling get phased out by motherhood. (And go ‘Gate!)

  52. Running–although secondary to my mommy life, takes quite a toll when the miles get long (particularly when training for a marathon or an ultra). Mostly, it is my sleep that suffered the most…but not anymore! While my old not-so-sensible self used to try and squeeze in a million things during the boys’ nap time (and feel ragged by the time they woke up), my new and slightly smarter self now squeezes in a quick nap before tackling my chore list. It’s the ultimate re-charger from both running and mommy-related stress, and one that everyone (hubby included) benefits from in the end.

  53. My kids are now 8 and 10 and I still have baby toys in my basement/trash heap and baby clothes in my attic/trash heap. So, my seemingly gigantic projects of getting rid of all the stuff we no longer need is what suffers because I run. Ok, so even if I didn’t run, I’m not sure if those projects would get done but it’s so nice to be able to blame such a good and healthy habit for my procrastination! Thanks!!!

  54. I have to say me. As a stay at home mom, we know that there are only so many hours in the day. Since I have began running, some of my other interests have been pushed aside. I haven’t done much in the way of creative projects lately. I guess we’ll just say that my current project is creating a new me and the rest is gonna have to wait!
    The house suffers too. I’d be lying if I said that was all in order. It too is always a work in progress!

  55. I think my sleep suffers the most. I often get just a few hours of sleep because I run either early in the morning or I head out at 9:30 at night then come home and can’t sleep due to the rush. My family suffers the most when I don’t run though since I can be grumpy grumpy when I don’t work out. Who needs sleep anyway πŸ˜‰

  56. My 3 y.o. daughter’s preschool teacher told me at our last conference that, “Your daughter always seems to be in a hurry.” I could only smile, chagrined, and say, “well, that’s probably my fault.”

    I am ALWAYS hurrying my daughters because I’m always in a hurry to GET RUNNING!!! If I have a long run planned, I’m always rushing their little bodies out the door — right on the edge of screaming my head off — because I just have to get there and get it started.

    Then, after the run, I’m hurrying them home for lunch, for nap, for whatever it is we still have left to do that day.

    I feel guilty sometimes, rushing them around just so mommy can get her run in. But, my daughter already loves to run and asks if she can go to the gym with me all the time. So, I hope I’m teaching her that sometimes it’s ok to rush to take care of yourself. Sure, I need to take a deep breath sometimes and slow down — but hell — if I do that, I might not PR at my next race. πŸ™‚

  57. When I sat down to examine this it’s come to my attention that the house suffers the most. However, I have a pack-rat mentality so it bothers my husband far more than it bothers me. I think everything kind of gets short shrift these days. My husband “gets it” as he runs with me 90% of the time. Mostly I’m just tired of eating at 9pm when we come home from our runs (we don’t have our **** together early enough to do morning runs, especially with a 3 year old). I think our relationship gets neglected more due to my blogging than my running… πŸ™‚

  58. Meal times suffer, house cleaning suffers and laundry duty suffers. I was laughing at myself as I was doing a quick load of my laundry on Saturday, there were more workout clothes than regular clothes. Also, I probably spend equal $$ on workout clothes/gear/etc as I do “regular” clothes.

  59. My house definitely suffers. I figure dirty dishes is better than me feeling guilty (or grouchy) because I didn’t go for a run.

  60. I guess it’s the family – because I feel the whole Mommy guilt thing when I run….some days I find myself shortening the run so I can get back home and be with them….and then I am angry with them that I didn’t get a good run in (I try not to show it though) – it’s such a struggle.

  61. The mommy guilt eats away at me about everything, including exercise, specifcally the time I take away from my family to do it. So most days, I try and get up before sunrise to get my runs in. And on those days, I suffer because I usually don’t get enought sleep the night before. But on days when I need to get a long run in, honestly, my family suffers. I’m gone for 4-5 hours some Saturdays to get in a long run. I’ve learned that as a mom, I am constantly walking a tightrope, trying to balance everything I need to balance to get through the day and balancing takes sacrifices.

  62. I’m not sure I can add anything new. My house is always in some sense of disarray as I have 3 kids and we school at home. But when I’m not running, it’s so much easier to plunk my behind down behind the computer and literally waste hours when i could have been productive. Inertia is an amazing thing. An object at rest tends to stay at rest. An object in motion tends to stay in motion. I’m no different.

  63. Well, I’m a newbie runner, so it’s hard to say what in my life suffers because of it specifically. But any time I give myself some “me” time, whether it be because of exercising, reading, or doing a hobby SOMETHING suffers. It seems, typically, that my kids will invariably need me at the exact moment I’ve carved out some time to focus on myself. But as a full-time working momma, I’m used to living in a general state of chaos!!

  64. My work definitely suffers at times. I get up at 5am to run. I need my sleep, so I will not finish work that needs to get done, in order to sleep, in order to get up and run.

  65. I burn the candle to get work done… which makes me irritable and tired. But I somehow make room for the run. So definitely my hubby and kids get pinched in the daily task of fitting my to-do list into 24 hours. I’m starting up a new training this week for my Fall Half-Marathon… and already started taking outside responsibilities off my list (I do cake decorating and wedding stationery as a side job) so I don’t feel so guilty about stealing time away from the family.

  66. What suffers because I run…everything. It’s been one of those weeks that I am ready to throw up my hands and yell “screw it all!!” My son has chronic health conditions that require constant attention, medicine he has to take that cost $1150 the last 3 weeks, and I am a single mama of 2 that works full time as a dispatcher in a high stress law enforcement environment. But if I don’t run it this stuff that wears me down and totally makes me a zombie but with running I know I can make it through….

