To Marathon or Not to Marathon

I kind of have it in my head that I might possibly could somehow some day (sooner rather than later?!) run a marathon.

Is that crazy?

Not the 26.2. I mean, that does sound a little crazy, but in my mind I can envision how a person could accomplish the feat if they were trained to do so. I’d even go so far as to say I could finish the distance today if I were given enough time to do it. I’d be walking a lot and in a lot of pain, but if I had to do it for the sake of my children (or even something a little less dramatic) I could make it happen.

The “crazy” I’m talking about is adding the training plan on top of an already busy life. Is it crazy to think that I can add that “ball” to all the ones I’m already juggling?

Here’s the situation:

I have a full-time job outside the home. It’s 40 hours a week, typically not much more, and my schedule is pretty much set at 8 hours a day, but I can usually take a long lunch if I want to try to fit in 2-3 miles during the day. I do travel on occasion, but I wouldn’t consider that much of a barrier.

I have 2 littles. Obviously. If you’ve read even one post on this blog you know I have a 1-year-old and a 3-year-old. They are on totally different nap schedules right now and they go to bed at 8:00pm (this is relevant – it means that from 6 to 8 each night we are eating dinner, taking baths, reading books, etc. all in preparation for the melt-down that is bedtime. I do, on occasion, take them for a 2- to 4-mile run after dinner when it’s warmer outside.

Littles playing nicely | Enjoying the Run

The two littles playing nicely together – I’m sure it only lasted a few minutes 🙂

My husband works a non-traditional schedule. Usually I know ahead of time, sometimes I don’t, but long story short it means I’m by myself with 2 kiddos after work about half the time. This also means that on those days I’m doing the crazy dinner-bath-bed thing with both kids by myself. Not to mention the dishes and laundry and chores that have to be done those nights just so we aren’t wearing dirty clothes and eating off last night’s dinner dishes. Hubby helps on his days off, but it’s literally something that has to be taken care of on a daily basis.

On the plus side, I do have a treadmill at home…so I have that going for me. Also, I am fortunate enough to have a double BOB stroller which is how I get most of my outdoor runs in. Again, if you follow me on Instagram for longer than 2 days you know this. 🙂

Our best friend BOB | Enjoying the Run

Meet our best friend, BOB…

So, my question is this:

How in the world do other moms manage it all?

I know I’m not dealing with anything outside of the normal mom-with-young-kids stuff here. I just need to know how to survive a training run that lasts 3-4 hours and the fact that I won’t be able to rest and recover after it. Like, at all. I specifically remember a run a few weeks before my last half marathon when Hannah and I ran for 12 miles in the pouring rain with a double stroller and, aside from the car ride home, I didn’t sit down for the rest of the day because I was by myself with the littles. I was BEAT by bedtime! How do you do that week after week through marathon training?

So, marathoning moms (and dads!), how do you do it? Is it worth it? Is it still fun when you’re done?

To Marathon or Not to Marathon | Enjoying the Run

You may also like...

3 Responses

  1. Amy S says:

    Hi Joy!
    I am in a similar position to you in that I work 40 hour work weeks outside the home on a set schedule which is somewhat flexible, but generally, from 7-3 I am at work. I have about a 15 min commute each way. I have two kids (age 6 and 3) and am training for a spring marathon. This will be my 3rd spring marathon in a row – so I started back to marathon training when my kids were 1 and 4. It is NOT easy. You do not get to recover and do all the things you “should” do after a run. You will have to not do some other stuff that you may enjoy doing. Your husband will have to be on board. That said, it is possible and I have done it 3 times in a row so I must like it a little bit :)!! For my first marathon back after having my 2nd kid, I followed a plan from the the book Train Like a Mother. I liked this plan because it had 5 days of running on it and one of the days was optional. I will be honest. I never did the 5th optional run. Most weeks, I barely got the 4 required runs done. I did not at that time, but this training cycle I am trying to fit in as many morning runs as possible before my family wakes up. This means that I go to bed earlier at night and I don’t read as much as I would like to, I don’t do any other hobbies that I was into (e.g., knitting) because running has been elevated. I do my long run on Saturday mornings, first thing. When both my kids were nappers, I did my long run during their naps. My goal then (and mostly still is) to get my runs in when they were sleeping. As for cooking – I do the majority of cooking in my house. I have found that meal planning for a week is helpful – so on Saturday we will figure out as a family what we are having for dinner for the week. I am trying to be better about prepping and freezer meals and all that, but will admit that is more of a work in progress than anything! For me, taking the running one day at a time was critical. If i started looking too far ahead on the plan, I would freak out. “How on earth am I going to run 17 miles?!” Before each marathon training that I have started, I have a talk with my husband re: needing support and what this will mean, etc. I also choose spring marathons because for our family, winter is not as crazy busy as summer so I don’t have to plan around as much for training. Yes – it means that most of my training is done in the cold snowy winter, but I have gotten used to it 🙂 So that is my experience – hope it helps!

    • Amy S says:

      Also, I need to add that my house is a MESS. like total sty.

    • Joy says:

      Thanks, Amy! It really helps to hear that other moms of young kids have had success! I have the Train Like A Mother book too and was thinking of using their Finish It plan. I like the flexibility they offer and I’ve used their plans before so I’m pretty comfortable with the way they add mileage and workout each week. I definitely need to work on sitting down with Hubby and planning out meals, etc. through the week!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *