The Selfish Runner?

I’ve been running half-marathons for almost six years. The reality of my long run taking over my weekend has been something that has become the norm. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve uttered the phrase, “I can’t, I have to run.” Jason wanted to do something tonight. We barely get to spend time together because of his schedule, but I didn’t want to, because I had to run. I had to run tonight (I did 3 miles) and then I am running 9 miles tomorrow. Sometimes I feel selfish about it. Running always seems to be my top priority. I base my life around my training runs. Sometimes I wonder how life would be if I wasn’t a runner. I would be able to get spur of the moment drinks with my husband on a 70 degree day in February.

But I don’t think I’d be happy while I’m doing it. Even if I wasn’t running, I feel the need to exercise. I can’t imagine being the type of person who just doesn’t work out. I need to work out. I need to feel the sweat, to get my heart rate up, to push myself. And this is time consuming.

But, it’s something that I have to do for myself and in turn, this makes me a better friend, a better wife.

Do you ever feel guilty for putting exercise first?


25 responses to “The Selfish Runner?

  1. I think I am pretty good at balancing exercise & other activities. I know if on days where there is definitely an evening activity I should be going to or participating in, then I make the sacrifice to get up super early and workout in the morning. I don’t usually skip plans to workout, but that’s just because I give into peer pressure and am lazy. 😀 I do feel guilty though, when I’m holding people up because I’m getting my workout on. Like for instance, if my friends want to go out to dinner at 5 and I have to change the plans until 7 so I can work out and then shower, etc. Worth it for the sanity & happy feelings it gives me!

  2. I’m not that motivated to run. If my hubby offered to take me out for drinks that is all it would take for me to have an excuse not to exercise. lol!

  3. I do feel guilty every now and then, but like you, I end up realizing that it is something that do for myself. Then I’m perfectly fine with it 🙂

  4. My honey and I get to spend so little time together lately that if spending time with him conflicts with a workout, I spend the time with him. I’m not as dedicated as you! 😉

  5. I have the opposite problem, I don’t make it enough of a priority. I will always drop training plans to go grab a margarita on a patio. If I’m ever going to progress as a runner I have got to keep to my schedule and stop letting myself off the hook.

  6. I do feel guilty for putting exercise first, and then I never end up doing it! I think if you enjoy running, and it makes you feel better, like you said, there’s nothing wrong about prioritizing it 🙂

  7. I just dropped my two roommates off at the bar and came home because I “have” to run tomorrow. I just know I’d feel guilty if I didn’t.

  8. I am the first to ditch the exercise in place of cocktails! It’s all about balance – maybe just a couple times you could adjust your schedule?

  9. It’s good to have soemthing that’s “yours” and that helps you to feel good about yourself, so in that way, it’s not selfish.

    I know, personally, though, part of the reason I don’t run marathons anymore is because of the committment the training demanded all the time. I felt that not only did my weekend, but really my entire week, revolved around the long run. HM training, by contrast, is much less time-consuming.

  10. Story of my life! In the past 2.5 years, I ran 8 marathons, so I would be marathon training from August to May each year. That meant every Saturday morning, I’d be running for several hours. Then my afternoon would be shot ’cause I’d be recovering. And I wouldn’t go out too late the night before. Needless to say, Mark definitely would get irritated every now and then. I don’t really feel too guilty though, because I always wanted to be out there running. We each have our own “things.” Mine just requires a little more prep and recovery time than his. lol

  11. This is a BIG struggle for me — not only with workouts, but with food. Sometimes I get so manic about staying on plan at all costs that I miss out on really cool opportunities.

    Lucas and I have a system that works pretty well. He knows how important health and fitness are to me, so he only makes a big deal when it is, in fact, a big deal. So when he asks me to skip a run or go off diet, I try my best to do it.

  12. I think it is awesome that you are so commited to running.
    Since it is something you are doing for yourself that makes you feel great it sounds more important than a few beverages. You could always make it up to your husband by cooking him his favourite or cracking open a bottle of wine at home.

  13. I go really early on Saturdays or Sundays so I try not to ruin the whole day but I definitely feel guilty sometimes too!

  14. I don’t really ever feel guilty. Like you said, exercise makes you a better friend and wife. I feel the same way! I think I would start to feel guilty if it interefered with my social life all of the time.

  15. All the time!

    In life, you have to strike a balance. If you have your long run Saturday and Jason wants to go out Friday night, do your long run Sunday or wake up early and do it Friday. Sometimes it’s tough, but it is possible to balance running and social life.

    Hope this helps.

  16. The thing about training for longer races is that its VERY demanding, especially when it comes to the longer runs. Teaching group fitness rarely gets in the way of my regular life- because at most I’m committed to an hour or hour and a half at a time. And I always get subs when there are events or things that I really want to do. Working out is extremely important (in my eyes), but I think balance is important. I like to work workouts into my life schedule.If that makes sense 🙂

  17. Hey! I put this up on my blog, but figured I’d put it here too (because I know I always forget to look back when I ask questions!!):

    Hey Lee! I posted about eating meat when I first put up my pregnancy announcement. In the second & third trimesters, my doctor requested that I get 75 grams of protein a day. I could certainly do this with a vegetarian diet- but it would require some effort. I decided to return to eating meat while I’m pregnant. I will decide about going back to a full veg lifestyle after. Thanks 🙂

  18. I do tend to feel guilty about putting exercise first, but usually when I forego the workout for whatever activity, I really regret it! I just hate that most of my friends do not workout and just don’t understand the importance it has in my life.

  19. It’s a hard balance and I wonder if women struggle with it (and feel guilty about it ) more than men? Especially moms? I exercise first thing in the morning and some weekends I can finish my run before my husband even gets out of bed. I know he misses morning snuggle time and lounging in bed, but I am in a much better mood if I start my day with a dose of endorphins!

  20. Yes. Sometimes I do too. As my relationship with M continues, I feel less guilty about it because we do it together, or I fit it in where I can. But exercise is important to me, so I continue to keep it a big part of my life. I don’t think there should be any guilt in that.

  21. It really depends. Sometimes, sure – I feel guilty if it means my husband has to “wait” for me to finish so we can eat dinner or something. But usually? We’re working out together or, I’m on my own and he’s respecting my “me” time and my need to get a good sweat going. It makes me feel ME in so many ways that nothing else can really compare to. It’s so hard to explain unless you’re talking to a fellow workout nut (like you!) and then it all makes sense. I am so with you – my working out makes me happier, which makes me a way better sister, friend, wife, daughter, co-worker. So I guess I *don’t* feel as selfish about it as I thought I would when answering your question!

  22. I completely know what u mean! But because we run we’ll live longer and our husbands will be happy about that 🙂

  23. I know what you mean too… but I try to get my hubby involved in the fitness outings so that we’re spending time AND getting healthier together.