Being the wife of a runner isn’t easy. I don’t touch on what my husband does on here but it’s about time I did. My husband is a runner, and by runner, I mean competitive, marathon training runner. But he wasn’t always this driven.
When my husband and I met, I was 18 and he was in his early 20’s. We went out, we partied and for a while, our health wasn’t the most important thing to us. All that changed after we got married.
Not long after we got married, my parents dropped a bomb on us that my dad had Prostate cancer. Not much longer after his diagnosis, he had a procedure to implant nuclear beads that would kill those particular cancer cells. You can read more on targeted radionuclide therapy here.
Dad’s news to us spawned a positive effect on my life to start getting myself together and start putting my health at the forefront. I got a gym membership and became happily engrossed in fitness. It took hubby a bit longer. But not by much!
Why he started
Anytime we’d have a few drinks, Geoff would go to the nearby corner store to buy cigarettes. He’d lie to me and say he was getting snacks, I knew otherwise. Finally, on February 20th, 2013, he smoked his last cigarette and started running. Quitting smoking was something he did on and off for years so I was apprehensive. However, running slowly became his passion.
That spring, he completed his first 5k race. He was all nerves that morning as we got to the race arch. I was nervous for him! He’s so hard on himself and compares his progress to others. While his placement wasn’t in any top tier, it was a personal win for him and I was so proud of him.
Watching them struggle
Over these past 5 years, I’ve seen him struggle, succeed, set and reach goals that I couldn’t imagine obtaining myself. Seeing him either get an injury which would keep him from running, or being defeated by a cold, or the weather was difficult. You want to fix why they’re unhappy, but you know that all they really want, or need, is to get some miles under their feet.
Sometimes it’s just because of having a crazy schedule that he can’t make it out. Maybe we’re working opposing shifts, it happens. Or, if we take a trip somewhere, he wouldn’t be eating his usual foods and running like he normally would. All of which play huge factors in his mood, which yes, can translate into our home life.
Support, no matter what
While I don’t enjoy running at all, watching him do something he loves makes me so happy. It’s a much better example for our son than the previous lifestyle. Not to mention, he’s in better shape now than when we first met. Can’t shake a finger at that fact!
It’s easy to take for granted the changes people make in their lives when it’s not yourself directly. When you just sit and think about the distance that 10k is and the fact that your significant other just casually run that any day of the week, it’s pretty crazy. But a good kind of crazy. An influential kind of crazy, infectious even.
If you’ve never been at the finish line of a big race or a marathon, you need to experience it for yourself. People are cheering on loved ones, strangers or just cheering out of pure excitement. It’s really exhilarating.
It can get expensive
Everything has a price. And running, it adds up. Sneakers needing to be replaced every so many miles, Garmin watches, race registration. That’s just a high overview!
You’ll get into extras like the cost of clothes for seasonal running (especially all of the extras needed for winter running). Also, think about the time spent prepping for a race.
Time is money, and time is also relationships. When you’re leading up to a big race, there are no other plans to be made. Period. Everything is prepping for that race. Down to making sure that long distance runs are happening, then the dreaded taper, where they cut back on runtime, but they also need more rest.
You’ll see your food budget take a jump during race season, and especially on race, and post-race weeks because of carbohydrate loading. And also supplementation. Don’t forget the supplements, electrolytes, omega’s, protein and more. And so many bananas. Basically all of the bananas.
It takes sacrifice
With all of the miles he’s accumulated, it doesn’t go without sacrifice. His running means me supporting him and his goals, which can sometimes mean putting mine on the back burner. We’re not perfect, and if I’m being honest, yes, we do fight. Not that he doesn’t give me my time, but I still have a hard time asking for it. Because well, mom guilt. We’re still figuring out our balance, even with a two-year-old.
Throw making plans out the window because training, during race weeks, takes precedence over everything.
There’s no clear way of knowing how long it’ll take for us to get into a good groove, but hey, parenthood, right?
Race season is very much active now, and he is currently training for another full and half marathon. This means extra miles, and certainly some added crankiness on both our parts. Mine because “run” becomes a four letter word to me if you know what I mean. And for him, because he’s burning the candle at both ends.
Trust me, I have my days where when he complains about being tired, or burnt out, I respond with, “you choose to do this” however, it’s not a bad choice to make.
However, I’d take running Geoff, over smoking, unhealthy Geoff, any day.
After a race
There’s something so exhilarating about race day, even if you’re not running it! The build-up of all of the training runs, meal prep, and the emotional rollercoaster is about to be worth it all.
I mentioned before, but honestly, if you’ve never been in the crowd of a big race, you need to go. It’s so amazing watching those people coming across the finish line. Sometimes it’s with tears streaming down their face, into the arms of loved ones. Or, the announcer is calling out the names of the top division leaders.
It’s awesome to see your person come across that finish line, and get to give them a massive sweaty hug because they’ve accomplished something amazing.
This past spring was the first time I got to bring Peyton to the finish line of a marathon Geoff ran. As I passed Peyton over the barricade to Geoff, tears running down his face, it made everything worth it. You’re so proud of your partner, and especially seeing the example they are making for your little one(s).
Not all races are the same
Did you know there are races which are themed? Many are and those are really fun to be at!
Sure, it’s great to go to a race that has these crazy, amazing athletes, who are trying to qualify for massive races like Boston Marathon, or maybe even a regional qualifier!
But, races for causes like Terry Fox, or Pride races, are so much fun. Some races, like color races where people literally pelt the runners with colored chalk, are considered fun runs. You may also be familiar with foam runs, or mud runs, or even costume themed races! No matter what the idea, crazy, or great, I can guarantee, there is probably a race for that. Even Disney holds races!
Also, did you know there’s an all Women’s race in San Francisco sponsored by Nike, which at the end, you’re given a Tiffany necklace by a firefighter? Yeah. That’s a thing, and you can check that out here!
You may not be a runner
If you are the spouse of a runner, who doesn’t run themselves, you know where I’m coming from. Why don’t I run? Because I don’t enjoy it. And I’m not going to do something I don’t like doing, just to do something. I’d rather be writing or creating, or just taking in some quiet time. And that’s okay. Everyone has their own thing.
What I do miss is working out. Weight lifting, and training. I used to have a trainer, and I used to go to the gym every day, and I worked hard. Like really damn hard. And I was so proud of my body. That is something I want to get back to, absolutely. But we can’t have both parents out of the house at the same time. So, while I’m still trying to figure out my balance, and make my time, there’s always yoga!
Find something mutually beneficial
Finding something you both enjoy, that’s a happy medium can be a good compromise for the both of you. If you’re a runner, or if your spouse is, you know how important stretching. For a little while, a very little while… I managed to get Geoff to do yoga with me. But, like anything else, that tapered off. He got busy, I didn’t feel like waiting around, because let’s be honest, I feel like I always am. So we stopped doing that together.
But you know what, even now, he will sometimes pop some yoga on tv, or the laptop and get a good stretch in, so I know I helped in some way!
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Maybe you both like hiking, or going for walks. The main thing is that you can’t lose that time together because well, you’re a team. Like I said, we’re not perfect, and lately, we’ve been like ships passing in the night. But that too shall pass, and we will have our “us” time once the dust settles.
Is your spouse a runner? I’d love to hear how ya’ll balance it. Parenthood, your relationship with other, and your time for you! Leave your input in the comments below.