A little bit of housekeeping before I move onto the heavy and insightful stuff that will change your life.
Remember the anagram contest? You guys killed me. They were all really, really funny. But, the top five were:
- Paula at Eat Watch Run: Anal Per Hour (eww. I guess you find this type of thing in the red light district. Paula said she wished she had known her anagram before she named her blog. Who wouldn’t visit a blog called Anal Per Hour?)
- Stephanie at Thorns Have Roses: Hate Penis (to which she said, “What?? Liars!”)
- Dog at See Dog Run: Anal Dick Trends (can’t pretend to know what this means, but sounds quite gay).
- Twila at Twila Keeps Runnings: Ten Orgy Mom (dang, she’s busy)
- Julie at ROJ Running : Juicier Slut (she said, “Now I know my code name and undergrad makes more sense.)
Update: My one eyed, three legged dog Lucky who has a perpetual boner (you can see the tip in the picture) never leaves my side. As I blog, he lays at my feet. I am, therefore, very in tune with his bodily functions. My question is, why when dogs fart do they 1) look around as if to say, “who did it?” 2) immediately stick their nose into the butt to check it out? Or, maybe it’s just my dog. Perhaps if we humans were a bit more flexible we would do the same thing. Don’t even get me started on dogs licking other parts and what humans wish they could do.
Moving on. An interesting and very relevant topic came up in the Wall Street Journal on Monday. In an article entitled, “A Workout Ate My Marriage,” the writer broaches the subject of endurance training and how it has been shown to negatively affect relationships.
Enter the term, “exercise widow/widower.”
Couple’s therapists have found that, “commitment weakens as alternatives increase,” meaning that as one person starts to find outside stimulus/activities/relationships, this can compromise the strength of the relationship.
While the article primarily focuses on the marital system, the affect is certainly felt throughout the entire family if children are in the picture.
Here’s what I think. Your home life doesn’t have to fall apart just because you want to train for an endurance event. You do, however, have to follow some rules.
- The exception: If you are planning on training for a full Ironman, forget it. Get a divorce now, set up your child support and sublet a room above a gas station.
- Be careful if you’re on the rocks. Does your relationship already kind of suck? Probably not a good time to start heavy training unless you are trying to find a way to mess things up so badly that a breakup will be easy.
- Prepare everyone. Provided that things are relatively good at home, bring up your goals openly and honestly. Don’t blindside your family by walking in the door and exclaiming, “I am going to train for a marathon, join a running group with lots of fit and attractive people and be gone ten hours per week.” This screams, “I am having an affair!” or at best, “I didn’t care about you enough to make you part of this decision.”
- Bring him/her on board. Try to talk your spouse/significant other into doing your event with you. This is what Ken and I do. Once I started running marathons, he started running halfs, so we could do a bit of our training together. Now he’s training for his first marathon and I sit on the couch injured and cry as he goes out for his runs and make him feel guilty. That is very good for our relationship. Luckily, we both signed up for the same half Ironman in August. Our kids might be orphaned, but at least we will still be together and in shape.
- Don’t check out completely. Your spouse/kids will be making lots of sacrifices during your training, mostly because you will be gone a lot and when you’re finally home you will be tired, sore, hungry and irritable. So, when you are around do your best to fake it. Don’t check out on your kids and significant other. Also, try to plan your workouts at really inconvenient and sucky times for you, because these will probably be the best times for your family. For example, do your long runs starting at 4:00 a.m. or 10 p.m. so no one even knows your gone.
How do you keep your training from wreaking havoc on your family life/relationship?
Has your training ever caused significant conflict at home?
What’s your best tip for keeping it all balanced?
And, if you have done a full IM, how the hell did you pull that off?
Hoping to never be a widow,