Photo from Mount Royal, Frisco, Colorado.

"That is happiness; to be disolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep." - Willa Cather

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Running Mothers feel Entitled, are Crazy, Lazy

The official record of exercise for last week

Sun: 3 mile warm-up, 10k race (6.2 miles) 9
Mon: 3 mile baby jogger run, pulse core step class, swim 80 lengths in 52 minutes, 3 mile run with baby jogger 6
Tues: 19 miles of hill running with SR 19
Wed: 3 mile baby jogger run, pulse core step class, interval swimming with SR 76 lengths in 56 minutes, 3 mile baby jogger run 6
Thurs: 3 mile warm-up, 8 x 1 km intervals with SR, 3 mile cool down, 1 hour swim practice with Tri-Club 11
Fri: 3 mile baby jogger run, pulse core step class, 30 minute bike ride, 4 mile easy run, 20 minute run with The Lorax (1 mile?) 87
Saturday: 15.5 miles hill running, 3 miles with baby jogger 18.5

Miles run: 77.5 (125 km)
Approx. 3 hours of swimming
Other stuff

Finally a week of training I am really please with. But what was my week unofficially like, you ask?

Well, I'm getting more and more feedback that I am indeed crazy. There is this social concept in Denmark called Jante Law (janteloven)and it basically is the idea that no one is entitled to more of anything than anyone else. If you stretch your imagination slightly, you can see how this also would apply to running/exercise. I find myself constantly trying to hide the fact that I run so much (and the other exercise, too). Winning races is one thing. The people I work with seems to find that charming. But the actual training part? It came out that I had run 3 hours a day with The Lorax in a baby jogger after he was born and there was a concensu among my co-workers that it was good I was over that "illness". (In case you think I am hoping for someone to say, "No, you're not crazy", I'm not. I know I'm a running junkie with a real addiction. But the real question is how unhealthy is it?

Then there is the obvious conflict: when do I actually have time for the kids, SR, cleaning, cooking, etc? It has come up a few times on SR's side of the family that my exercise is a sign of laziness. Might sound counter intuitive, but, of course, I am sure you all understand how I could come off as lazy with an often unclean apartment and shoving yogurt and cereal at my kids for dinner. Or relying on SR to make real food. It's pathetic and I'm embarrassed by it.

Physically, I feel I'm in great shape and ready for Brocken Marathon in Germany on Saturday. As it is in the mountains (over 1000 meters of climb) and there is no chance for a PR, it will simply be fun. But what about getting pregnant? Am I pregnant? Well, on Wednesday, I took note of the fact that my resting pulse was 78, which was certainly higher than I would expect. A rise in resting pulse from 12-15 bpm is actually one of the first signs of pregnancy. Happens before a pregnancy test turns positive. The problem is, I think I somehow willed my pulse to rise. I was 3 days late for my period and took a pregnancy test, which was negative, and later measured my pulse to be 62. :(. And I actually don't know what my resting pulse normally is. Then today I got my period. It is almost enough to make a girl believe she's not actually pregnant. Being infertile may have its charm when one is 20, but not when one is 31 and trying to get pregnant. But does it have anything to do with exercise? If I lived in Chile, I might believe it was simply someone wishing evil upon me.

But, leaving all that behind, I went on an amazing run today. It is hard for me to express the happiness I get from being able to run endlessly to explore the landscape here. I had always wanted to run from Næstved to Mogenstrup through the forests and over the repeating åse and that is exactly what I used my 15.5 mile run on. I am working on finding a running route for an aquathon I want to arrange with out tri club and I think I finally found it. SR was away at work again. I got a baby sitter for the kids. I know. Lazy. ... (but worth it!)

Here are some pictures.

Leaving Næstved, moving east.

The 3rd Åse.

Towards Mogenstrup.

Pretty trail on the forest floor to the left.

Åse spine.

An abandoned house.

