It has been 10 years in the making but my husband finally ran his very first race! It was actually 3.5 miles and, if you’re a runner, you know it’s those .5 miles that make all the difference. He decided to do it almost on a whim (and I may have dropped a few hints) but somehow a Christmas miracle occurred yesterday with him waking-up, suiting up, starting and finishing his first 5K.
I know it’s difficult being married to a runner. I think I know, anyway, and I do appreciate the sacrifices he makes so I can go out there and train and race. But, what I used to want more then anything was for him to be a runner too. Not.going.to.happen. Not only is he not a runner, he thinks running is ridiculous and racing even more so. The only real running he does is fast and furious (R.I.P Paul Walker) on the treadmill in between push-ups, sit-ups and lifting weights. I think it was ultimately his curiosity that got the best of him. Either that or he’s so desperate for alone time, away from the twins, that he’s even willing to race a 5K if that’s what it takes to have a meal in peace afterward. Lightbulb moment.
To say my husband is not a morning guy is like saying Tiger Woods is not a prostitute guy. It’s a huge understatement which was just another reason this race suited him – the start time was at noon! Unfortunately, the late start did not bring the sun and it was about 32 degrees when the horn sounded. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.
He was glad he woke-up just in time to get some foam rolling in – and rolling around with the boys:
He likes to
poke fun at me mercilessly ridicule me about how my running friends and I hem and haw over what to wear to races in different temperatures, distances and venues. He was in utter disbelief that Runner’s World exists has a “dress the runner” app that I find unbelievably helpful. “What the hell is so hard about getting dressed and then putting one foot in front of the other?” he would say. You’re about to find out!
Once we were in the car on the way there he was reconsidering his outfit. Then, when we were there and he saw what everyone else was wearing, he started to question it again. My friend Anne and my Aunt told me later that he also mentioned to them (when I wasn’t around) that he may be dressed inappropriately. HA!!! And, he was pretty mad about putting pinholes into his Under Armour sweatshirt to secure his bib number. Right? How come no one has figured out a solution to this one yet?
We’ve addressed my type A issues and on race day they are in full effect. I have a semi-strict race day regimen, part of which is getting to the venue at least an hour ahead of time. The ying to my yang however, prefers to get to things just as they are happening or about to happen, which is to say late. Instead of following my experienced lead in this case he butted against me saying, “I know you want to go and warm-up (another thing he found utterly ridiculous) but I’ll be hanging out freezing my expletive off for an hour.” Oh bless his heart. He wasn’t even registered for this race! Is he not taking into consideration going to the bathroom 14 times, pinning your bib on, making one last trip to the car because maybe I should wear that neck warmer after all, into account? In a word – No.
We got there at 10 after, he chose to not sit in the car but get registered, go to the bathroom, then oops forgot his headphones in the car, chatted with some friends we met up with and then met Anne and I at the start pretty much at the same time.
It was around this time I noticed I wasn’t getting all the usual pre-race jitters. Sure I was a little nervous at the start line but mostly I was having fun! I was beyond excited to be at a starting line with my husband. I had almost none of the anxiety I usually have thinking about what him and the kids are doing, what my exact splits need to be and if I’ll place in my age group. My mind was busy and focused on him and it was fantastic. Is this what everyone is talking about when they say just go “run it for fun?” Lightbulb moment.
I gave him a quick kiss and wished him good luck. The horn sounded and I took off.
I had a great race. Mostly because the finish line had more purpose – I was actually going to cheer my husband in to the finish and see him completing his first race. I was so psyched that I cannot imagine what kind of conniption fit I’ll have if I get to see my kids run someday. This is how I know I truly love running. It sounds like such BS but I love to share it with other people. I honestly do. Getting to that finish line was just the first part of completing the race for me and the second part was the best.
The way the finish line is set up at this race, you have to take two hairpin turns into a parking lot before you cross the line – sucks for the runners but very cool for spectating purposes. I was able to see him coming around the first turn into the lot and cheered him in the rest of the way. I was warned against saying anything “too runnerish.” What the hell that is, I don’t know, so I yelled “Are your nipples chaffed sweetie?” No I didn’t…not for a 5K anyway.
He finished in under 30 minutes, which was his goal, and when he could talk he said “I’m never doing that again.” I almost cried because that is the sign of a true runner!
I told him not to make any big decisions right after a race. As with children, you would never ask a woman who has just given birth if she wants to have another one because the immediate answer would be something like ‘HELL NO!”
After swapping war stories with our friends who also ran, we went out for a
childless quiet relaxing meal of burgers and beers. It was a great day.
When we got home I of course made him mark his bib with the date, his time and place and it will be hung in the garage right next to mine. This may be the start of something big!
What activities do you do with your partner/significant other? Have you ever tried something just to make your spouse/partner happy? Have you done a holiday race yet?