Missing a Run

Being a busy wife and mom means that running takes a backseat to the husband and kids a LOT. For all of you running moms out there, you know what I mean. You plan when you run so meticulously–your nutrition schedule, your bathroom schedule, your wardrobe selection, your childcare…and then it happens. Life. A kid gets sick, plans suddenly change, husband needs you to run an emergency errand for him, work needs to be dealt with. And so, I put my scheduled run on hold to deal with life. Not grudgingly, though. I love my family, and I will always put them ahead of a run. But sometimes–momma needs her run.

My husband learned very quickly into my running (I’ve only been a runner for 10 years–since the birth of our first daughter) that if he wanted the “happy wife, happy life” mantra to stick, he needed to allow me time to run. In fact, he knows me so well by now, that he tells me to go for a run because he can see and hear and feel the tension in my being. So I run. I come home and life is better. Momma is happy again.

This weekend was especially tough. I’m starting a new training program, and I was hoping to run 12 miles on Saturday. The weather was rainy and cold and the Christmas tree HAD to be decorated, so I canceled my run. Then Sunday came with its perfect weather and free afternoon, and I thought I had my window of opportunity. But life happens. So no run for me. No afternoon candlelit hot yoga. No power nap, even.

So I start my week with a little more tension, a little more stress, a little less happy. To be honest, I’m jealous of all those non-married or non-children ladies out there who can just run whenever. It truly makes me feel conflicted. I love helping my family, but sometimes I want to escape the responsibility and go for a long run. That probably makes me sound like a horrible wife and mom. It’s why I’m so impressed when moms complete races.

Moms can’t always stick to a scheduled training regime. We can’t always get the nutrition just right. Sometimes we are literally running on goldfish crackers rather than protein shakes. And yet running moms compete in races with everyone else at the same level with the same expectations. We don’t get extra points for getting up at 4 am to run before the husband has to leave for work. We don’t get extra points for running during a kid’s naptime. We don’t get extra points because we can only run 2 days a week rather than 5 for optimum training. In fact, sometimes our runs are during a baseball practice or dance class. Maybe I’m just whining now.

And yet, as always, I don’t complain about missing my run. I gladly worked for 6 hours today to help our family business–it’s more important than my run. I will always compete, but my expectations are at my level. I might have missed a nice long run, but I’ll make it up. I might only be able to run 3 times this week, but I will also watch my daughter at her assembly; help my husband at work; run my kids to their activities; and watch my daughter play basketball. When you live in the middle, life happens. Then you run.

Wishing you a happy run this week,


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