And when you feel like you kind of suck at everything and you are just a ball of stress, well, then there is always music.

Here are three songs you might also love to run to.

"Hands" by The Ting Tings

"Hang with Me" by Robyn

"Thule Fog" by John Vanderslice


chris mcpeake said...

awesome pics

olga said...

Your pulse is 62? That shouldn't be when you are in a physical state you are in. Mine is 40 at the dentist office minutes before root canal (36 at awakening), and Larry complains when his rises up to 46. Weird...this is how they usually say right away I am a runner.
Anyhow, there was a smart thought I had on this, but I took a break talking to Larry, and the thought left my mind. This is what you get after a 30 mile training run on little sleep...
Yeah, priorities. About 'em. It's up to your family. But might have to be discussed with all. IMHO.
Pretty site. I love closed-in tress more though:)

Stefanie Schocke said...

Beautiful pictures!

I have to ask...aren't you tapering for your marathon?! That is high mileage for a marathon in 1 week! I know you can handle it, but just wondering! :)

P.S. If it makes you feel better, I don't cook. It's yogurt and applesauce for my little one for dinner

mmmonyka said...

I love it! There are more important things than a clean apartment and as long as SR or kids do not complain, it is ok.
We never had cooked dinner in my house (and my mom's mom and in-laws thought she was lazy) and both me and my sister have turned out ok (I might be little bias there though:))

Karen said...

Yogurt and cereal is better than some of the crap people feed their kids.

Lots of people are hardcore about their hobbies. Some play the violin for 10 hrs each day, some watch TV all day long every day, you just happen to like running. Don't ever feel guilty for that! :)

Anonymous said...


Bother less about what "people" thinks about your and your familys way of living, and rely on what works for the four of you.

Below is a link to a subject that you have often blogged about:,8052,s6-21-0-7,00.html?bcpid=2888992001&bclid=613658520001&bctid=614019956001

It is a interview with Paula Radcliffe and Kara Goucher about running through pregnancy, note it is in 3 parts X 3½ min each.
In the October issue of Runners World the have a 6 page article with PR an KG about the same subject.

Frank said...

Ooops... I didnt meen to be that anonymous... hope you find the video from Runners World interesting, regards from Frank

sea legs girl said...

Thanks Chris!

Olga, you should probably know that I couldn't fall asleep last night because I kept contemplating why my pulse was so high. I actually got out of bed to get my watch and measured it again. The most likely explanation is anemia. I've always been slightly anemic and no cause has been found. Or maybe it's because I stress about things like why my pulse is so high.

And I like closed in tree paths better, too, and mountains. But this is Denmark, baby. Lots of open rolling farm hills.


Ah, one of my favorite topics to ponder. How much should one taper before a marathon? I think conventional wisdom puts too much emphasis on taper. And when one races as much as I do, one actually gets out of shape from all the tapering, so I can't have that. I'll avoid running on Thursday and Friday completely, though.

Mmmonyka, ha! Did I give the impression SR didn't complain :)? But it's good he does - it does make me more productive.

Karen - 10 hours a day - of running - sounds awesome. If only it were my job, then maybe I wouldn't feel guilty.

Frank, thanks so much for your comment and for the link. I'll have to go check it out.

Ewa said...

Gosh, why is it that a clean apartment is still a measure of any woman's accomplishments? Nobody would comment that our hubbies don't do their job because the house is messy.
Please, don't worry about what other people say. For some reason we are the kid of creatures who don't tolerate well any differences. You love running then run. I bet your running inspires more people than a clean house ever would.

Stefanie Schocke said...

Interesting point...I always tell my husband that tapering harms me...he disagrees. But I've done some amazing 20-22 milers while doing speed work, no rest, etc...and I tell my husband the taper gets to me!

