Loving a Runner is Difficult, but You Should Do It Anyway!
As posted in Run South Florida February 2014 Issue
Love in general is hard. But add to the mix that the object of your affection is runner and all of a sudden you find yourself at a packet pick-up lost among thousands of us runners wondering how you ever ended up with a crazy, uber-hydrating, mile counter. It’s no secret that when it comes to loving a runner, it’s not an all wind-at-your-back, no-humidity, flat kind of course. However just like the sport itself--sometimes overwhelming, tiring and challenging-- loving a runner is worth every sacrifice, not just because of the toned bodies and no-therapist needed outlook on life, but the heart that we bring to the table.
Loving a runner may mean cutting hangouts short with your friends on a Friday nights because our friends’ getty’s take place at 6am on Saturday morning at “conversation pace” with shifting scenery. You will also be okay with date nights being restricted to certain days of the week because that’s when we are workout-free. Loving a runner can mean standing for hours on the side of deserted roads just to see us come by once maybe twice and cheer loudly until you almost lose your voice. If you are lucky to be at the finish of any of our many events, we may pass out or throw up on you as we thank you, half in a daze, for being at our side.
Loving a runner is understanding that what may be perceived as being hardheaded is actually called DETERMINATION. That even when we are hurt, tired, or not feeling well, we still need to go out for a “little” run and we want your support. It means that quality time may be a nice long run at sub 8 min pace together if you can hang, or it may entail you biking next to us (so we are not alone out there) as you attempt to wake yourself up, provide entertainment of some sort , just talk so that we don’t have to, or simply illuminate our path.
Loving a runner means that you may wake up alone in an empty bed while we are out running with other very important people in their lives who we also love, our training partners and running friends, who also inevitably fill our social calendar with fun runs, run clubs, birthday dinners, beer runs, and other run-tastic adventures.
Loving a runner means that you won’t make faces every time you get in our car, because you already know that the smell is a result of leaving _____(insert item of clothing that got sweaty at the last run) all day (again) in your trunk. It’s also knowing that your front porch, doorway, or home entryway will always have a mini display of the latest models of Adidas, Nike, or Pearl iZumi.
Loving a runner means that your vacations and trips may revolve around some type of race activity, be it a triathlon, marathon, 5k, 10k, or mud run. And that vacation by no means is an indication that you won’t be running. On the contrary, you may use that time for two-a-days.
Loving a runner means understanding that when it comes to new shoes or running gear, it is not a WANT but a NEED. It’s an investment in our health and our sanity. And we shouldn't and don’t like feeling questioned about our purchases.
Loving a runner means putting up with mood swings when we are hurt or out of commission. It means that PASTA will be a family favorite dish, and that peanut butter is all we need to have to get the movie started. Not to mention that loving a runner also means coming to terms with competing, any activity is fair game for a challenge to be accepted or for competition to ensue.
Loving a runner is difficult but you should do it anyway!
We don’t just dream. We create training plans to make sure we can catch those dreams. With every mile we log, we shorten the distance between ourselves and our goals. We surround ourselves with people who will help us get there. We understand the power and importance of “believing in someone” and cherish beyond anything in this world that YOU believe in US. We constantly practice self-control, except when it comes to containing bodily fluids.
Endurance is our thing. Whether its incredible stamina in the bedroom or hiking for miles, paddling for hours or being able to withstand intense pain of heartbreak,failure, or loss, we are able to run through it all, and probably with a smile.
We are all terrain. We aren't scared to get a little muddy or trek through uncharted trails. We don’t need bathrooms to change after runs, heck we don’t even need bathrooms when we need to go. Dead ends only put an end to holding the contents of our bladder, and nothing else. Our love knows how to nurse injuries, run on sprains, push through the runs when no one is watching , and stick with it when the going gets tough.
We know the definition of commitment. Don’t be surprised if you find the picture of a runner under the definition of commitment next time you Google it...or was it under OCD? Now I can’t remember. Whatever the case, there is no denying that we will push past our physical limits to do what we say we would. We will never quit, give up, or drop you because we know the true value of running side by side, through rain, snow, heat, and humidity, day after day, season after season.
Loving a runner is difficult but you should definitely do it anyway because when you do, you run the chance that we too may love you back as much as we love our sport, and (quite possibly, one day) maybe even more. And that is a risk worth taking; Definitely a love worth standing in line at packet-pickup amongst thousands of other crazies for!
If there is a runner you love, make sure you let them know today and everyday!