Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What to do?

This is the first time where I've really had a conflict balancing running, work, and family. I recently took on a new position (more hours but not more $) at work that will most likely prevent me from running during luch time. I decided the best way for me to make sure I keep running is to leave my house around 5:30, get to my office around 6:30, run (either outside or on the treadmill) until 8:00, shower and be at my desk by 8:30. Before I took this job, I made sure my daughter was up and fed before I left the house around 7:00. Now, I will not be able to see her in the morning. She was very upset when I told her I wouldn't be with her in the morning. It broke my heart. My wife supports this idea knowing that she will be taking on additional responsibilities in the morning. She also knows how much running means to me and doesn't want to see me give it up. Ain't she great?

Anyway, if anyone out there is dealing with similar issues I'd be interested in reading about how you deal with it.


Anonymous said...

Hey. I don't have kids, so I don't have to deal with that added responsibility, but it's definitely tough when I'm in the thick of marathon training. Husband feels quite neglected, even though he does his best to understand how important my training is to me. The only solution I've come up with is to make promises about all the fabulous things we'll do together AFTER the big event. Also, less important things get scuttled, they just don't get done, and I'm okay with that.

One Track Runner said...

This is a tough one Ari;
What are your normal working hours with the new tasks you have taken on?

Since you have a fitness center in the building, it is certainly easier than if you didn't have it.

What about running on the TM after work? How late would you get home?
Maybe your daughter would sacrifice some of her evening time with you for the time in the morning.

Anonymous said...

Tough question, very tough. I struggle a lot with the issue, and that is mainly why I always find it hard to run more than 3 times per week between work, home life, other activities after work, etc.

Lately my 7 year old has been complaining about when I go out to run in the evenings and on weekends. Don't know how old your kid is, but I will say that little kids like to complain for the sake of complaining, but actually get along just fine when whatever they are complaining about actually happens. They can be good at the guilt trips and even better when the parents give in!

I agree that when I do go out, the burden is on my wife to deal with everything, which is sometimes a problem. My older girl is 12 and couldn't care less if I'm around :)

I don't have the option to run at work, but have the advantage of living in NYC when I can run at virtually any time. My solution is to go on runs late at night, once things start to wind down for the night. Last night I went out after 10pm. I know this won't work for everyone, particularly people like you who live in suburbia.

There simply is not enough time in the day to do everything we want to do. Maybe you need to cut out some of your weekday runs in the wintertime and make it up in the summer when you can run at home in the early morning or evening, or, maybe you can work in a couple of runs in Manhattan after work - in the wintertime, to get home quicker, you can probably wait to shower until after you get home, or pick 1 day a week where you work really late so you can get the lunchtime run in on other days.

Good luck!

HS Matt said...

I have a 3 year old and 6 year old and am always trying to balance. I am found that the investment I made years ago in my own treadmill had paid off handsomely. I'm not sure if this is feasible for you but having my own treadmill has allowed me to do many a late-night run after I put the kids to bed. It is an adjustment but is works quite well.

(FYI-I linked through Pigtails flying blog)

Ashland Dave said...


That's a tough issue to manage. I feel very selfish at time when I'm training. And then I ask my family to get around a [marathon] course to support me! It's a wonder my wife is still around at times.

Allan at the Running with the Pack podcast has talked about late night running. It seems to work for him but that's a different mindset altogether, especially with kids. When I put my 7 year old down at night, it's hard to think about working out.

I wish you the best with the change in your training schedule.

[Ashland] Dave

Anonymous said...

Ansky, one of my running buddies emailed me this advice. He has two kids and an hour long commute to work each way.

"As you know, how I manage is to get less sleep than I'd like, but generally enough sleep to function. The only thing I can suggest is starting out as early as possible in the morning and to be as flexible with regards to scheduling the running as possible."

Anonymous said...

Hey Ari. I know you don't like the treadmill, but is it possible to get one for your home and use it from 5:30 to 6:30 so you can shower and see your daughter off to school before heading to work? You can probably pick up a used one on Craig's List. I have an elliptical at home and it lowers the barrier for getting a workout in and I personally believe that it is healthy for children to see their parents being active.

What about running longer, but on fewer days so you can spend additional mornings with her?