Balancing “Me time” with family time
When I step back and tally up the amount of time that goes into my running, I realize it is a lot. And it’s not just the time on the road it’s the cross training, the running club meetings and track workouts, the physical therapy and massage appointments, the race and time getting to races. It adds up and most of that time is spent on my own away from my family.
Often times I need that alone time. In many ways running brings focus to everything else I do. I like to think of my time on the road as “moving meditation;” without it I’d be pretty scattered and crazy (more so than I am already). Running gives me the space to mentally prepare for the challenges I face on a daily bases. But running with your family can be really rewarding.
Running with your Family
But it is important to me that my family feel included in what I do. It’s not always easy to do so, but for me it is worth it. There are some very deliberate decisions I make and ways that I structure my running that enable my family to feel a part of what I do. You can make running with your family fun, here’s a few tips on how to do that:
When the kids were little and I was still nursing running local races was a must. Keeping it local means you’ll have enough time to get everyone ready in the morning, get to the race with enough time to warm up, race, cool down and get home in a reasonable time. Now that the kids are older, Mark and I are traveling for races (like to Vermont or Italy). It’s nice that we can do this now, but local races are still best for in between those big destination races.
Join a Family Friendly Running Club
I’ve been a part of several different running clubs and it’s fun to be a part of one that is family friendly. I’ve been a part of clubs that have had a kids 5K and my current club offers a running summer camp. Running with friends and running with your family can be really fun!
When you can run together, whether it is a family fun run or a 5K it can be really fun to do something as a family. Crossing the line of a 5K your kids can give you a whole new perspective.
My stroller running days are over, but for quite a few years there I was running with a stroller on a daily basis. It was the only way I could get out. Bringing your kids along in the stroller is a great way to get them out for some fresh air. If you begin or end your run at a playground, they can get a chance to stretch there legs for a bit while you stretch yours too!
Don’t force It
My family comes to the majority of my races. Sometimes, however it’s better for the family to stay home. Usually that’s when a race start is early or in the case of snowshoe races, the weather is too cold. It is better that my family stays dry and warm at home than be dragged out to a race just for the sake of “doing it all together.”
Every runner and every runner’s family is different
There are seasons to running and to life, sometimes we train hard and focus on running and other times we pull back. There is not right or wrong way. I don’t even think there is necessarily a perfect balance. There’s an ebb and flowlearning how to work within that shifting dynamic will help you and your family run happy.
Do you try to incorporate your family into your running? Or is running “your thing”? How does your spouse feel about your running endeavors?
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