  67. Because I make time to run, my husband suffers most unfortunately. Weeknights I go right before bedtime so he gets the task of putting the kids to bed. When I get home, I usually am exhausted, so I shower and go to bed, and he is left to finish up any nightly duties. This also causes him to get a little neglected from me at bedtime.. =)
    On the weekends I run in the morning, so he usually gets up and makes breakfast. neddless to say, my husband is awesome and I am very lucky!

  68. sleep…but running energizes me so much more than an extra hour of sleep, that it is definitely worth it. not to mention all of the problems i resolve mentally while running. plenty of time for extra sleep when i’m old, i guess!!

  69. I’m a homeschooling mother so I am with my kids all the time it seems unless I happen to go into work, which I also do from time to time.
    My kids seem to get the worst of me, but seem to still love me as time goes on.
    What suffers the most is that I do want to put my family first, and to do this, I get up early to run. These are some of the few minutes that I have to myself each day, and I cherish them, even if they are painful and sore physically because they are mine.
    Many times I am too tired to get daily chores done as well, but as I don’t have many running clothes (hint, hint) I at least get the laundry done frequently so that my running things are always ready to go….

  70. The cleanliness of my children…..messy faces, no pants, socks or shoes on, etc I try not to care cause I have tunell vision until I can fit in that run. Then I chase them all over the house just trying to wipe off the chalk, peanut butter, dirt and whatever else we’ve done or eaten on that day. Oh well at least I got to run.

  71. Sleep is the thing I seem to sacrifice most often on the running altar (I like to run early). Ironically, it was the need to relieve stress so I could sleep that got me started running. So really, I’d probably sleep less if I didn’t run.

  72. My husband works full time…I do not. (I should add, I have one almost-16 year old daughter at home, not 1(+) little child(ren); taking care of the house is much easier than it used to be.) We recently moved from a subdivision where lawn care was included in monthly home owner association dues to a house where we have to handle it ourselves. I offered to mow the lawn since I’m home all day (and paying someone else right now is out of the question since I buy new running gear like some families buy milk). But, since I’ve been training for one race or another all “mowing season”, I’m just too hot/too tired/to0 sore…so my loving husband mows it after a long day at work-in the heat of the day. AND, dinner is sometimes something that 15 minutes before was frozen solid. I don’t work…I don’t have small kids…I “just” run, and cross train so I can run better, and blog about running, and plan what kind of run to do next, and read about running, and analyze my runs, and think about where I’m going to run tomorrow, and register for races. And, my husband would rather me be a runner because it is what keeps me sane…..well, more sane.

  73. My house definitely suffers. Sometimes I hope for a rainy day so that I am forced to do a shorter run on the treadmill and don’t feel like I need to run long on the weekend. This way I can spend a few hours on cleaning.

    Otherwise, I also look at the forecast and try to plan my cleaning for a dreary morning and try to head out later in the day, when the sun comes out.

  74. My daughter, less than an hour ago, asked me what my favorite days of my life were…my answer? Each day I had my children and each day I ran a marathon! Seriously! Okay, I have more faves than that, but we were bike riding, so that was it for the moment. What suffers? When I was preggo, there was a beautiful poem framed in my dr.’s examining room about rocking my babies because “babies don’t keep.” It was preceded with letting housework go because our babies are only babies so long. Anywho, I refer to that saying a lot. I let lots of things go for the sake of running – housework, usually. I mean, come on, can’t I fold laundry later? Isn’t that why we all have more than one pair of EVERYTHING??? I can tell you this: like most of you, everything flows so much better after my run. My patience has been replinished because my candle has been lit! I try to light it early in the day via a run, on the treadmill lately because of the HUMIDITY in SOUTH LOUISIANA!!!!

  75. My “sleep life” which in turn rains on my work life, my family life, my love life, etc. etc. etc. So, as long as everything’s going well and I can get to bed on time for those morning runs, I’m good!

  76. What suffers because I run…everything. But the weird thing is that it suffers when I don’t too for different reasons. It’s been one of those weeks that leave you staring blankly, unable to think because of the mess that surronds you. I’m glad to know there are other people out there slogging through too. Husband, kids, house, meals, time management, work, and sleep.

  77. Housework definitely suffers – either I am really sore and tired if it was a long run, or I’m too entitled to do it because I RAN, PEOPLE. I need to summon that running strength and aim it at the vacuum once in a while, too.

      1. But then I’d be jealous of everyone wearing them. Just like I am jealous of everyone running when I am not. Am I the only person this happens to? Jealous of someone running–even when I already ran that day?

        1. Oh, absoLUTEly. I was just “off” running for a bit before my first half marathon, with a hip injury, and it was like a personal affront to me when I saw others running. I was at the playground with the kids and these two moms ran up with their kids in jogging strollers. I had never seen them before, but felt the need to strike up a conversation with one of them so that I could “explain myself” for not running and let her know that I was the unfortunate victim of hip bursitis. Like she cared!!!!! So yeah, totally jealous of others running when I can’t be — even if it’s on a well-deserved rest day.

  78. my personal “fun” stuff is what suffers. i love to be crafty and scrapbook, but i haven’t scrapped more than a few pages since i started running.
    my family and i have a “family” calendar where we write what we have going on, and i write down my runs. i’m sure to schedule in at least one date night a month w/the hubby, a fun family outing, and then at least every other month, a night for just me. going out with my girlfriends, scrapbooking or out to dinner.
    i’ve also stopped watching tv so that i can get more sleep.
    man, good thing running is worth it!

