Training for a marathon is a huge time commitment. I run five days a week. Two of those runs are just normal, short (five miles) jogs, but three of those training days are intense. One hill/speed training day, one speed day and one distance day. The length of the distance gets longer and longer each week and currently stands at 10.
But it is not just the running that takes time. There is also stretching and ice baths and resting (something that is very hard to do with an infant and toddler). Someone in training for such an intense event should be getting nine hours of sleep a night. I average seven on a good night.
Now, granted, some of that is my fault. Both my children (more or less) sleep through the night, although not every night. And they are both good nappers. But the whole “sleep when your kids sleep” is lost on someone who also needs to write, run and maintain a semblance of a relationship with my spouse. It is hard to motivate to go to sleep when I know I am just going to have to wake up and feed, change, bathe, soothe and play with the kids all over again. There just do not seem to be enough hours in the day for the run and all the things that go with it, including stretching, icing, shower and post-run rest.
I often take my children with me on training runs. Ever try pushing 63 pounds of children and gear in a cumbersome jogger over a 7-mile course? It is especially fun when half my cargo is screaming, “MOMMY LET ME OUT. STOP YOUR RUNNING!” I am looking at my training watch and dodging people’s judgmental stares while my daughter is gazing longingly at every park we pass along the way and my son is scrunching ever-lower in his seat, eventually starting to look like one of those Super Mario mushrooms from my childhood.
This is not the normal way to train. But my options are limited.
Case in point: last night I came home from a simple four-miler, just me and just me. I was feeling pretty giddy about the time alone and opted to do my stretching inside. Big mistake. Consider the scene I encountered upon my return: hubby was on the floor, roll of paper towels in hands, scrubbing streams of baby poop off the legs of the high chair, floor and walls.
“You might have mentioned that you gave him prunes for lunch,” Rob said before tossing a second roll of towels at me and starting to dry heave. “Stretch time” had become bath time, which led into more clean-up time, which led into bedtime.
And my legs? They will just have to deal.