Priorities or Why Showering Doesn’t Always Make the Cut

This hair looks clean enough. Right?

It’s after 4:00 in the afternoon; I’ve started some laundry, stacked the morning dishes, begun prepping dinner. The kids are actually playing with home-made play dough (I saw it on a toddler blog, and thought what the hell) together, peacefully.

Hold your applause, please. I take out my messy bun to tighten it up a bit and notice that my hair is still wet from my run this morning. I brush my cheek with my hand and inadvertently exfoliate myself with the salt crystals glazing my skin. I finished my long run, super sweaty from the humidity, about five hours ago. Yes, today, like more days than I care to admit, Showering lost to Running. Again.

People wonder sometimes how I fit in 40, 50, 60 or even 70 miles in a week. Of course they wondered that when I only ran in the 20-30 mile range, too. I hear a lot of “I just don’t have the time” from certain people before they switch to a full synopsis of all the different tv series they follow. It is true I am not working full-time outside the home anymore, though when I was a high school science teacher I fit in the mileage at 5:00 am.

My husband is a high school principal and a doctoral student, making me the manager of the household. I’m the 24-hour-on-call parent to our two children and our puppy. That feels like a full-time job, one for which I don’t have to write lesson plans and create curriculum or worry about state test scores, iron my clothes, or even necessarily put on deodorant.

Baby wipes, not just for baby butts.
Baby wipes, not just for baby butts.

It’s all about priorities. Running to me is like brushing my teeth; the question is never whether or not I’ll do it, just when. Other things become secondary, since I’m limited to just 24 hours each day. Things that lose to Running? Showers. Like I mentioned, either they entirely don’t happen or occur at bizarrely odd times like late at night or before my run so I can look somewhat presentable for the Parent Club meeting or doctor appointment after the run.

(Hmm, I got perfume for Mother’s Day. Was this a coincidence?)

Makeup is starting to lose more often. Sitting. Reading. Watching tv. Sleeping in. Sleep in general. Talking on the phone. You get the idea. All these things lose to Running.

Once Running becomes a priority, it becomes habit. And after time, good habits lead to great things. Well, and perma-sweaty hair; but, that’s totally like using that beachy sea-salt texturizing spray stuff for free, right?


How do you prioritize your day to fit in your runs? What most often loses to Running in your daily schedule?

I'm an elementary P.E. teacher with a long-term, ongoing marathon addiction.The next big goal? Keeping up my BQ streak while aiming for a 3:10! I write about the not-so-glamorous side of running and fitting in serious training with a family while staying sane(ish).

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  1. The shower. Yep. Baby wipes and a hat work wonders 🙂 Oh, and never ever forget a pair of shorts or pants to change into after the run – key for getting away with this.

  2. Baby wipes, Dry shampoo, hats and body spray/perfume- we get it done.

    I think on of the things that takes a hit from my running right now is the time I spend getting ready in the morning. If it’s a morning run, I usually have enough time to shower (I don’t have kids, and Brian usually takes care of feeding the dogs etc in the AM). But I’d rather run a little longer and neglect the time for blow drying and make-up. If I run at night after work (more the norm.) I usually shower at night and sleep longer in the morning for recovery instead of spending that extra sleep time getting ready. Basically, if my hair isn’t up in a bun my corworkers wonder what the special occasion is.

    1. Yes! All I need to do is shower and put on nonrunning clothes and my kids all shocked, “you look so beautiful, mommy!” and then excitedly, “where are we going?!!?” Thank you running for making it REALLY easy to impress my children 🙂

  3. Remove sweaty running clothes asap, baby wipe affected areas (ahem), reapply deodorant, clean clothes, shake out sweaty hair and thrown into a chic messy bun/French twist, earrings, Chapstick, and ready to go!

  4. Until last year, I was a 10 month employee at my job, so I had June and July off. I saved a LOT of money on shampoo during those two months. I rarely styled my hair when I did shower. During work months I do have to try and put it together a little bit, but some days if I don’t sweat TOO badly, I’ll put my hair in a shower cap and just blow dry the sweat after my shower. Sadly my hair is too thick and long to do a bun- it just gives me a headache and neck ache now. Buns used to be my big time saver!!

    1. Oh my hair is just too thick and long and gorgeous for me to style it the way you people with your greasy mousy floppy hair do. It’s soooooo sad! 🙂

      In all seriousness, when I worked I kept my hair long because it’s wavy. All I needed to after running during lunch was to blow dry the sweat and bunch up and then brush out the waves! And now I don’t even pretend to care. …Sigh.

  5. Yeah, showering is definitely optional. As for makeup, I’m not sure I remember how. 100% agree with the miracle of dry shampoo.

  6. I only laughed when reading this because it is my life!! I hope when I run to the store a few hours after running that no one needs to get near me. Gosh I love Salty Running!

  7. Jeez, you guys have kids you chase around all day…what’s MY excuse?? I’ve learned that clean clothes and deodorant work wonders, and that hand sanitizer and a tissue work as well as a baby wipe in a pinch! I used to run to my job all the time and nobody was the wiser.