  79. what suffers the most is my house….it is not as clean as it should be….but I dont care anymore…I would not trade running time for a perfectly clean house. right now I am only doing 5k races and my first 10k coming up so the training time is not as much as most of the gals here who are the real deal!!! but I plan on getting there so what will suffer then will be SLEEP!!!!! but that is ok….:)

  80. What suffers?…The sink full of dishes. I hate doing them, but my husband loves this chore, so I sorta “save” them for him… Also, movie time with the kids. I put on a new DVD for them and go downstairs to the treadmill. Hey, who wants to waste some perfectly good 2 hrs. sitting watching a kid’s movie? The kids are safe, they know where I am, I’m doing my thing and at the end of both the DVD and my running, everyone is happier (mostly). Then hubby gets home from work to do the dishes. Sorry it’s kind of cheating, but it’s certainly cheaper than a sitter πŸ™‚

  81. Its a fine line between running enough to stay sane and putting ridiculous expectations and goals on myself that make me cranky when I don’t or can’t meet them.
    I set lofty goals and then suffer from the guilt of letting myself down and being away from my family so much.
    I am finding that taking my loftiest goal and cutting them in half is just about right! That ultramaraton will have to be a marathon for now!

    Rest days make me cranky! I love to rest and know I need to do it but am not very graceful about it πŸ™‚

  82. Before I add my entry, I want to say thank you to Cathy, who says above that her 10-YO and 14-YO allow her a stress-free running life. I so look forward to that phase of motherhood. You’ve given me hope!

    What suffers from my running? Many of the things mentioned above (housework, sleep), but also my work. Take today. I planned to run at 5:30 a.m. like I usually do on Wednesdays. But when my daughter woke me up at 4:30 a.m., I knew that wouldn’t happen. After getting her back in bed, I slept until 7 a.m. instead. Fast forward five hours. I am at work, where I’m supposed to have only a 30-minute lunch break. But my run is supposed to be a 40-minuter (which is a 50-minuter if you factor in the shower bit). What do you think wins–the rules, or the run? The run, of course! It’s a beautiful, chilly, misty day in Boulder–very rare in summer. No way I was going to skip it. But I feel guilty about the twice-as-long lunch break, and my “lunch” was a microwaveable meal at my desk. I admit that this isn’t first (or the last) time I’ve done this when the wee hours don’t work out for me. Sorry, work! That’s just my life right now.

  83. If I am not running, I think everything suffers. I snap at my kids and my husband. I will be in a funk and refuse to remove my butt from the couch.

    I believe my hubby may suffer the most from my running. As a sahm, I am foaming at the mouth to get out the door early (by myself) on Saturdays for my long run. (For my runs during the week, I am either pushing the kids in the double jogger or they are hanging out around the treadmill.) It never fails, that my 3 yo DD and 8 month DS will wake up when I get up to leave. However, that does not happen when my husband gets up. What is up with that? So now he no longer gets to sleep in on Sat. mornings as I am training for my 2nd half. And then I try to go to bed early so that cuts into our “couple” time. Sorry dear. He doesn’t complain though. I love him for that. He is awesome.

  84. Usually it’s my extended family-I don’t have the time or patience for long family get-togethers on Sundays when I need to get my long run in first and so does my husband! I’d say my kids and husband, but I think they actually benefit in the long run from my being happier and way healthier.

  85. My students suffer when I don’t run. I’m a college prof and sometimes wonder about the wisdom of having a job that requires forming and expressing coherent thoughts while others write down what I’m saying. Especially since I’m dreaming 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep these days. But it all seems to go better when I’ve gotten a run in.

    1. OK – I see now that we were supposed to comment on what suffers because we DO run… not what suffers when we don’t. But this only underscores my need for MORE SLEEP (or more runs!).

      What suffers? Probably my husband’s training. He’d happily go for long rides every Sat and Sun, but gives some time up so that I can get out there too.

  86. My checkbook…I always “need” new tech Ts, running skirts, running socks, hats, shoes, nuun, ponytail holders, bondi bands, songs for my ipod…and on and on and on.

  87. this post was meant for me today. I had a horrible run this morning and it is only week 1 of my marathon training, i have slowly eaten my way through the day. (can you say Key Lime Pie at 11am) and I have a 3 pm appointment with the dermatologist and am realizing that my tan lines are going to give away my poor sunscreen use. If I have a good run it seems like everything comes together perfectly, bad run and everything falls apart in front of me. The kids’ definitely suffer a bit, but it is my chores that take the biggest hit, laundry….putting clothes away etc…and with 4 kids that can’t happen. so anyway, off to my appointment. my husband is coming home to take over for awhile. and hoping for a great few miles tomorrow.
    p.s. i can’t wait to see SBS in Sandwich on Monday night!

  88. What a great post! I am still new at running, it seems what suffers the most is sleep. I have to run first thing in the morning or last thing at night.

    I can tell that the running is worth the trouble!!

  89. My attitude. Although it goes to reason that I would feel better after running, I’m usually grumpier! Because I got up early and because my body is tired and sore. :O( Thanks for a chance to win!

  90. I’d have to say my relationships with non-running friends. I typically train in the mornings, and therefore am in bed pretty early. I have bowed out of nights out with girlfriends or morning cups of coffee in order to get runs in. It can be somewhat isolating (“all work and no play makes Jane a dull girl”) since most of my other “mom” friends don’t share my interest in running, so I try to carve out a time each week to keeps those relationships alive.

