Exercise and Relationships

Exercise and Relationships

This article from WSJ got me thinking – A Workout Ate my Marriage

My mind first flew back 3 years. The husband has been a runner for a long time, getting serious in Melbourne in 2005. When we got back to Atlanta, my life was overrun by juggling an infant and jobs and everything else in between. The husband on the other hand, went out for runs when he felt like it.  I resented it. I don’t know if I resented his carefree ability to lace up and leave everything behind. Or if I resented his not spending time with me. A little bit of both, I suspect.

Then, last year, I started running. The husband encouraged me to lace up and head out. Mainly because I have always been a couch potato and my transformation has taken both of us by surprise. I trained for my first half marathon (and then 2 more), and my first triathlon. Now, I was the one who was gone for 3 hrs on a s.l.o.w 10 miler. Of late, he has commented about me being gone for 3 hours. Is that just a harmless comment or is something brewing in his head that he has not given words to? What about when I’ll need 5 hours for marathon training?

What can I, as a mother and wife, do to give enough time to my relationship even as I explore my identity as an athlete? Or … Am I over-analyzing and I should just take the time I run as “earned” time for being a mom and a wife all day long?

Things I already do –

  • I try to finish up before they all wake up, or go during nap times in the afternoon.
  • I make sure that only breakfast is left to the husband.
  • Weekend marathon cooking is still my responsibility.

What I can do better –

  • Set a better expectation of how long I’m running and how long I’m going to be gone
  • Make sure that the best time of the day is set aside to take my girls outside
  • Talk less about what I do in action 🙂
  • Be a little less cranky when the long runs tire me out
  • Help the husband come up with a plan for his training
What do YOU do as an endurance athlete to maintain the delicate balance of relationships and personal glory?
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