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Struggling as a running dad

My training and running has changed forever.

Like your first marathon, you really don’t know what to expect despite all the reading and research you did. That is how I felt about becoming a running dad. I prepared for the big day in the hospital, had done the reading and the classes. I thought I was ready.

Here is an update from my life as a new running dad at seven months:

Running dad life

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My running dad life. Fitting in the runs, the daughter and dad time, the late night blurry-eyed feedings, blogging and some good times.

My life has changed. I love my cute little daughter. But I’ve had a hard transition.

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I am not looking for sympathy, I’m simply sharing my story from inside the world of a runner whose life has changed. I like being a dad. But it has also been difficult. Before my house was filled with jolly jumpers, cribs and pampers, I could run as much as I wanted. I had time to run, race, plan and write about it pretty well whenever I wanted. I knew things would be different but it hit me hard.

I was tired. I missed being able to plan things. I was missing runs. My running and my new dad life were coming into conflict. Races I registered for just didn’t happen. I called off a fall marathon because I was stressed from training, from home life and trying to cram it all together without making changes.

Life requires change. Life is change. Life is beautiful if you look.

I did not change and I was missing the beauty. Things ground to a halt and I had to do some thinking and evaluation. I still feel like I am in transition but am treading water as opposed to drowning in my new running dad life. I now try to find time to lace up my running shoes but my priority is my family. Like a new age category at a race, I have entered a new category of my life.

Advice for running dads or dads to be

Do all the preparation in the nine months in advance. Know what you have to do in the hospital but also prepare for the time after your little bundle of joy arrives. Put down the sneakers for a bit. Breathe deep, relax and get runs in when you can but don’t stress. Soak in the time with your baby. Don’t worry about racing for a while. Use running to de-stress.

Enjoy the time in the open air to think and remember why you like to run.

Running requires being able to focus and concentrate on one goal and sometimes be hard-headed and stubborn to get through harsh weather or obstacles. Training requires commitment and a plan. But good athletes must also be able to be flexible and to stop, evaluate and adjust as needed. One needs to adapt to their environment and their reality.

Run on my running friends. See you out on the roads or in the blogosphere.

Do you have a running story to tell?

runningwriter@hotmail.com. You can also catch Noel on Twitter @NoelPaine or on his personal blog, No Paine, No Gain.