Yesterday was mild and from underneath the skating rink that it our driveway, some mud started to emerge. We ran errands and the kids didn’t have to wear toques, or even mittens. At one point, I could smell the rotting earth, wet, still frozen but starting to wake – or at least thinking about it. Spring was flirting with us. Steve made a comment about getting our bikes out and tuned up soon, a few more weeks and we’d be able to be on the road again. I had been thinking the same thing earlier in the week, but know that I won’t get a chance to get on my bike before May 29. Not before my marathon.
The thing about marathons, you see, is that they demand monogamy. I run four times a week, and while there are certainly people who preach the importance of cross training, I quite literally, don’t have time to add a swim or spin class into my schedule right now. Things are feeling particularly hectic this week and looking forward (exams! assignments! essays! lather, rinse, repeat) and that’s kind of compounded by the fact that there is only four weeks left in this term, I don’t have the grades I was hoping for, my weekly kilometres are getting very high and try though I might, I can’t quite seem to make enough money appear for the expenses we have coming up.
Four runs a week is my max. Plus yoga and strength training. And I’m not complaining, since this is something I want to do (much more than I want to study for my exam Wednesday), but things are busy. And I feel stressed and I’m left dealing with the reality that I let myself turn into a shitty person when I’m stressed.
We were busy yesterday, with a list of errands to run and things to do. Nap time came and I did some writing for an article I have and Steve went to the gym for a bit and then the kids woke up and we got groceries and planned dinner and then came home and I pulled on my running tights (something I should have done at 8am to get it over with instead of contemplating it all day) and went for a run. Steve was in the kitchen when I left, cooking dinner. And for a moment, I almost asked if he minded that I was going. For a moment I thought about apologizing for wanting to go. But I didn’t.
As I was running, I thought about this guilt I fight with. I put the kids in an extra day of daycare last week and felt a little guilty. Steve made dinner on Saturday night and Sunday night and I felt a little guilty. But why? Because I was taking, I guess. Taking a day to drive two hours to a meeting. Taking 30 minutes to go for a run that made me feel awesome. Taking a couple nights and letting someone else cook (who likes to do it!).
Not apologizing for these things is an important step. Steve made dinner, and I cleaned up. I’m not sorry I went for a run or that I wanted to. It’s important to be able to take time for myself without feeling like I have to earn it another way. I realize that, the next step is to stop my knee-jerk reaction to apologize for it or ask if it’s ok. I don’t need permission. I don’t even need approval. I just need to believe in myself.