  91. Running has actually made our lives more efficient…have to be more organized and feeling better in general! Happy mom=happy home! πŸ˜›

  92. Seven Powerbars? That’s nothing! I happen to know a dog that ate a towel soaked in turkey grease – and survived to the tune of a $3,000 vet bill. πŸ™‚

  93. What suffers? My social life, without a doubt. If we’re invited to a barbecue on a Saturday night after I ran long that morning, there’s very little chance I’ll make it… even with the promise of delicious food on the table. A girl’s night out? Only if it involves flannel jammies, a fluffy pillow and chirping crickets. Even a 7PM showing of the latest blockbuster movie is burning the midnight oil for me.

    Granted, I was never a party animal before I became a runner. But now, all my friends know if they want to hang out with me, it’ll have to be at 6:30 in the morning while wearing running shoes.

  94. My writing suffers most. Professionally, I should be reworking my dissertation into a few articles for publication. Unfortunately the reality is that if I have an hour or two where someone else is watching the baby and my older daughter, I’ll go for a run. The same is true in the evening when both kids are asleep: I’m much more likely to do a short core workout or some lunges than I am to open the file and start typing, even though I could in the same 15-20 minute period.

    Running is far less anxiety-provoking and it gets done more quickly than any professional writing I do these days, not to mention that finishing a race is an achievable short-term goal–something I wish could also be true of submitting to journals in my field. I had the same problem while writing my dissertation, and it’s probably no surprise that when it came down to the wire, I stopped running for a month because writing had to take priority. (It’s also no surprise that I gained 5 lbs that month by snacking on chocolate chip pumpkin mini-muffins every time I took a break from writing!) Running is certainly an escape for me, but all too often I use it to procrastinate.

    Thanks for giving us the opportunity to talk about this. This is probably the push I need to open the file and start writing tonight.

  95. What suffers because I run? “Other” personal time – like time to watch TV or read my accumulating stacks of magazines (why do I bother subscribing??) – and definitely housework. But, in the summer (since I am a teacher) I am able to get up earlier than I would on a typical summer day and get my run in. On those days, I feel like nothing suffers, because that hour would have been slept away had I not run. During the school year, when I get up at 5AM just to get myself and my family ready and out the door (and, hence, do not run in the morning) time is much harder to come by, so I try to evenly distribute the “suffering” all around.
    What suffers when I don’t run? Well, it might be the way my husband asks, “Why don’t you go for a run?” that gives it away. I get moody and irritable and stressed about EVERYTHING. Almost like a dam that is busting at the seams, if there is no other release, it will explode.

  96. My house definitely suffers. It’s messy, cluttered, laundry is often undone or washed and dried but not put away.

    My kids suffer because they want to come with me – I homeschool them so it’s not like they don’t get a lot of time with me – and they don’t understand why mommy needs to run 5 miles or lose her mind.

    My husband does not suffer. He doesn’t ‘get’ running so I have to schedule my long runs around his schedule.

    I suffer because I have to get up before the sun so I can run and be home before he leaves for work.

    In the end, it’s all worth it and I’ll keep on putting one foot in front of the other!

  97. I have to say the to do list suffers from my running. There are always things on it that aren’t top prioroty but when I could tackle them, in the evenings, I often feel too tired and let things slide for a LONG time!

  98. Well, my family suffers when I don’t run – my husband often pushes me out the door (figuratively) for a run when my mood dips too deep below the surface. But it also suffers when I do run, especially long runs, when I can’t hang with them and be part of the family. That’s what’s currently keeping me from thinking about training for a marathon (that and the extra looong run).

  99. Thanks to some recent honest, open communication with the hubby the only thing that seems to suffer from “bad runs” is me and my sleep. I’m training for my first marathon and my tempo runs are on Thursday mornings at 5 am before work. Despite my best efforts to only have a (very) small amt of water and stay at my 90% target heart rate, I still throw up at the end of the tempo part. I have exactly 15 minutes to ice my knee, get some Gatorade, and recover before I have to hit the shower to start my day of breakfast, daycare run, and work. Those days my body just don’t feel quite right, but my mind is proud I pushed it so hard. My hubbie and I had a long chat/fight about the time I spend training on the weekends, so we came up with a compromise. I train Tuesday, Thursday, Friday mornings before work. Saturday mornings are all mine for a long run and post-run ice bath. He’s so supportive that he throwns in extra ice cubes just as I’m starting to actually feel my feet again and makes me scrambled eggs to eat after. If I want to work out on Sunday mornings I do it around 6 before everyone’s up so we can have some family time. It’s not ideal from a sleep standpoint but I guess I’ll catch up on sleep when my daughter’s in college. On my bad mornings I tell myself I can’t believe my life has come to this. On good days I feel proud that I’ve finally figured out the balance. To Emily who posted about postpartum depression: hang in there. I’ve been to that dark, lonely place too and it stinks. Keep doing what you’re doing because the road to recovery starts with taking time to take care of you!

  100. I would love to say my home’s appearance suffers…but I’ve never been really into the immaculate house thing. We considered naming our dog “Hoover” because he would be doing more vacuuming than I would.

