Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Keeping the faith

My wife is out of town on business and I'm struggling. Struggling to keep the house together. Struggling to get out the door with my daughter in the morning. Struggling to find time to run.

There is no balance between work, family and running. There's only compromise. My wife and daughter do without me as I disappear to races. They compromise. If I don't race to the edge of my ability the worst part is that I feel like I let them down. Not only was I gone for most of the day but I don't have anything to show for it.

The PCTR Pirates Cove 50K couldn't have been held on a more perfect day. Not too much wind, not too hot. The pre-dawn view of the Golden Gate Bridge and the City was mesmerizing. The lights twinkling and dancing on the water.

Golden Gate Bridge Pre-dawn

The Marin Headlands were sparkling with Wildflowers. Even before the sun came up a full moon set over the Pacific. 

Moon over Marin Headlands Lagoon

The race was a non-event for me. By mile ten it was clear I had nothing left and that a long hike was all that awaited me out on the course. I kept going and picked it up the last five miles to edge into a lackluster seventh place. 

I don't know how exactly I'm going to push apart the Scylla and Charybdis of Work and Family enough to get some solid training in. I'm angling for a new job so I can't slack off to slip on the running shoes at lunch. We just sold our house and are occupied looking for the next one. 

But runners are optimists. If we weren't how would we ever keep running if we didn't think we would improve? Running is an act of faith. If I run it means I believe I can be more than what I am today. Today it just happens there is a lot of room for improvement.


Aromatic Beans said...

T, compromising is hard, especially when we're used to striving for the best outcome, and it comes us from getting there. But I think it's worth it for you, since those elements you're juggling - wife, daughter, running, and those gorgeous Bay Area pix – are so precious!

Btw, I know why you didn't do well in the race... stop carrying the tripod and the Canon!!! :)

rdljon said...


We have all been there and I am there each and everyday. I have battled the guilt of leaving my family behind for a 'selfish' run time and time again. We have too learned to compromise and my wife has grown to appreciate my running but at time she can resent it. If you ever some advice on the situation let me know.

Scott Dunlap said...

That's still an age group 1st place! Could have been worse.

Work/life balance is a see-saw in motion. One way to look at it is that you didn't race as well because you spent too much time with your family. How great is that? ;-)

Keep it up...


Mark Tanaka (Ultrailnakaman) said...

Tom, whoa, LOTS going on in your life, so, to be runner-optimist, think of it as "I can still finish 7th even though my wife left me with my daughter, we need to find a new house, I need a new job..." Damn pretty photos, btw.

Jen L. said...

Tom, compromise is the background music playing in my life these days, and I don't even have kids yet, and my husband's not even in the same city this year. However, I just heard some good advice today at a masterclass by a famous opera singer: that the "struggle" between family and work/vocation/passions is the best struggle of all, and there is no such thing as balance. So, I suppose the next step is to welcome the struggle. Here's to the next race!