Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Treading.

For a whole host of reasons, I usually do my three mid-week runs on the treadmill (my two weekend runs are outside. No matter what.). It's just the way it is.

But, I've begun to feel kinda bad about this. Not because I fear I'm getting less of a workout, or that I'm going to develop some sort of over-use injury from the repetitive steps. I feel bad because of the kids.

True confession: I park the kids in front of the tv so I can run.

I know. I know.

It's a new development. For a long time, we didn't have a working tv downstairs (where the treadmill is) so I was constantly jumping off the 'mill to do one thing or another for the kids. Now? With the tv? Uninterrupted miles are mine. All mine! Bwah, ha, ha, ha!

The first time I used the tv, I had 7 miles on the schedule, with 2x2 miles at 8:20 pace. Before tv, I would have probably eked out 5 miles with 1, maybe 1.5 of them at pace. I would have had to hop off the 'mill, probably more than once. That was just a given. With tv, though, there was no such problem. Seven uninterrupted miles. At pace! WOO!

Now my toddler can play with whatever "big boy" toy he wants to (he hasn't been all that interested in the downstairs tv), without Conal taking over. And Conal sits and watches Curious George and Fetch! with Ruff Ruffman (two decent enough PBS shows). He no longer whines that he wants to go back upstairs. He no longer begs me to stop running.

No complaints at all.

And I get to run and run.

So why do I feel like this is a bad idea?

Because I do. I have this nagging feeling that it is just not cool to park the kids in front of the tv just so I can run. I mean, isn't that a bit selfish? It feels that way . . . but, yet, it works. And it allows me to get my proper run in without the kids getting all antsy. Never mind that I don't have to wait until 8:30pm to get an uninterrupted run in.

It's good and bad, I guess.

To lessen my guilt, I've been limiting the tv to one hour of PBS, although I did turn on the Yankees game on opening day last week. And, yeah, the boys loved it and were high-fiving each other all over the place. I also try to encourage them to play with the toys that are downstairs, and they do hop on the trampoline and jump a little, or play in the ball pit, all those things they did before we had the tv down there. The tv is there as my safety net.

It works. Now I just need to stop feeling guilty about it!

Am I the only one who does stuff like this to have time to run? 
Please tell me I'm not . . .


(Oh, and, yes. I ran today. A little over 5 miles on the treadmill while Conal watched Word World and Niall played trains. It was a great run. Great.)

Hope you're having a good week!


~ Felice

15 comments:

Alice said...

I do the same thing! I think it's fine to park them in front of the tv for the sake of a workout...considering when I'm not running or at work I am on the floor playing, coloring, reading with them or playing outside. (at least that's how I justify it in my mind.)

The Happy Runner said...

You're right, Alice. I'm all about actively playing with the kids -- when I'm not running (or cooking or doing laundry...).

GoddessLibrarian said...

My 2 cents... You're letting them watch a limited amount of TV that is educational. The biggest downfall of TV is not necessarily the brain-dumbing effect, but that it takes the place of parental involvement. You are INVOLVED with those kids. One hour so you can run is not bad. One hour so you could read a book wouldn't even be bad. It's when you let them watch TV all day and it becomes background noise and you ignore them that it becomes bad. Lose the guilt!

Hip2bcool said...

I second that GoddessLibrarian! Those few hours at the tv outweigh the benefit you get to be the healthy,awesome Mom that you are. guilt, be-gone!

Hip2bcool said...

That came out wrong!, Reverse! the benefit you receive to be the healthy, awesome Mom that you are, outweigh the minimal time the kids ate at the tv.

Bridget said...

Oh please. I think everyone parks their kids in front of the TV for one reason or another. If I told you how many times I do that - you would break up with me as a friend. HA!
Seriously - no guilt. You are marathon training. You need to get your run in and have some time for you. And the kids are getting some downtime and TV time. No biggie. It's not like you are doing it for hours and hours. No guilt Happy Runner. No guilt!

Running Moose said...

It's ok! It's not like you're plopping them in front of the TV 24/7. When they're older, you'll be able to run outside with them riding bikes, or they'll be able to do HW or something else instead of TV without interrupting your run. It's ok to do this for yourself. It's hard as a parent to do something for yourself without feeling selfish, but we need to be who we are and it's important for our kids to see that, too.

Falon said...

I bet getting that run in makes you a better mom to them all the others hours of the day that you aren't running. :)

Katie McFarland said...

I feel the same way about dropping E off at the gym nursery. After I've been away from him for 8+ hours, I'm going to drop him off for another hour just so I can workout?! Guilt city!

But I've realized that, like many other mothers, I try to involve E as much as I can (running outside) but when I can't I make sure the time I'm away from him is worth it. I push myself hard. It sounds like that's what you're doing too.

You're not alone. You're not a bad mom! You are trying to balance and that's the best any of us can do! Happy Trails!

AMcConn said...

I don't have children but I don't think you should feel guilty at all. if the kids are really only watching TV while you run its not a big deal.You are afterall still in the same room with them!!
Running is time that you take to make you a better Mom, it centres you and allows you to de-stress.
Enjoy your treadmill runs guilt free.

Suzy said...

There is a phase in the kids' lives where sometimes it has to be done...so go with it! It isn't like you are setting them in front of the TV so you can have a party or spend hours mindlessly surfing the web. Plus, you do a lot of things with your kids. A little TV isn't going to hurt them and getting your mid-week runs in does wonders for a mom. Keep up the great work!

Laura said...

I don't have kids...but I thought this was a given. :)
Don't beat yourself up or feel guilty. You don't deserve that nor do your kids.

Melissa said...

Please don't feel guilty! You need that time to run so you can recharge yourself so you can be the great mom that you are.

MCM Mama said...

I used to do that (or some version - Wii comes to mind LOL) often when my kids were younger. I don't have to do it often now that they are both in school, but I know it'll happen this summer. My 6 year old is refusing summer camp. Not sure how I'm going to get work done and run and entertain him all summer...

Anonymous said...

I do that too! I let my 4 year-old and 17 month old watch Sesame Street in the afternoon while I get my workouts in. I don't feel guilty at all, because I work all day at home with them, and take many breaks to read, color, play, and run around outside with them! You are making a good decision with educational tv! My baby wanders around a lot and plays iwth the toys, but the 4 year old is glued to the tv! On the weekends I let daddy entertain them while I exercise, and he often chooses tv, too!

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