    I would say our budget suffers as well. I need new shoes every 2-3 months…and at $100 a pop…that is tough for us. My hubby is a saint…

  101. My darkness… 1. My house, it suffers the most. It calls for me in my sleep (yes- I have been known to dream about my house and isn’t mess. pathetic right?) I am known as ANAL when it comes to cleaning, however, this past year as been, well, pathetic. I get up and go run/workout. I come home, throw my stinky clothes in the laundry closet and take a shower. I lean in to start the water and see the gross shower, think “oh well- no time now” and jump in. I get out to get hair/face/clothes done, see my gross sink/toilet/floor and think “well I can’t get all sweaty doing that now” So I continue with my morning. I go to work, stop for a Tan at my gym. Pick up boths kids and go home. I look at my gross kitchen while I am too busy making dinner and feeding people to do any hard cleaning. I strip kids for bath, look at gross tub again and sigh. I bring the clothes to the basement laundry and look at the nice wood flooring stairs and the dog hair/webs/dust that has accomulated in the corners and keep on walking. Then the hubby comes home, and I read a bit and crash, only to start my day all over again. Now— I have cleaned, I do clean, I may just take a lack of morning run/workout to do that.
    I try to look at it as my “goal in life” to get everything done in one week without losing my “me time”.

    2. The sex life is still there, just not to my hubby’s amount per week. Yes, that says PER WEEK. I am good to go 2 -3 weeks in between, but to keep my hubby happy I must “do” more. So, he is to ALWAYS be ready, because when my body has 15 minutes (give or take) to spare before I crash, that is the only time available.

    3. The kids. I am tired when I get home. So I do whatever I can on the weekends to do things together. Even if it means that I pass out asleep at 815pm. Right after they go to bed. Believe me, I was in first 20 mins of a rented movie and I was OUT COLD. So, that night hubby suffered. LOL!

  102. hmmm…what suffers?

    i “could” join the “nothing suffers” bandwagon because as a juggling kind of mom that is what i imagine about my life of juggling that is raising my circus act of 5 kids, a grandbaby, a husband, 2 dogs and a bitch-kitty, plus my job, my writing, my running.

    nothing suffers i blithely tell everyone and myself. but like it happens sometimes in a juggling act, i drop a ball…or two…or more. my bathrooms begin to look questionable because i neglect them when i madly scurry through the housecleaning because i hate to clean the bathrooms. i forget my #4 daughter’s dermatologist appointment and have to shell out $25 for a missed appointment when i reschedule. or my #1 daughter shows up with my perfect grandbaby thanking me because apparently i agreed to watch the darling, toddler terrorist while she checks out a new townhouse she is thinking of getting. or i realize at 1 AM that the presentation on neonatal development that i agreed to do for my boss is to be on her desk for review in 8 freakin’ hours! it goes on and on.

    life happens and a busy circus life like mine can and does get in the way of my running. thankfully i DO have a circus act that understands when i do drop a juggling ball or two or more and is more than willing to help me pick them up…except for cleaning the bathrooms. apparently they hate cleaning the bathrooms under the Big Top as much as i do.

  103. At this stage in my life, a newish runner at 44, nothing is suffering. I almost feel guilty saying this but here’s the thing: my kids are 10 and 14. WHOLE different game when they can just sleep in and you go on an early run and they are none the wiser. Now, if I were to look back, say 5 to 7 years ago, I can honestly say that might have been a time in my life when I really could’ve used running, but instead, just spent a lot of time stressed out, crabby and yelling.

    Nothing is suffering here today, minus a few minor aches and pains, and everything feels like a gain. Love that. And am surprised by it. I wish I’d known years ago.

    1. Wow, Cathy, this gives me hope! My twins will be 10 in 6.5 years. Looking forward to this phase of motherhood.

  104. My running, especially marathon training, causes my husband’s sex life to suffer. Notice I didn’t say mine? Not because I’m getting an entirely different kind of running high than you are but because I’m too pooped to get busy at night and too pooped to care. What’s more is he totally digs my running body and more often than not is only allowed to look/snuggle with it since I’m all zzzz’s by 8:30!

  105. I got back from my run this morning, my husband flew out the door to work, passing me the baton. As soon as the door closed, my 3 year old’s full bowl of cereal flew across the room, covering every surface with shreddies, yogurt and milk. As I was cleaning this up on my hands and knees, he crouched down on the dining room carpet and peed. Again, I sopped up the urine, and stripped him down while pouring milk on bowl #2 of cereal. Looked over at my 2 year old as he was smearing his minibel cheese ball into the wicker toy box lid. What suffers? All the little things like remembering that my 3 year old is potty training, giving him the perfect milk/yogurt ratio with his cereal, keeping smushy things out of my 2 year old’s hands. But because I have run, it is all NO BIG DEAL.

  106. My house and putting a good dinner on the table definitely suffers. We don’t have kids yet (wedding is in two months…. eek!) and I commute an hour to and from work. I leave the house by 7:00 a.m., get back at 6:00 pm, change into my running duds and the boy and I head out. By the time we get back, we’re both tired (but happy), but its hard to go into the kitchen and make a nice meal. By the time we do cook, eat, and watch the latest How I Met Your Mother (which I highly recommend!) on Netflix, there is little energy to deal with the house. I admire all you women who do this with the rugrats running around! And I hope by paying attention to you all NOW, I’ll be slightly better prepared (maybe?) when my time comes!

  107. Suffers? It’s all a matter of perspective!

    If I do run, the house stays cluttered, the laundry in piles, and my husband is alone in the evenings while I fall asleep quickly on the couch!

    If I don’t run, I snap at everything that moves and complain about how unfair. life. is. under my breath while throwing dishes in the dishwasher.

    The house looks nicer when I don’t run, but I think my family prefers it when I do!

  108. I could have written every word you typed. Mostly, running makes me a better everything (except housecleaner). I’d have to say my husband (read: our sex life) probably suffers the most. But he never ever complains. I love that he’s proud of me! He supports every step I take, and I love him all the more for it.

