I’ve been thinking a lot about this entry from Melissa. Her husband is a constant marathon trainer and they just recently went to NYC for his latest adventure in the 26.2. Her experience was not that great and she discusses how frustrating the whole process is from her perspective. She discusses her anger and her bitterness. And I’m here to challenge her because I think I have her beat.
Now – let me preface this by saying I am not proud of the attitude portrayed in this entry. It shows a very ugly side of my personality that I like to pretend is not there. However, she talked about it and I feel like I must too, if for no other reason so that I can GET IT OFF MY CHEST ALREADY.
I’ve been thinking about her entry a lot because my husband has been training for a marathon since August. Due physical limitations, we’re not sure what marathon he’s training for, but he’s training on a schedule that would have him running a marathon in December. He runs his first half-marathon this weekend. He has realized the last few weeks that he probably won’t make the marathon in December (he has a lot more physical issues to overcome than the average runner) and the idea that this training process my continue on indefinitely is actually killing me. I mean, seriously, I’m losing my mind over here. The idea that there is not a definite “end” or “goal” to this phase of our lives is giving me nightmares.
Melissa said this:
But I also had a sinking feeling that this would be yet another night sacrificed to The Marathon. Like the night we didn’t go to that party because Logan had a long run. The kids and I waiting to do something on Saturday because Logan has a run. The family dinners we skip each week because Logan needed to get a 2 or 3 hour run in. For the last 4 months, our lives have revolved around this event
Man, do I feel her pain. I feel like our lives are crazy enough with us both working outside the home and having one kid that goes out of state to see his Dad on the weekends. And MrZ has always been a Gym Guy who uses 2 or 3 nights a week to keep himself Hot and Sexy. Before The Marathon Training, I have always felt like I wasn’t keeping a good balance on our Weekday lives. I felt like I had too much on my plate and than any shift would make me lose it all forever.
But now? Add The Marathon Training to our previously insane lives? And you have a Zoot who is worn the hell out.
Here is what our weeks look like. Keep in mind we both are at work from 6:30am – 4:30pm or so every day. Mondays are “off” nights for MrZ so we usually come home from work and try to eat a meal together and hang out for the few hours before NikkiZ goes to bed. However, since this is MrZ’s “off” night, he is more prone to just chilling on the couch and watching TV since he doesn’t get to do it any other night. The Good Wife would probably encourage this, but Bitter Wife tends to roll her eyes a lot behind his back and grumble that he’s watching TV instead of hanging out with the family. Or worse, watching TV instead of giving his wife a much deserved break.
(Can you guess which wife I am?)
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays: MrZ comes home from work, spends 30 minutes or so prepping for his workouts/runs and then he is gone for 1-2 hours depending on the task for the night. He gets home just in time for NikkiZ to go to bed. While he’s gone I get dinner ready for him to eat when he gets home. Essentially those three nights involve me parenting and running the house solo. Preparing dinner, giving baths, doing laundry, running errands. By myself.
Fridays are “off” nights too, but since every other Friday LilZ goes to his Dad’s, one of us (lately it’s me) has to drive on Fridays. So, while my husband will be home, I’ll be on the road driving LilZ to Birmingham to see his Dad. Not really an “off” night for me. And another task that puts me behind on every other responsibility in my life.
Saturdays are All Day Football days this time of year. MrZ openly admits he’s useless on those days. The Good Wife would simply be supportive of that and look at it as his “Him Time” to finally take a break from The Marathon Training and enjoy some time doing what he loves best: Watching Football. But the Bitter Wife takes the kids to do fun stuff and play at parks and go for walks and also finds time to do the grocery shopping all while resenting the fact that her husband would rather sit around and watch Football than actually hang out with the family. Or help her take care of the family.
(Again – can you guess which wife I am?)
Sundays are the LONG RUN days. Those are the worst days. Those days have him sleeping late so he can be rested. Then, he spends an hour or so prepping for his run. His runs take him out of the house for several hours just for the run itself. Then there’s the hours of recovery afterwards. The 30 minute ice baths and hours worth of stretching. Then, there’s the general uselessness the rest of the day because he just ran some obscene distance and can’t quite do anything else.
I’ll spare you the Good Wife v/s Bitter Wife responses to the Sunday long runs and just say: I’m the Bitter Wife.
So, I’m right there with Melissa. But – here is the difference: I was the one who did The Marathon Training last year.
At first glance, you might think this would make me more understanding. Less bitter. More supportive. But you know what? It doesn’t. It makes me much less supportive and much more bitter. Do you want to know why? Because I prioritized my family and their lives before my Marathon Training. Every run I did, I only did if I felt like I could say it wouldn’t inconvenience anyone. I left for my long runs before anyone woke up so I’d have them out of the way before the day got going and no one would feel put out. I would force myself to be active after I finished so that no one would grumble about me being useless after my runs. I skipped numerous mid-week runs (which is a HUGE “no no” and probably why I walked a chunk of my marathon) because I didn’t want to miss time with my family or inconvenience MrZ. My training came after everything else in my life and in my family’s life because I didn’t want them to look at this and be annoyed by it. I didn’t want them to have any negative feelings towards my selfish desire to run this race. I knew it was a selfish task that would benefit no one but me, so why should they have to suffer because of it?
MrZ doesn’t quite look at it that way. I’m bitter. I’m not proud of it at all, but it’s there.
I guess I wanted to get all of that off my chest, because I don’t want to be bitter. I want to be supportive. I want to be proud and excited and not be thinking about how much this sucks for me. I’ve been thinking about how much it all sucks since August and MrZ has a big milestone on Saturday and I need to take a break being the Bitter Wife for a change (no matter how justified) and be The Good Wife. I want to be out in the cold on Saturday running around from checkpoint to checkpoint rooting for my husband without the resentment holding me back. I kinda needed to get it off my chest because it’s actually not fair to him. I know that. I’ve been there. I know how much he needs me cheering him on because I know how much I wanted him there for me.
I guess I wanted to get it off my chest so I can scream for him at as many points as I can on Saturday without grumbling between them. I’ve said my piece, I’ve bitched and I’ve moaned. For Saturday? I can now be The Good Wife.
But I promise you, The Bitter Wife will be going full force starting first thing Sunday morning when I have to drive to Montgomery to get LilZ while MrZ sits on the couch recovering. The Good Wife has a short lifespan, you know.