Monday, October 10, 2011

Running vs Life - The battle over my body


Last winter's beautiful grass

Being the patriarch of a household is a big responsibility.  Of course there is the normal day to day bread winning responsibility, but also the spider killing, big steak eating, and dragging the trash to the curb stuff that all needs to get done.  Oh, and the yardwork.  Lots of back breaking yardwork.  Yes, it is true!  People in Phoenix do indeed have yards.  In fact, it seems that the zero-scaping concept is going a bit backwards and people are putting in more and more plush, resource sucking yards in the middle of the desert.

Anyway, this weekend, doing my part to use as much fresh water as possible, I buzz cut my lawn and planted “winter grass” so that my little patch of over-watered heaven could stay green all year round.  Call it the farmer in me but the brown grass all winter makes me want to grab a can of green spray paint and go to town.  Tune in next week when I yell at the neighbors in my underwear.

Here is my dad and I adding more sprinklers a few years back when I first bought the house.
Little did I know that I was also giving myself a stress fracture as I had already ran 20 miles earlier in the day.


As I was almost literally breaking my back trying to get the lawn finished, a thought continued to creep into my head: Can Beiber really keep his teen-pop momentum? Am I going to feel sore tomorrow?  If so, is that going to completely ruin my run? How much should I really be thinking about how much day to day responsibilities effect what is essentially a hobby?

Fortunately for me, I sit on my ass all day and rarely have to worry about my day to day responsibilities effecting my running in the least.  I don’t have a nursing job, a teaching job, or even a construction job that has me on my feet all day.  In short, if it wasn’t for running, I would live a VERY sedentary life.  But on the occasion that I have to man up and spend an afternoon in the lawn, I’m sore for the next day or so and I can expect any speed day to be sucky.  I’m a lot like a housecat.  I lay around all day long except for that 30 minutes a day of intense exercise.  (For most cats, this is usually at 3:00am)

I know lots of people who are on their feet all day and still get out there and log lots of quality miles.  I have to think that, just like I am used to 60+ miles per week, they are used to 40+ hours of WORK during the week in addition to their miles.  Right?

Does anyone else think about how chores or work are going to effect a run?  Any good stories about how they have?  I’ll give you a moment to answer.  In the meantime, I’ll be the one stiff and sore VERY thankful that today was an easy day.


 

21 comments:

April said...

Too funny!
The day before a long run I try to move as little as possible....with a full time job and 3 boys, "as little as possible" is still too much!

Kate said...

I do have a teaching job, but to me, that makes days when I'm sore/tired better. Once my kids get there, I'm so involved in what I'm doing that I don't have time to think about it. True, sometimes being on my feet hurts, but it keeps me moving instead of stiffening up in a chair.

Running doesn't get in the way of chores (since, ummm, I don't do many of them), but i sometimes feel bad about being tired when I'm with my family.

Chad said...

I thought you put down fake grass.

Brian said...

Interesting post. I'm in the same situation. I've got a very sedentary job and I work from home. I've benefited from that as a runner since I don't need the extra time in the morning or evening for a commute and if I run late at night (as is my preference recently, after dinner's digested), I can wake up at 8:29, and walk out to my office w/o being late.

Where I do think of how it's going to impact my run is scheduling..."Shit, I have to work all night, I better get my run in now." or "You had to suggest an 8am call, didn't you?" (I just have NO motivation lately to get up and run before work like I did all summer.)

Terzah said...

Yeah, I do think about this. Normally my non-running life is fairly sedentary too, but this weekend I have a friend coming from NYC and she wants to go hiking the day before my long run. I'm trying to plot a hike that's scenic but EASY. Yeah, I'm a big ol' wimp.

Fair Weather Runner said...

question. have you ever gone up and down stairs a billion times doing laundry AFTER a long run? now THAT sucks. i vote women runners have it worse off ;) yard work... HA! laundry, buddy. it's a beast, especially in regard to running.

in other news. never paint the outdoor trim on your house the day before a 20-miler... doesn't end well. trust me.

Stephanie Anne said...

