Thursday, May 10, 2012

Balancing life, wife and running

Just over 7 months ago, Brian and I got married.  We had been engaged for just over a year when we got married and before that we had gone to college together.  In our 6 year friendship, 4 years of which we dated, we had been through a lot of changes.

We made the choice to not live together before we were married.  It was a choice that was slightly difficult at times because of course we wanted to be together but we thought that living together after being married would make our marriage and wedding that much more to look forward to. 

After the wedding, I moved into our house and we made the transition to living together.  It actually went much smoother than I thought.  We had talked about it before hand and had basically set up what jobs each of us would do around the house.  I do the laundry, cook dinner, and take care the grocery shopping.  Brian takes care of the lawn and snow blowing, cars, and does the bills.  We share the cleaning of the house.

And we thought we had figured everything out but it wasn't that simple.  I don't think we really thought out what would happen when one or both of us got so busy that we neglected to take the time for each other. 

When I decided to run a marathon, I never really took the time to think about how much time a week I would spend on running.  And by running I mean getting ready, driving to run, stretching, planning runs, and cross training.  Turns out its about 15 hours a week that I spend solely on running. 

Each week, since about the end of January, I have run an average of 43 miles.  Plus I go to yoga on Monday afternoons, Total body class on Tuesdays or Thursday mornings, spinning on Friday mornings and Pilates on Saturday mornings (when the long run isn't too long and I can make it to the class).  And I love every minute of running and planning and all the cross training but it does take me away from spending time with Brian.

Also since the end of January, my work load has almost doubled.  Usually I put in at least 40 hours a week but with my work load increase, I started to work over 50 hours a week.  That means often I put in 10 hour days.  And with the work load increase, the stress also increased which has taken its toll on the relationship between Brian and I. 

Running has always been my stress reliever and thankfully in the past few months I have been running a lot!  But with all my running and my working, that hasn't left much time for Brian.  He has been very busy with his own work projects as well which means we haven't spent as much time together as we would like.  The weekends often seem like the only time when we are guaranteed time together.

I think that is why I have always done my long runs Saturday morning at 6:30am.  That way I can be back home and still have most of the day together.  Brian knows how much running means to me and how happy I am that I can run, but he also wants to spend time with me.

I think the most that I have learned is that it is all about priorities.  Yes I want to run and train my best for this marathon and Yes I want to do the best I can at my job, but after that I need to make Brian a priority.  Sometimes, I need to rearrange my schedule to put him first instead of work or running.  We are newly married and although we may feel like we have it all under control, we don't.  We are still getting used to everything and still working at our relationship.  Every day, we both work at this relationship because that is what it takes to balance our lives.

There are so many other things I want to do - I still have yet to print any of our wedding pictures, I have a stack of books to read, I haven't scrapbooked in over a year, and I know my house should be a bit cleaner.  But honestly those things can wait until a rainy day when I have more time. 

Life is all about the choices we make.  Some days are tougher than others, but life is a balancing act and I know I still have a lot to learn.  But its a process and for now, we are doing pretty good.


Jamie said...

Aww very nice post! You need to convince Brian to run :) I think that's the only way Mike and I are able to get through it, since we do it together! I know our relationship is stronger because of it but if only one of us was doing it we would have to work at making time more than we do now.

And don't worry about not printing any wedding photos after only 7 months, we are at almost 2 years and I haven't printed any!

Rebecca said...

Awww! Love this, and it is all so true. I am not even married and its already work. But of course Joe and I live together. :-)

Joe constantly mentions that running sometimes seems like its #1. I also have some work to do with balancing things. Its tough!! It is all about priorities, and choosing carefully how to spend your time, and use time well. It will only get harder when kids are in the equation!!! :-) [I know that is a bit farther off for you, but.. I just HAD to throw that in there!]

Michelle said...

We've been married for 17 years and still have this conversation! BUT, the important thing is that you always come back to one another. Never let life or running or work take a priority over your husband. I even believe that with kids. We have two. If my husband and I don't nurture our relationship first, then we won't be good parents to them. Congratulations on recognizing the need for balance.

Lauren @ Sassy Molassy said...

