Running Out of Time – Becky from Jog Division

I once heard it said that in order to train for a marathon you need a supportive spouse. Unfortunately being a single mum I don’t have that luxury! All the responsibility of running a home, taking care of a teenager, and bringing home a wage are mine and not shared.

When my children were younger I stuck to running 5km most of the time. This meant I was never out for long. Then I squeezed in longer runs by driving the children five miles to school and running home. I would shower, walk to work and take the train to collect them at the end of the day.

For my first half marathon I only trained to nine miles beforehand as I didn’t want to be away from home too long. However marathon training requires a lot more time out on the road. We don’t have the space for a treadmill so all my runs are outdoors.

In the winter 2019/20 I did my first lot of marathon training for my original spring 2020 Manchester marathon. Scheduling my long runs around my son’s cross country and fell racing as I was the only person who could take him. Somehow I just about managed to hit 18 miles before the pandemic pulled the plug.

This time around I have the added complication of a new part time job which includes a 35 minute each way commute. Combining this with a second part time job in the early evenings eats away at my possible running time.

My son can seemingly just lace up his trainers and head out the door without any guilty conscience. I can only avoid the housework or garden for a limited time without feeling guilty. Learning to multitask so that I put a load of laundry in the machine to be ready for my return is one way that I juggle it.

Luckily for me I work in a school so in a few weeks’ time I won’t be doing the day job for six weeks. By then my long runs will be back to over 90 minutes, it doesn’t help that I run steadily so it takes me longer… I do get mum guilt for being out running for several hours when I could be with my children. We have tried having my son cycle alongside me whilst I ran a half marathon (he is twice as fast as me when he is running so that doesn’t work!).

I am determined to run across that finish line in October so I’m going to have prioritise my running more as the date approaches. In the meantime I’ll just keep on apologising for the state of my house and garden!