PiccolaPineCone said...

wow, Denmark sounds far more socialist than any other country I am even vaguely familiar with (which isn't saying much granted). I guess it is in line with the other Scandinavian countries. Given janteloven - I am curious to know, are there any visible signs of poverty in Copenhagen? Are there neighbourhoods that are visibly less wealthy than others? Are there any homeless people?

I am, of course, focusing on this aspect of your post to avoid focusing on the fact that you ran a gazillion and three miles the week before a marathon (why? why?).

Ok, I can understand the rationale of not wanting to taper for every race when you race as often as you do, that definitely could cause you to actually lose fitness... but must you break mileage records the week before your 'thon??

Alright, I'll quit nagging and also trying to impose my goals onto you (that was more regarding my last comment about running a flat, fast 5 or 10 km).


p.s. word verification was "impress" no kidding!

sea legs girl said...


Good question about the poverty in Copenhagen. While I don't live there, I am always struck by the fact that I can't find any poverty there. There is a little problem with gypsies moving there unoficially and not becoming part of the social structure. There are neighborhoods where the houses are smaller and then there are really nice neighborhoods. But the poverty really isn't there as far as I've seen. And definitely not in our town either. We supposedly live in "the doctor ghetto", but it's actually quite nice. I'm not quite at the point of singing the song "In the Ghetto" with complete sincerity. So yeah, it's the most socialist place I've lived.

cherelli said...

Hey SLG meant to respond to this post sooner. The issues your raise about exercise and family/home life could be seen as valid concerns - but like Olga says it's totally determined by the perceptions of the rest of your immediate family. I mean, you see the professional triathlete couples with kids who schedule in their workouts each week around family/house stuff....and cleaning is WAAAY down the list. If you make enough just get a cleaner in once a week or something! Mind you, in my situation this was an issue that came up between Brett and I - exercise number 1, stepping up to the plate and actually taking on the role of a homeowner....kind of a distant second for me!! BUT it was nice to get some constructive criticism and now I am making sure I try to carry more of my share of the responsibilities (or just balance my schedule a bit better).
As for yoghurt and cereal - can I come eat at your place??? Yum!!

Anonymous said...

Just a thought: if you already feel like you don't give enough time to your kids/home/husband, why would you want to have another child? Just curious about your motivation to get pregnant again, given your desire to train the amount you do.

mmmonyka said...

I assumed that since SR does interval workouts with you that he does not complain:)
So if he instead of pacing you through 1k intervals tries to force a broom into your hand, then start to be alarmed.

SteveQ said...

It's a challenge to run to, but have you heard "I Like Giants" by Kimya Dawson?

SteveQ said...

Hey! You taught me something medical in your comment. I though pannus just referred to an eye problem in dogs and that panniculus was an abdominal fat roll. It IS also called a pannus.

So, do you send me a bill now?

Kate said...

I certainly wouldn't call you lazy. But as a working mom, I do sometimes read your posts and have those, "How does she find the time?" thoughts, since I struggle to make enough time for exercise in my own life. But it's all about choices and priorities, right? As long as you're fine with yours, then don't worry about anyone else. Maybe I like to cook more than you do. Maybe (well, definitely) you like to run more than I do. And that's okay.
As for the cleaning, I just read a little thing today that said cleaning while there are still children growing up is like shoveling the walk while it's still snowing. : ) For me, I am not a neat freak, but there is a point at which the state of my house really gets to me. It's like physical clutter and mess create mental clutter and mess, and I feel a lot more at peace if I pick up. So if you have not gotten to a point of disorder where you think it's affecting you or anyone else negatively, then I wouldn't worry about it. I guess that point is different for different people. If you have a high tolerance for mess, consider yourself lucky, not lazy. : )

sea legs girl said...

Good question, Anon. But sometimes the emotional "because it will make me and us happy" rules in decision making - and probably rightfully so.

Practically speaking, Natali, my step-daughter, is moving to the US to live with her mom in August, so then we've only got one kid in our home. But honestly, that hasn't really affected our decision making.