I LOVE that first photo. Great post and impressed with you putting it out there. These are important thoughts and considerations. It is NOT easy to find a good balance between it all. We definitely struggle with that too, but it is nice that the manfriend cycles a lot so he understands my desire to run. The important part is that when you do have time together that you both savor it and are able to focus on each other (not always easy to do).

Brittany said...

Wow, its so sweet to see you taking the time to realize the amount of time , energy and attention you put into running, and how you can balance that with still making your hubby a priority. I am sure you just wanting to make sure he know's he's loved and valued as much or more as your running means a lot. You guys are adorable together, I love that picture of you!

Kim said...

Reading this post really means a lot to me right now, because I have been selfish and neglecting Steven and our one on one time. I have a new work schedule that allows me to work from home more. Steven works from home too, so on those nights, I thought I could go run with friends, but spending time working at home together is not the same as spending time together! I kept filling up my week nights and we had no one-on-one time! It's smart to think about this now and discuss it with Brian! Like Brian, Steven knows how happy running makes me, but I don't want to mess up our relationship.

On the other hand, I know someone whose significant other told them never to train for another marathon and I thought that was just messed up!!!

Kim said...

Oh! And I love that first photo!!!!!!!!!11

RunningJunkie said...

Your pictures are so beautiful!

I feel the same way! It's really hard to balance life with working out sometimes. I am lucky enough to have a gym at my work and get my workouts during the week done there, before I get home to my beautiful daughter. On the weekends, my boyfriend is around and is really supportive. He watches her while I go an get my long runs done, and I try to do them early so we get a whole day together.

Amber said...

Oooh I love that first wedding photo!

It is so hard. I have been with Eric for over 7 years now and we've been living together for the last 1.5 years straight and I still have not perfected this balance. I definitely agree it's important to work on your relationship every day and every week and make little changes/tweaks where you can. Great post and thanks for putting it out there!

Marlene said...

This is such a great post, and so true! It's amazing what a time commitment it is to train like this and it's SO hard balancing everything. Glad you newlyweds and working on it together to ensure the relationship stays healthy and top priority!

Being Robinson said...

it sounds like you are on the right track, it's not easy to balance everything. even after 9 years i still struggle at times. but good for you for recognizing it and working hard. at all of it!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

This is such a great post. Behind every runner, there is usually an understanding, supporting partner - which is so important. Running is wonderful, but it does kind of take us away from the people in our lives at times. But it's good to recognize that and really make a conscious effort to spend more time together.

I do my long runs on Saturday mornings, too. I like having the rest of my weekend free to spend as I would like without having to worry about going to bed early on Saturday night, etc. I am single now, but if/when I meet someone, I think my running schedule will be conducive to dating. Now, of course, it'd be optimal for me to meet another runner. ;)

LOVE that picture of you two at the beginning of the post!!

abbi said...

This is a great post and I've dealt with the balancing issues over the past few years too. Being supportive and communicating are definitely key in balancing everything.

Unknown said...

This is a great reminder. My husband often teases me (OK, sometimes it is actual complaining) that I spend a lot of time running and racing. Like you, I try to do my Saturday morning runs early so it doesn't take up my whole day, and leaves Saturday night to spend time together (and I don't have to worry about going to bed early). I think he's starting to realize though that this is something I really enjoy. (And I think my time focused on running gives him time to focus on his thesis.)

Anonymous said...

Great post and thanks for being honest. Marathon training takes a lot of time, that's the reason I "only" do 1 marathon a year. This way I still have time, especially over the winter months to be home and hang outwith my BF and dog :)

Nicole Orriëns said...

Wouldn't it be great if you could combine spending time with Brian with running? So it's obvious: Brian has to take up running!

Moms Home Run

Anonymous said...

This is such a great post!!! I have lived with my fiancé for about 7 months as well and have gone through the same things you are going through. It's a big adjustment but knowing the person you are with is committed to making it work helps SO much!

Chic Runner said...

Being newly married as well I can totally related to this post. We didn't live together before getting married and it has been an adjustment as to scheduling and making time for one another. I totally understand what you mean by making him a priority! :)

Glad you are working it out and figuring it out, just like us!