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Choices and Guilt

I struggle with making choices. Oh, I am decisive and can make up my mind quickly and surely. But I struggle with making RIGHT choices.

I am a champion excuse maker.

I have decided to do a full marathon in October. Yes, that seems a million years from now, but I have to start training today.

And every today, from now until October 20.

Two weeks ago Keith said, gently (although I didn’t take it so gently), that he is concerned about my marathon goal, because I am not training enough.

He is not concerned about my travel to San Francisco (even after Boston) or my leaving the family for five days of “solo” travel (I will be with a team from Indy), or even the $4000 I have to raise between now and August. He is concerned because I am not out there pounding the pavement enough.

I moped for a few days and then realized he is right.


I feel guilty taking 45 minutes “away” for a run and another 30 for the post-run routine. This morning, for example, he didn’t get home until after 9:00. That meant pushing his bedtime back by a good hour so I could go run. And he was totally okay with that.

But I feel guilty about it, and I frequently use that guilt as an excuse to make the choice to not go run.

I feel guilty asking him to play with his own son (or feed him breakfast) while I go out for a run, because I feel like those are my job to do every day.

(I am ridiculous, and I realize that, but maybe somebody else struggles with guilt?)

I don’t desire copious amounts of “me” time. I don’t throw my kid at my husband the second he walks through the door to escape to the coffee shop, or to go out with friends (hard to do at 8 am anyway). I don’t hand off my parenting to other people frequently throughout the week.

So why do I feel guilty making a GOOD choice to exercise and alleviate some stress (and, okay, justify ice cream or popcorn regularly)?

Why do I feel guilty asking my parents to watch the kiddo here and there, just so I can go for a run or sit with Jesus somewhere?

I don’t know. But if you manage to do these things without feeling guilty, let me know how, okay?


One thought on “Choices and Guilt

  1. I'm not a mom, so I know that my answer will be a little different than what you are looking for, but I struggled with guilt at first when I was running and especially last year when I was training for my first half-marathon.

    I have my first full marathon booked for October as well (the Marine Corps Marathon in DC) and so I understand the need to train regularly.

    In the beginning, I felt guilty, but I also realized I always felt better when I ran. “A bad run is better than no run” truly became my mantra and it helped me get out the door. Sometimes it means we eat dinner at 9:30pm, but that's what we do.

    Just this weekend – The Man was working in the yard doing some mulching and I had done a little inside, but not as much as I should/could have. But it was 6:00 on Sunday evening and I realized that if I didn't go right that second, I'd not get to go until probably tomorrow do to my schedule and it getting dark soon.

    So I asked The Man if it was selfish for me to go and he immediately replied “no, go!”

    I share this because that's what helps my guilt – The Man sees I'm a better wife, have more energy, less stress and am more stable when I run. I put my run schedule on our calendar and he will actually encourage me/remind me to go get my miles in.

    The schedule is there, so each day we work around it – it's just like any other appointment I would have.

    Once I realized that I'm happier and healthier and our marriage is better when I get my runs in, the guilt slowly slipped away.

    Sorry for the super long comment, I hope at least some of it was helpful.


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