    And my mutant foot – that suffers too. I wish there was a secret solution for running with a giant ugly bunion of death – so ugly that my husband refers to it as my “6th toe.” *sigh*

    1. 6th toe: too funny, bobbi. not really funny, I realize, but funny, especially to me, who tried a bunionectomy that failed miserably….

  109. What a great, honest post! I feel like I could have written those same words. My house definitely suffers. Dirty laundry piles up higher and higher, clean clothes stay in the hamper for days just waiting to be put away, toilets go unclean (which with a 3 and 5 yr. old in the house is pretty gross-hello-they don’t have the best aim), crumbs from my sons’ snacks go unswept, and things are just an organizational mess.

    Also, time with my kids and husband suffers, especially on the weekends when I do my long runs. But, as much as I would love to spend that time with them, I think it’s good for my boys to have quality time with just my husband too (which they don’t get during the week). And, of course, “romantic” time with my husband suffers b/c there are days when I am just too tired to do anything except crawl under that covers and go to sleep.

    I do have to say though, that my running makes me a much better mom and wife. When I run, I am not as stressed, have more patience, and just feel better all around. So, yes, some things do suffer because of my running, but I think there would be much worse suffering if I didn’t run!

  110. What suffers when I run a lot? My drinking habit – I mean, Getting up at 5:00 in the morning is not fun after sharing a bottle of wine with the sweetie. I am just not perky during my long run after several margarita’s the night before. I am joking, maybe… My husband and my sleep suffer. If I want to have some “adult” time with my husband after the chicklet goes to bed, I have to forgo my 8 hours of sleep. If I go to bed when I prefer, my husband is left reading the newspaper for a couple hours before his bed time. And so much for snuggling up and sleeping in on the weekend!

    1. Such an honest response! I have to say, my drinking suffers too.
      I try to see it as a good thing. Moderating is healthier, right?! Yeah, let’s go with that.

  111. I would have to say my hubby . . . Oh, I feel bad for him. He picks up the slack around the house when I am out for long runs on the weekends, he takes care of the kids if they wake up early while I am out for a run or working out during the week, and he listens to me stress over running when I have injuries (which is all the time now!). I think that he takes a lot of junk so I can run. Overall I am happier and have more energy, but there are days when I wonder if he wiches I would go back to the non running days so he does not have to hear about what race I want to run, new running shoes I want to buy, or me complaining about my injury of the day.

  112. What Suffers?… Because I get up so early in the morning to run and I wouldn’t get up that early if I wasn’t running, I am so so so tired by 3pm. I become Oscar the Grouch and pretty much can’t do anything. So the kids suffer, the house suffers, and the hubby if he happens to come home early. I do try to take a nap once in awhile if I can. A little hard with kids, but they are getting a little older now and can plop in front of the T.V. for an hour. One thing that I find helps is that I take a few days off of running early am and on those days I run alittle latter if I can and that energizes me.
    Iwould never never give it up, because I know I actually am better if I run and love it to much to even think of giving it up!!!!

  113. Work…work definitely suffers. I am a high school teacher and when I am in training mode I don’t let silly things like grading tests get in the way of my mileage. I even asked my principal if I could have last period prepatory period so I could go for a run instead of make lesson plans. So far I have not gotten fired.

  114. hmmm…nothing suffers exactly cause I run. Maybe my feet cause I desperately need new running shoes and the hubby doesn’t seem to agree…

    But for me I would say it is the reverse! Nothing suffers because I run, but I can find ANY excuse in the book of why it ‘might’ suffer if I run so I don’t actually have to run! The laundry ‘might’ suffer if I don’t get the load in now. The dishes ‘might’ suffer if they don’t make it to the dishwasher. The kids ‘might’ kill each other while I am on the treadmill. I might suffer a heart attack on the next street over without one of those ID bracelet things. This might. That might. Better to just avoid getting on the treadmill right?



  115. Dimity, I loved this post. It captures perfectly the things I haven’t dared to acknowledge about my behavior.

    I know what suffers because of my running: any person near me. Why is it that I feel such a sense of achievement when I run longer than ever (for me, this week, it was 16 miles)? It benefits no one but me. But I feel addicted to trying to run for longer and longer distances. It’s time consuming (especially since I’m slow) and selfish, and leaves me useless for the remainder of the day. Now we can say, yes, but if Mother is happy, everyone benefits. But this long, long distance running makes me happy in a twisted, internal, antisocial way, at least in the short term.

    I do not know why my husband puts up with this. I know I’d not happily reciprocate. He notices that I am happier when I run, but a 7 mile run leaves me happy and energized. Anything much over 8 leaves me satisfied but useless.

    1. Hey Katy: I think we have similar physical temperments. I’m not really a LD runner, but yet NYC Marathon beckons for some unknown reason. The selfishness of endurance sports is something that doesn’t come up much–it’s all about praise and achievement, which it is most of the time, but still…

  116. Probably my husband. But, he will admit that I am generally a better person when I run, so he will accept the additional responsibility from time to time that my running demands of him.

  117. Wow, are you talking about your kids or mine there? Too funny! I am guilty of everything you say. My husband works hard, and I don’t have a job outside the home. I feel most bad about the fact I nearly never make dinner, and the house is usually a disaster. In running’s defense, I can’t be sure it would be any different if I didn’t run. In fact it could be worse!

