05 December 2013

My Running Future Looks Bleak

I am still very much considering running the trio of half-marathons next year. I think that the only way to do something big with the running is to commit to something big. However, I still cannot fathom how I will train for it. I mean I know how to train, there are no less than 2.56 million guides available, but I have no idea how to actually get the runs done. I resolved to marking double digit mileage ever week in December as a kind of litmus test for the possibility of completing a training plan. So far it is Thursday and I have run 3 miles. I also have not showered or slept more than 2 consecutive hours in almost 48 hours, so the running may be the least of my problems right now....but anyway, the point stands. Even applying the disclaimer that the week my kid had surgery and my partner is traveling and we are knee deep in holiday planning and trying to get a bathroom installation off the ground might not have been the best benchmark week for working out, this is pretty on par for my life. That is the fundamental stumbling block for undertaking this had-a marathon thing: I do not have a lifestyle or support system that makes training feasible.

I can't rely on Chris to be home on time for me to get out and run, or leave late enough for me to get up early and run, or even be here at all pending his travel schedule. While my life now is basically an entirely different universe from my life a year ago, this fact remains the same. Chris' job comes first (and rightly so since it pays the bills) and everything else just has to work around that. Add in that since Chris works outside the house in a traditional manner, his time doing so, and his time not doing so, are sacred. Underlying my frustrations regarding carving out some time to run are my frustrations with the fact that my home is my work. When I am home, I am at work. When Chris is home, he is not at work. If he is tired when the laundry needs folding, he goes to bed. If he wants to relax when there are dishes to do, he plays a video game. If the kids are up at night, that is my problem because he has to be rested for his "real work." For him being in this house is time away from the bustle of work and real life while for me, being in this house is just a 24 hour Groundhog Day style repetition of all the menial, yet entirely necessary, tasks that must get done. So no, I can't just run after the kids go to bed/before Chris leaves/while the kids play because that time is also when I have to take care of the housekeeping/cooking/bill paying/life administration in addition to my more or less full time job of caring for kids. I know there is a lot of overlap between all those tasks, but ask yourself how much you pay for child care and is it worth it? That will give you an idea of what it takes to be on kid duty 40 hours a week as your primary task, never mind doing it 24/7 for almost 7 years. Basically I do all the work of a credentialed preschool plus all the work of someone who is solo-parenting for basically "free." It is the right choice for us, but it isn't without its downsides.

So basically, this inability to just freaking work out a few times a week has put a glaring spotlight on how, for someone who is not considered a functioning member of society since I don't log my hours for pay, I certainly don't have a goddamn minute to call my own. The only reason I am blogging right now I becaus I happen to be between loads of laundry/medication delivery/dishwasher cycles and the kids, for the first time in months, are both napping. Of course, doing this means I am not running, paying the bills or finishing my holiday gifts, but hey, it's not like I am working or something. Right?

Next week is a new week, hopefully Charlie will be doing better, Chris' work schedule will settle down and I might even get to run like twice. Looks like I may be rescheduling my race dreams until Liz goes to school. When I should be going back to work, as opposed to my current days of leisure. Assuming of course that work still allows me to be primary caregiver/homemaker/administrator since, as a woman, that is still expected of me. I can totally see how adding 30 hours of traditional work to my already massive litany of tasks will totally free up all the time I need for this goal.

Some days are just a little harder. Some days this all seems just a little more futile. Some days I wonder if I will ever get to do my thing, even for an hour a day...