I know how I work -- I am goal-oriented. I will rearrange my life to get a training run in, but I will gladly let a "just because" run slip to the bottom of my priority list.
So, clearly the answer is to train for something.
Right now I'm working the Couch-to-5K, and I'm about to enter the "no more walking" portion of the program. That's right, the mid-run walk breaks are done! From Week 6 Day 3 and onwards every run is just increasing in length from 25 minutes up to 30.
I wanted to find a race to train for once the C25K was complete, but was having trouble finding anything after Dec 5. What's Dec 5 you ask? Well, it's the race my wife wanted to run -- the Hot Chocolate 5K in Northampton MA, my original home town and where we both went to high school. She has yet to run a road race (I have run two, when I was in better running shape), and when she mentioned it in passing to her mother she learned her mom had wanted to train for and run a race this year but had let it slide.
They decided to plan to run it together, and got a couple other female family members involved. I decided not to try and horn in on this action and instead to play the good husband who watches the baby. I also didn't want to steal her thunder and run a race before she did.
Since then, life has changed a bit for Jess's parents, and her mom has fallen way behind on her training. Realistically she's just not going to be able to run a 5K in December. So, instead, she volunteered to watch our daughter, freeing me up to run the race. This is good because the other family members might have to back out as well for schedule conflict reasons, meaning I may be the only person running with her.
This does mean I'm not running "my" race, but that's fine. I'm looking forward to supporting her and helping her cross that finish line. It's a big race (last year there were 1300 participants) which I think is awesome for a first race. I've run both small and big races and the atmosphere of excitement around the thousand-plus-person race is so much cooler. That, and you never feel "alone" on the course no matter how you're pacing yourself.
So what does this mean for our training? We both are on track to finish the C25K in October (she a week before me). The next steps will be to gradually increase our runs' durations, and to make sure Jess does a few training runs outside so she's used to how the pavement and the outdoor air feels. It's a totally different world than the basement treadmill. She's done outdoor runs before but it's been a couple years. Time to get back out there! My job is to mainly to enable her -- watch the baby, lend support, and whatnot. And sneak in a few outdoor runs myself....