Tuesday, February 15, 2011

In the spirit of Valentine's Day...

Have you read this article? I'm sure you have, it was featured in several blogs when it came out in early February. It's the one about the banker who has basically abandoned his family to devote himself to Ironman training. Okay, that's a little unfair. But really, he comes off as a major jackass.

Other than Mr. IM-Banker, the article is about the effect of endurance training on the rest of one's family. The demands and compromises needed, especially if one partner is a non-athlete. (I suspect if the athlete is the wife/mom, there are a lot more compromises and balancing acts on her part than when the husband/dad is the one spending hours running and such.) I do think that any runner (or other endurance athlete) who reads the article must at least wonder if it it applies to him or her.

Since I am not married and have no children, a lot of these issues don't apply. Most of the time (during the week, anyway) I am free to devote whatever time I want to running and working out. Frankly, the person I most steal time from is myself. This is not a minor thing, though. I am truly aware that in order to spend as much time as I want running (and pursuing other fitness objectives) I...
  • devote a little less time and energy to my job than I could
  • neglect my housework shamefully
  • haven't had a beautiful garden for years
  • get less sleep than I need due to getting up extra early in the morning.
It's also pretty much understood between Rod and me that on most weekends one day is going to be designated to my long run. I try to schedule this to be least inconvenient to him as possible. There are also several weekends throughout the year that are fully booked due to out-of-town races. Occasionally they are ones that he comes with me to, but most of the time he does other stuff.

Luckily, he knows that running makes me happy (and he has interests that make him happy that I tolerate but have no interest in sharing, like motorbikes). He also knows that I am way more willing to eat pizza or a hamburger on a long run day, so he benefits that way. And he has a genuine interest in my running accomplishments, at least to the extent that he would really, really like to see me run a sub-23-minute 5K. He's still waiting for that one....

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