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Priorities: Taking a Break From Marathon Training

snowOne thing I’ve come to discover as I’ve trained for a couple half-marathons and a full marathon is that the training can become addictive and the schedule can become almost religious in principle. Miles, miles, miles, I have to get my miles, constantly runs through my mind and anything, whether it be family or work, that gets in the way has to be tossed to the side because, I have to get my miles in for the week and those miles have to come on this day, this day, this day, and this day.

I’m currently training for my second marathon and I’m right in the thick of the training schedule. What a horrible time of the year to be stuck in the middle of a marathon training schedule.With Christmas around the corner, Thanksgiving a few weeks back, a daughter’s birthday smack in between the two holidays, the New Year’s holiday a week after Christmas, and all the snow and wind thrown in on top of those hurdles… religiously following my training schedule has been difficult to say the least.

The training schedule is also difficult on my family. Four days before Addie’s birthday she asked me, “Dad, do you HAVE to do a run on my birthday?” The answer to that question was a resounding and unfortunate, “Yes.”

With the sudden realization that I might have had my priorities out of order, as each day passed and we got closer and closer to Addie’s birthday, I started scrambling and trying to find a way to move my scheduled Saturday run to any other day so. I wanted to give Addie her birthday wish. I wanted the day to be solely about my daughter instead of my training. Unfortunately, there was no way I could move my run. The schedule would not allow to move that length of a run to a different day.

Addie’s birthday came and as we woke up, had breakfast, opened presents and began getting ready for the day, Vivi demanded to go outside to play in the fresh snow that was still falling that morning. Casey got Vivi dressed in her snow suit and I ran upstairs and threw some boots and a winter coat on as I headed outside in my running shorts to spend 10 minutes with my girls in the snow.

One hour, one snow fort, and one snowman later, I headed back inside with my girls. The time to go running had passed and my training schedule had been shot and I don’t regret it at all. Taking a break from marathon training so I could have the chance to build snowmen and snow forts with my kids was more important. Those moments are only going to happen a few times throughout my life and one weekend run shouldn’t take priority over those small and rare moments that I get to have with my kids.

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