Sunday, December 12, 2010

Running and guilt

It occurred to me today (when I was in a much darker state of mind than I am now), that so much of running goes hand in hand with feelings of guilt. Of course, for some of us, much of our lives are guilt-ridden (running-related or not). Perhaps if one has a tendency to take on guilt, it is much easier to transfer that to running as well....

First there is the guilt that is a direct part of the actual running. Guilt for not running enough miles, not going fast enough, not doing speedwork, not doing hill repeats, whatever the transgression may be. Sleeping in instead of getting out at 6 a.m. Running three or four days a week instead of five or six.

Then there is the guilt over what running takes away from other obligations. Going for a run instead of getting to work early, or working late. Running taking time that could be spent cleaning house, or gardening, or doing laundry. Running stealing time away from friends and family. Running interfering with your mother's expectation that you will spend most of the day cleaning your house and decorating for Christmas. (Guess what inspired today's "guilt" post?)

There is also the (possible) misuse of running to atone for other types of guilt. Mostly food guilt. You know what I'm talking about.

Luckily, most of us are able to balance the guilt and obligations fairly successfully. So you're always almost late to work? Well, you show up, don't you? Maybe your house is messy...but at least you don't have to look at it while you're out running. Friends and family complaining you ditched them for a run or a race? They'll get over it.

And as for the Christmas decorating...well, the tree is up! (Cell phone pic, kind of blurry....) My compromise for this year is using a table-top faux tree to save on the expense and effort of a big tree. I think this is very pretty, and I love having it on the tea table.

Oh yeah, eight miles today, around noon, after sleeping in and eating a big bowl of oatmeal with maple syrup and putting my mother off to 1:30. Smiley


lindsay said...

i should do that with my tree! it's a 4-footer... looks pretty sad on the floor, lol.

Alma said...

Sweet tree! We have a little one on a table, too, so the little guy doesn't get to it. It really does make it more manageable though :) I love coming home to the lights.

Sally HP said...

Love it!

Laura said...

Ha - I just wrote a post on guilt as a motivator to eat healthy and work out more :)