Something of a Dilemma

I am a runner. I am also a father, husband, friend, blah, blah, blah. Trying to balance the whole family aspect and spending hours on the run can be a bit of a trick, but more often than not, it ends up that I run late at night, or early in the morning, after the kids are asleep, or while everyone is still asleep.

One thing I have difficulty with is working in the long run. Not a 2 hour 17 mile job, but a real 4 and a half hour 30-mile-ball-buster. This Sunday, I had penciled in a marathon, but due to weather (we have another foot of snow due on Thursday) I do not really feel like putting in the time and effort. Instead, I am going to go for one of those ball-busting long runs.

Hearing that I was not going to run the marathon on Sunday, my pacer for the Vermont 100 – who is a phenomenal athlete (he’s won a number of ultra events – including Umstead, and a 3rd place finish at Vermont) – offered to come out and go for a long run with me. I knew him in high school, and competed against him in college a few times (it was never much of a contest), but I have not seen him in sometime. This would be the perfect opportunity to get to know my pacer better, learn from a phenomenal runner, and get a nice long run in prior to my 50 miler in April.

Unfortunately, that same Sunday my son has a birthday party to go to for one of his pre-school classmates. It would not be much to skip out, but his friends parents are on our level, and my wife is constantly telling me we need more “couples” friends. And on top of that, I get a good deal of enjoyment watching my boy playing and having fun.

Believe it or not, it really is a tough decision: run with a class athlete, or go a four-year-olds birthday party. Personal or family? When can I be selfish?


11 thoughts on “Something of a Dilemma

  1. That’s a tough one. Does your wife read this blog? Does your pacer? If they do, the answer may come your way. I would try to get the pacer to meet you at 4/5am with his headlight for that 4.5 hour run and then make it to the preschool party.


    • Ha, no one reads this blog. Thing is, my pacer friend lives 3.5 hours away so it’s more than just the run. I’ll probably end up running another day. Weather’s supposed to get into the 30s next week…


  2. A tough spot indeed! I agree with the dude above me–maybe try to swing the loooong run early so you can still hit up the party. Assuming the party doesn’t for some crazy reason start at the crack of dawn. Maybe this time around you can have the best of both worlds?


  3. It really just comes down to your wife. How does she feel towards your running fixation? When my husband and I get into this kind of snag we try to tag team things. He has gone ahead to things without me and I have moved my run to a much earlier time than I would like, so I can still “show up and show my face” for a decent amount of time after the run. That has meant that I have had to forgo a shower and pre-packed a lunch so I didn’t eat all the food after a huge run. But, my guess is that people probably know you are the crazy negative degree runner anyway, so they aren’t really going to be upset if you show up to the party in compression pants or whatever. I have never really had a problem convincing my husband this was a great idea because I am married to a Marine. He just gets it. But, if your wife is sick of you constantly running all over Hell and gone to train, then you may just have to suck it up and get your run in at zero dark thirty. Your son won’t really remember if you were at the party or not but I promise you your wife will. Us women remember everything. Every. Damn. thing. We’re awesome like that! Good Luck! =)


    • Oh, I know you remember everything, even if it is slightly misconstrued… I think I’ll end up running another day, or maybe that morning on my own. I’ll have to make sure I gorge at home though. Can’t go devouring a four year olds birthday cake.


  4. This is tough.
    I’m married but no kids, so I don’t have many dilemmas to deal with.
    At home the other person knows I’m off limits on Saturday and Sunday mornings, when I have my long workouts scheduled. Of course, having kids makes things more complicated.
    A nice St. Valentines dinner and gift to bribe the wife may work haha


      • hahaha
        At home if I ever suggest going out for dinner on St. Valentine’s and show up with flowers or chocolates or a card, I’m sure I’d get kicked out of the house.
        January I “remembered” our anniversary, I bought a little something, all I got was “Who did you steal this from?”
        I wanted to be offended but couldn’t stop laughing.


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