After we got engaged everyone started telling Robert and I, “marriage is compromise.” As if he had not learned that giving into my bull headed personality sometimes was easier and I had not experienced the joy of doing something simply to make Robert smile. Now that we are pregnant the new wisdom people have been bestowing on us is that “our life is going to change.” Not to be rude or seem ungrateful, but do people really think that we are naive enough that we have not realized that starting our family is going to mean that our priorities and responsibilities will be different? Obviously we know our life is going to look different after our baby enters into this world. That doesn’t mean we are going to stop doing the thing we love most or fail to share that with our son or daughter.
Being pregnant has really started to prepare us for the changes and compromises that lay ahead if we want to be able to balance running with child rearing and loving. Running together has been a challenge being that I am not only going slower, but I am also going a lot shorter mileage wise. This makes it hard for us to run together on the weekends when we usually would get in a long run or two together in the morning. During the workweek when Robert gets up at 4:30 to get in a run before he goes to work, although I am on summer break from school and actually have time to go with him, I simply do not have the energy to do so. So needless to say getting in runs together that I can handle, but that still make him break a sweat has been challenging.
So what do we do to still get in some quality workout time together? We embrace the compromise and the face that we are going to have to slightly change if we want to still be able to maintain a healthy active lifestyle once the baby arrives. We’ve done a few different things to make this happen as I get further along in my pregnancy. Instead of racing I’ve crewed for Robert and gotten in short runs while waiting for him at aid stations. Robert has run a short part of his weekend runs with me in the neighborhood and then hit the trails afterwards to get in a section of longer miles. If we both run separately during the workweek we will go for a post dinner walk around the neighborhood together. We still go bouldering together at the climbing gym once or twice a week with Robert spotting me (with my doctor’s approval). Most recently we have transitioned to Robert moving off the trails for his long run so I can ride my bike alongside him as he traverses the Riverwalk. Robert also has decided to focus on looped timed ultras in the upcoming year to make training more feasible and so that it won’t be hard for the baby and I to be there to support him and maybe run a few laps, too!
These aren’t perfect compromises and obviously we know that running with the baby is going to be a huge adjustment. We’ve already decided that I will be in charge of connecting the bike trailer to my bike when we ride and Robert will be in charge of pushing the running stroller on days we choose that option instead. (Mind you we have neither the bike attachment or jogging stroller yet. I was actually thinking of starting a GoFundMe now that I’ve stated who is in charge of what to see who y’all would like to challenge more during their workout! If anyone is so inclined we’re registered for both of these workout necessities on BuyBuyBaby). However we know maintaining our passion for running is important to our own well-being and the strength of our marriage. We want to share that passion with our child to maintain them while our baby is with a sitter. We know that means we will have to compromise a little, but we’ve already started doing so. Like all the wise people have told us, we know and are excited for our lives to change as we start our family and can’t wait to make the necessary adjustments to our workout routine to embrace and incorporate the newest member of #teamMcMILEan.