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
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 random.org) 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. Once 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.