Wednesday, March 8, 2017

fitting what in?

Hello both readers of this blog,

This is some kind of a record. Two months without a single post?

My regular training log is over at Salty Running, but I'm thinking about racing the New Bedford half on March 19 (yes, kind of an impulse half) as part of the Community Running team for the USATF-NE club competition. We're struggling to field a women's open team - I said I'd race iff (if and only if) we could field one, otherwise it's 5 hours of travel + race time for...for what?

So I'm one of the only women with children under school age who makes it to track group regularly, and I'm beginning to understand why. (The men with children under school age don't seem to have this problem...hmm.) The question is what's worth it? What is it worth to me?

Hauling myself an hour or two out to a race, waiting around at the start line, noodling around the finish - it all takes up so much time. I'm just an ordinary woman with an ordinary life. If I were a professional athlete, sure. That'd be my job. If I were gunning to qualify for the Olympic Trials. Or run a sub-3 marathon. Or qualify for Boston, or whatever. If some external prize like that were motivating me, maybe it'd provide the little extra impetus to keep going, to keep training and racing. But no - all my motivation has to come from within right now, and I'm just an ordinary runner struggling to fit it all in to an ordinary life, and my well of motivation is just sapped.

If you have family or other commitments and continue to race - or if you stopped - talk to me. Why? 

Update: we scraped together a women's team (...3 people...) and I'm in for New Bedford!


  1. "The men with children under school age don't seem to have this problem."

    Maybe it's the fact that it's International Women's Day today, but you're onto something here! Today I'm working from home and taking care of a sick child -- will a workout happen????

    But seriously, kudos to you for keeping it up. I think I need to work on balance more and recommit to running, which I do miss. Okay, not marathon running, but I do miss being able to crank out 6, 10 milers. I'm trying to take better care of myself so I have more energy and eventually... get back out there a bit more.

    1. Heh, thanks. I have very little motivation to do anything *besides* run, so I have to keep reminding myself that I should do all the extra stuff to keep myself running healthy longer. If I haven't done a workout by 7pm, it's pretty much not happening that day, either.

  2. My two cents: a personal cent and an observational one. Firstly, I for all intents and purposes stopped regular exercise after having children and am only getting my groove back now (age 4 and 6). This was to do with sleep deprivation, sick children, lack of help combined with a partner with long hours. For a while I ran home from work, which was lovely but also required lots of planning (I left my clothes at the office, and carrying a laptop would have been impossible). The major thing though was that I prioritized spending time with my children over exercise. (No judgement, just a fact.)

    However, I know loads of women who have kept up sports and exercise after having (a) child(ren). All of them are in a team (volleyball, field hockey, football). I quit my team after I got pregnant. Partly because pregnancy and exercise didn't work together in my case, partly because I didn't enjoy my team anymore. The second reason is why I never started back.

    TL;DNR: having a baby means less time. If your social life and your exercise routine overlap, you most probably will keep going. If it's an added drain on your time, it will likely disappear.

    Sweeping statement: men, in my experience, need less of an in-depth social life, and thus gravitate to the sports life.

    1. I think you are definitely on to something - for me, if it fits into my social life, I'm happy to do it. It's all about the multi-tasking.