  118. My marriage is what suffers most during my running funks. When my run life is bad, my love life is bad. Definitely not something I’m proud of. My husband is kind and helpful and a fantastic parent. But during my dry spells I have a really hard time appreciating or even noticing any of it. I don’t have any solutions. Mostly I just wait for it to pass while devoting my efforts to damage control (read: not saying too many things I know I’ll regret even if I really do mean them).

    1. Dillon: thanks for being honest. I’m not proud either of the way I make my husband by battering ram…sometimes that line, you hurt the people you love the most because you can runs through my mind. Kids are the same way: they hold it together at a friend’s house, then come home and are all tantrums and pains. I guess that’s one way of knowing we’re loved–and that we love.

  119. I suppose what suffers most is anyone near me in the late afternoon/evenings. On those days when I am too tired, but run anyway, I am just done by 3-4pm. If my husband is late, I am grouchy. Once he gets home, I usually just quit – sneak off to some hole to hide for a bit while he suddenly inherits the job of dinner and the kids for the rest of the night.

    My solution? Hmm, one thing that works sometimes is letting up on my run- I still go, but listening to my body. If it is really tired and I “hear” it, I will sometimes stop on my run and just walk. Just relaxing helps me get through the day a bit better – though I still head to bed early!

    1. Oh, that 4-5 p.m. witching hour, Julie. I think it hits every household, running or not. Good for you to let up and hit the hay early. I think I need a hole in my house. πŸ™‚

  120. I do my best work, of any kind, early in the morning. That includes running! So, far too many aspects of my life goes on the back burner because I prefer running in the early AM. Housekeeping, food prep, kid time, all of it goes out the window to get my run in. In general, I’ve learned to let it all go until my rest day (day off from running) then I do all my catch up then. It seems to work out pretty well that way πŸ™‚

  121. What suffers from my running? Well if you set foot through my front door, you would know the answer immediately! Yeah, it’s the house!! I don’t know, cleaning just seems like such a waste of time when there’s running (and cycling! and strength training!) to do…so sadly, between work schedules, my son’s therapy schedule, and my training and DH’s hobbies, the cleaning is one of the first things to fall off of our to-do list. Mind you, we do manage to scrub the toilets and take out the trash, so it’s not FILTHY or anything…just SUPER cluttered. And having an active three-year-old boy definitely contributes to the “wow, it looks like a tornado just hit our living room” effect!

    1. Hey Christina–I have a 4-year-old tornado. And I gotta say, I feel relieved and glad when I see somebody else’s house that has plastic crap everywhere and dishes in the sink and all that. Something about validating the life that I lead.

      1. A smart woman told me that cleaning up with children in the house is like brushing your teeth between bites of an Oreo cookie! : ) I have a 4 yr. old who is pretty tidy for 4, and a 6 yr. old pack rat.

        1. So nice to know that I’m not the only one with a messy house and I really can’t blame it on my running : (

  122. God, I love your site. Really and truly. It is so nice to come here on a Wed morning, feeling somewhat cranky and discombobulated, and realize that I’m not the only one raising my voice at my kids and husband sometimes. It’s true what you said: Most of the time, I get back from a run and have infinite patience (or at least patience that wasn’t there before) and renewed energy to tackle cleaning or that game with the kids where they want me to pretend they are dogs (which–seriously???!!!). But there are times (much rarer than the happy, endorphin-filled times) when the demands I put upon myself: to have the house clean, to work my day job plus freelance at night plus try to pick up extra hours to make extra money, to spend quality time with my kids, and to keep up with the demands of marathon training (in my third week, and it’s going well so far!) start to make me feel completely overwhelmed. And then my patience starts to slip, and I’m griping at my husband about the fact that his dad (who is our nanny) did the girls’ laundry but didn’t bring the stuff that was in the dryer upstairs, thereby forcing me to rewash potentially clean clothes because I can’t tell what’s clean or dirty. And I’m snapping at the kids about fighting or about making a giant mess in their rooms or about not bringing down socks or putting on shoes when I’ve already asked them 15 times. You know, the usual. πŸ˜‰

    But really, I think they suffer more when I’m *not* running. And life would probably be a lot easier if I wasn’t so hell bent on perfection (or the closest approximation to it that I can get). In the end, it may not be the running at all but my type A personality. Which is probably also the very thing that drove me to decide to train for a marathon while working two jobs and trying to be a mom and all the rest of it. But the truth is: Training for a marathon sort of makes me feel like a bad ass. I can’t think of anything else that would do that for me, so I’ll take the crazy as it comes. πŸ™‚

    1. Natalie: congrats on getting to week 3! What marathon are you doing? You are a bad ass. I can just tell. Keep up the good work–and don’t worry about washing clean clothes a couple of times!

      1. Thanks, Dimity! The training feels good so far, but I haven’t gotten to the really hard part yet. (I’ve done three half-marathons, so I’m really afraid of those weeks when the mileage starts to go beyond what I’m used to!!) I am running the Chicago Marathon in October. I was actually signed up to run it last year, but we ended up putting our condo on the market in May and moving in July. There was also a bunch of house rehab and a few weeks of living with my in-laws in there. I tried to train through all that, but needless to say, it did NOT happen. Talk about crazy town. πŸ˜‰

  123. What suffers? My house (from a clutter standpoint, not cleanliness) but mostly my hubby and my time with him. He’s been so supportive of my new running pursuits – trying to manage things in the mornings, etc. We don’t spend as much time together in the evenings as we once did cause once the kids are in bed, laundry and etc. are done I’m toast! I’m not sure he knows how much I appreciate his support and encouragement — gotta work on that!

