Sunday, February 19, 2012

What do you do to run?

In the past year and half the demands of my time have increased significantly. Just the usual demands, work, family, and a new dog, which still is not high up on the list of smartest things I've ever done. Regardless, I love each of them dearly and wouldn't giv'em up for even a split second. I also refuse to give up running for even a split second. Pardon the cliche, but you could say I want my cake and I want to eat it too.

The result of these contrasting worlds is interesting to me and I certainly don't think I'm alone. As running relates to work I still must have a job. Extremely proud, I run for Salomon's Flight Crew and they very generously kit me out each year, but that doesn't pay my mortgage, feed my daughter and dog, or allow me the odd night out. I'm a decent athlete, but no place near any national teams that might bring in some cash. Besides, even if I were, I'm Canadian and we all know how our government funds athletics. Like most everyone else I have a job and I try to maintain my running habit. Being a grade 5 teacher is what brings home my bacon and I typically work from about 7:30 until 3:30 unless it's cross country or track season, in which case I might work until 5:30ish and the odd weekend; of course this is from Monday to Friday.

In the winter months this makes for an interesting and tight running/training schedule. I'll either sneak out of the house to the gym before my daughter hears me and calls my name, run for 45 minutes at lunch, or squeeze in a quicky before nightfall and dinner time. I've gotten pretty creative. I had to. My students think I'm a freak. About 5 minutes before the lunch bell rings and screaming children pour into the halls, I disappear into the bathroom and come back to class in a filthy pair of Speed Cross 3's and compression socks. The bell rings, I dart out the door, and reappear 45 minutes later as a stinky, sweaty, and happy teacher. I'm sure they have Craik jokes about how I smell like crap after lunch time and it ain't what I ate. They probably think it's puberty. If I run in the morning I end up showering at school and they always comment on my wet towel hanging behind my desk. They must think I'm homeless.

As running relates to home/family is whole other game. The reason I'm writing this post is because I recently lied or bent the truth about running and have a secret agenda in encouraging my girl (we're not married in the sense of a piece paper so I can't say "wife") to register for races. Life is busy with a kid (I can't imagine two) and a dog. I love it to death and please hear this for what it is, I love running too. Since Saje, our daughter, has been in our lives I have become a lot more scheduled with my running. It's still about the freedom of running when I go, but I have to be incredibly efficient with my time. My lies are not directly lies. On occasion I just leave out that I have a scheduled run to do and then manipulate the days plans so a spare moment becomes available. Last weekend was the worst one yet. I hadn't mentioned that I had longish run to do and when Lara mentioned being tired I told her she should have a nap when Saje does, thus freeing up about two hours for myself. Thinking that was a good idea, she put her head down for a bit and I came around the corner all geared up. "Well, if you guys are going to nap, maybe I'll get in a little run". Not only did I down play it, I acted as though it was never planned.

She's (Lara) a runner too, but I don't think she gets the same satisfaction out of it that I do. She's one of those people that loves running when she's out there, but doesn't prioritize getting out. When she registers for something like Vancouver Marathon or Knee Knacker she'll train and is always very successful at doing so. With this in mind I have been very encouraging lately to the point of leaving the Knee Knacker page open on the computer. The power of suggestion I'm hoping will lure her into registering as she did for the Vancouver Marathon. A good husband/man friend should be encouraging, right? And I am, but the truth is that I feel she'll understand me better if she too is training to race. It'll be easier to explain that I'm doing my long run Saturday and not feel like I'm pushing it with running.

Perhaps these things make me sound a bit like a drug addict or just a jerk. I'm lying and manipulating just so I can run. I don't expect any sort of intervention in the near future, but I certainly do recognize my obsession and maybe that's the first step, admitting I am obsessed.


  1. makes a case for polygamy... with 2 "husbands" you wouldn't need to worry about sneaking out for a run.. ;)


  2. I've had to start running when the little guy goes to sleep, then my wife gets her quiet time and I don't feel rushed... as far as long runs though... that's a tougher situation. btw- I am sure she knows what you are up to ;)

  3. Hey try married,3 kids,constant shit weather while trying to train for Ironman,work and trying to accept midlife crisis ie:slowing down.I end up some days eating,changing and practically showering in my car on my way between work, pick up drop off,or errand run.

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    1. Great blog Tom! Time has treated you well - you look fantastic! It's Shannon Blonde :) Just thinking about potentially throwing together a 20 year reunion this summer some time. Trying to track down everyone ;) I have often wondered where you ended up and what you are doing! Think I new you became a teacher from Kim:) Can't find an email for you, otherwise I would have emailed you personally vs. a "comment". It would be great to see what everyone is up to!