Sunday, February 17, 2013

You might have an endurance running problem, Gretchen.

It's President's Day weekend and, as for the past three years, my husband is in New York City with his middle school choir for their annual trip.  We were supposed to go along with him this year, but Jack got sick so we are home. I crammed most of my miles into M-F so that we could go away this weekend, and I had 71 accumulated by yesterday at 11 a.m.  I don't need to run today.  And between church and a birthday party, there was no way I could make it to the gym while the childcare was open, and it is way too cold for the baby jogger... so I really can't run today. But yet... I want to.

Gretchen, you have a running problem.  Really.  You do.

I know a lot of people who have running addictions, or triathlon addictions, but most of them don't have two kids and a full time job.  Most of them are single, or DINKs (Double-Income-No-Kids.)  So what is my deal?  I have been a "runner" since 2005 or so, when I discovered that it cured my winter blues, gave me an outlet for all my stress at work, had this great side effect of eliminating excess body fat, and made me a generally happier person.  I made some of my best friends out on the roads and trails.  I wasn't fast.  But I ran consistently and completed 7 marathons before Jack was born.

And then, after Jack's birth, I discovered how to train properly, and I started to get faster.  Not elite.  But I discovered I had some potential.  And thus, the addiction was born.  I'm 34.  These are going to be my running years.  This is when I'm going to see my best race times.

You know you might have an endurance running problem if:

-  You choose your daughter's ballet classes based on it's proximity to jogging stroller friendly terrain and think "Okay, 45 minutes will give me 4-5 miles depending on if I have my son with me or not.  That means I only have to run 9 miles in the morning, so I can sleep in until 5:15."

- You take off work to be home with your miserably sick 20 month old son, and rather than having him nap in the crib and using that time to, say, do laundry, you stick in him the jogging stroller and run for three hours straight.  (In my defense, he wanted to be outside.  It was 60 degrees.  He loves sunshine.  He was not having it in the crib.  And he slept the entire three hours.)

- Speaking of laundry, you haven't put it away for two weeks because you go to bed at the same time as your kids instead of getting some peaceful housework done after 9 p.m., possibly because you got up at 4:45am to run 15 miles before work on Tuesday.

-Speaking of clothes, you might own more race shirts than work shirts. A lot more.

-  You use doggy potty breaks and grocery store excursions as an excuse to get in 3-4 miles in the evenings because "The dogs need to pee!" and "We need granola bars!"

- You are in the fourth week of five at peak mileage, training for a marathon, and tell people "I don't think I'm going to do a fall marathon - this is too much training."  And then you start contemplating a fall Ironman instead.

- And then the next day you sign up for a 50 mile trail ultra.

My name is Gretchen, and I am a Runaholic.


  1. As long as all of that isn't interfering with your marriage, work, or quality time with children, it sounds all good to me! :) Like you said on DM, being addicted to running is certainly one of the better things to be addicted to!

  2. This is a great post with great content, Tnx for sharing.

  3. Loved this post! If you find something that makes you happy go for it. I have a busy life too and have to "Fit it it" around being a single parent and a full time job (with 2 hour daily commute). Whatever works. When it doesn't work anymore, then we'll stop.