  124. Everything suffers just a little bit–except sleep, nothing gets in the way of that. But as a food blogger who loves to cook (and finds cooking to be a stress-reliever) I find that I have less time or mojo for cooking and blogging about it. All creativity goes out the window so my family finds that they are getting more repeat meals. Out goes the grilled rosemary and maple peppercorn chicken–its all about what salad can I throw together in 5 minutes because I just finished running for an hour. I suspect that when the weather gets cold again and the race season dies down (here in upstate NY) that my life will once again have more space for languorous cooking and enjoying of delicious meals. It just may be that this is the best rhythm for cooking and running–especially during these hot days–quick and light dinners and hopes that the family doesn’t get too bored with it.

  125. It’s all a balancing act for me. I really don’t feel like the important things ever suffer. Everyone is always fed. I never allow the house to descend into total anarchy (cleanliness-wise). My (office and freelance) work always gets done. Probably the two things that suffer most are my personal “free time” and my husband, and probably slightly more my husband. Gosh that feels terrible to admit, but I think it’s probably true, at least on a day-to-day basis. We do make good efforts to have a date night at least once a month and I think that really helps both of us.

    1. Date nights are key, Jesser, even if “date” means pizza and zoning out on the couch to a bad movie. Time together. You’ve got a great point: the important stuff gets done. The details can sometimes go overlooked.

  126. My friendships. I get up early to run so I am in bed early to compensate. (Or when I am not I take the hit and then my family does – a true domino effect.) But because of that, I try to get to bed earlier, I don’t do much in the evenings and that takes a toll on hanging out and being available in the evenings to my girlfriends. I am hoping when I get out of the younger kids era it may balance out more…

    1. That’s a great answer, Misha–so true. Maybe that’s why running people become such fast friends? We all respect the 8:30 p.m bedtime. πŸ™‚

  127. I am not sure that there has been a downside to my running (yet). I’ve had a few bad runs and then it’s mostly just bad moods where I lash out – but no more than had I not gone running at all. And what is that compared to me feeling fat in everything I own every Sunday before I started running to thinking I look good in (just about) everything I own now (unless they’re too big)?

  128. Right now it’s my schoolwork sometimes. My 2 year old goes to daycare for me to work on my PhD dissertation… but I’m *really* not a morning person, and often don’t get my run in before he gets up like I plan, so end up going running while he’s at daycare – which means I miss out on work time. It’s actually supposed to be hot here for the next week, so I’m hoping the need to avoid running in the hot/humid afternoon will motivate me to get up early!

  129. What suffers? I do. big time. Running allows my thoughts to flow until they flow clear. It’s what has started to get me through postpartum depression (now isn’t PPD a bugger?) . And mentally i suffer if i don’t run and feel like i accomplished SOMETHING! But i also feel physically cruddy without a good (or bad) run, like my muscles are waiting and never satiated. Sort of like when you have to sneeze and it magically disappears! and you’re left feeling really stuffy. So i chug the water, and brave the heat, sunshine, rain, etc. because my body, mind & soul don’t get to take a “heat” day, and for me its started be be about being kind to myself. i’m slowly getting it!

    1. Hi Emily—PPD *is* a bugger. So sorry to hear it’s occupying your bod. You’re on track: move, take care of yourself, be kind to yourself. Love the line about muscles never being satiated. Perfect word. Feel free to reach out anytime to RLAM’ers via our FB page….I’m sure you’d be in good company (a good thing for a bad condition). xo.

  130. It seems like sleep is what suffers the most… My husband just doesn’t “get” running (he still considers it a punishment for every other sport and has never had the thrill of a runner’s high) and so the only time I can go is early-early, before he is up, before the kids are up, and I have to be back by 6:30 am in order to keep the household humming along. The running (or waddle-walking right now; 3rd baby due in a few weeks!) makes me a much more sane person throughout the morning and sometimes even afternoon, but I am completely exhausted by dinnertime and can’t keep my eyes open long enough to pick up the house or wait for my husband to come home from work/softball/entertaining clients in the evenings. I plan to sleep well again when the kids are in college.

    1. congrats on #3, Micheala. I hear you on exhaustion around 5:30. I keep wondering why my kids won’t believe 6:30 is a perfectly fine bedtime. πŸ™‚

  131. I hate to admit it, but probably my husband the most. Being a sahm, he’s the one I lash out on when my non-running mood swings hit. I’m always sure to apologize and make it right though when I’m back in my endorphin filled runner mode.

  132. Nothing suffers because I am too Type A and perfectionist so I end up burning the candle at both ends to get everything done. Wait a minute, I guess what suffers for me is sleep time!

  133. The problem is that I have all these things that are so important to me, like running, or being a mom and I won’t give on any one of them. So we get a lot done- my kids have a lot of sort of unscheduled fun, because I insist we make it to the pool, etc. But because nothing suffers, I just get grouchy and find myself saying ridiculous things to the kids or my husband.

  134. What suffers? Well, my house is not one that would be pictured in Good Housekeeping (unless they are doing a story on messy homes!). It is not dirty but I do not stress about every little thing in its place all the time. My kids bedrooms…well…they are kids bedrooms. It is their space and they are old enough to know how they like said bedroom.

    There are days when everything suffers. Days when the training run has been long and I do not want to do anything other than sit and grow roots into a chair.

    Sometimes my finances suffer when I HAVE to register for a race, buy new shoes and some new running appearal all on the same day in the same hour!

    Sometimes it is Mom who suffers….when I return from a run to everyone fighting, no chores done, the house a wreck, and my husband not too happy.

    It is all worth it, though, for what I gain out on the road….I would gladly suffer…sometimes!

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