My job is very physically tough. I work as an inpatient physical therapist, and do a lot of heavy lifting and running around. Mostly my running makes me tired for work, not too much the other way around. thank goodness!

Jackalope said...

Absolutely. Right now the Army is letting me get my MS for free, so things are absolutely awesome. But when I'm not doing that, I'm busy as hell. Physical training is a daily routine and has to include your upper body workout on more than a few days a week. If I have a day where I need to jump (out of an airplane), that includes sitting around, sweating, lugging around a chute, possible road marching back to civilization, than basically I'm either screwed out of a workout, or so goddamn tired I can't eat my food when i get home. So yeah, I think of it ALL the time.

I basically wonder if I can keep training for marathons and ultra's after I get back to Army reality. . . .

The Unexpected Runner said...

Dude! This nurse says "put on your big girl panties & suck it up". Seriously?!!? I can work 12 hour nightshifts, sleep 5 hours, crank out a run, carpool, then make dinner. Actually the running helps relieve the nightshift hangover feeling.

Thomas said...

Not only do I worry how work will affect a run, but I work outside walking miles upon miles a day. I need more curbside mailboxes to deliver to reduce the daily impact of work on hobby.

Actually it has to work both ways for me. I can't drain myself on a run in hot weather because I'll suffer some sort of heat-related illness at work.

Jess said...

I'm very thankful that my (teaching) job has me on my feet for some portion of my day. Sitting for longer than an hour drives me nuts!

Beth (i run like a girl) said...

I had a decade-long desk job that kept me seated for the better part of 8 (10?) hours each day. Now I do that part time and teach at night.

I never thought of teaching as "exercise" but standing/walking/arm-waving/throwing things-at-sleeping-students is at least as much exercise as a baseball player gets in a typical game, no?

Katy said...

Chores take a back seat when I'm training for something. My husband can attest to this fact by the mountain of clean clothes in my laundry room. :)

Stiliano said...

Hi! Very nice post!

Jamoosh said...

Saturday is supposed to be about the long run and then relaxing (ideally with College Football and beer). Unfortunately, chores do need to get done from time to time. What kills me are those rare days I end up going up and down a ladder 1000 times after running long earlier in the morning.

Glenn Jones said...

Wait a minute. A house in Phoenix without stones and sand for a lawn?

BrianFlash said...

If I had a house in the desert, I guarantee the yard would be ludicrously low maintenance. Rocks would rule!

Gracie (Complicated Day) said...

I do worry about standing/walking all day (9 hour days as a pharmacist) before races. The day before RnR Mardi Gras last year I worked a ten hour day and it was crazy busy so I also did not eat, drink water, or use the bathroom all day! I was so sure it would ruin my race but I PR's - since then I've just shrugged work off. It is what it is, and I'm a way better pharmacist than runner, so I guess it gets precedence (oh and they pay me more than my nonexistent sponsors).

Alisa said...

(Yes I am 2 days late to this party, but it's okay, I brought the good beer.)

I'm on my feet up to 12 hours a day and trying to not to spit into your food. Add in my plantar fascitis and you have a recipe for no running. I make sure to plan my long runs for a day I have nothing else major going on, and (wishfully) after a shorter work day. I don't really care about the day after, because, for me, it's better to be on my feet if I'm sore. I just make sure to take the time after the run to ice my foot and stretch well. The day before, I make sure to eat pretty well (which is rare working in a kitchen) and chug water like it's going out of style. Some days, I'm lucky just to talk my dog for more than a five foot walk. Also, I don't have a lawn and I just generally avoid housework.

pensive said...

Three days late! Whoot whoot!

I actually like that idea of running when I am already tired from something else, but I am still new enough to need that mental boost. Just knowing I can do it makes me feel better than the aching can make me feel bad.

Joanna said...

1. Seriously, do you hate the earth? No lawn should be that luscious. That's ridiculous.

2. I cannot begin to imagine being pregnant (which I am), a waitress (which I was in college), and a runner (which I obviously am). Peeps is tough, yo.