On Saturday night, my husband looked at me and said “you should go to bed babe.”
He knew I had to be up early. The next day, I would be running my first half marathon ever… I was a total asshole to him that afternoon and he didn’t even mention it. With a kiss, he sent me off.
The race started at 7, I’d planned to be there at 6 to stretch, jump in on the Black Girls Run! group photo and meet my running partner Ashley… and use the port-a-potty twelve times and do all of the other crazy things runners do before races. For other races, the whole family has come, but this was early and I didn’t think waking the kids up at 5 am to wait around for 3 hours for mommy to finish was fair… and there was a chance of rain (cause, duh! it’s Florida).
So, a little after 5 I told him that I was leaving and off I went.
Running takes a huge commitment, at least for me. If I was gonna do this thing, I was gonna do it correctly- and because I’m a rule follower that means following my training plan (as close) to the T (as possible). My plan called for 1 cross training day and 4 running days per week.
Friends, that’s a lot. Especially when you’re as slow as I am. So when your plan says you have a 5-miler or a 7-miler, that’s like FOREVER in mommy time.
I thought that I could be a morning runner. I really, really did… but my anxiety and fear of the boogie man stopped me from getting out there and hitting the pavement. Also? Sleep. I love it so much. I could and would sleep all day long if you let me.
So… ya. Morning running didn’t really take off in my life. The struggle comes when I want to run in the afternoons, but I have to pick up my little ones. My husband doesn’t like for the kids to be at daycare past 5 and even though I think “they’re FINE babe, it’s fine- that’s what we pay for,” I understand and respect that it comes from a place of absolute daddy adoration- he just doesn’t want them without us for longer than they have to be. Well, by the time I get to where my kids are, it’s 4:30 and 30 minutes doesn’t let me put in very many miles.
So scratch that thought.
If I could get down to his job early enough, some afternoons he would run with me- he hates running, especially long distances, but I love running with him… and I love that he’d do something he loathes for me.
The point is, I was having trouble fitting running around my schedule. As a couple we decided that what I really needed was a treadmill, and that’s no little purchase, but it made a HUGE difference. Morning runs were possible, afternoon runs when just the kids and I were home were now possible.
And can we talk about gear? Shoes- $150ish, clothes? Pfff good luck spending less than maybe $50 on one thing (sometimes). For Christmas, the Mr. got me a $160 gift card to our local running store and I ended up getting a few things and he kinda gave me a side eye”That’s it?” he asked and I’m all “yep. This sh*t ain’t cheap, babe.” “I guess not” he said… and that was that. No fight, no fuss, nothing. Just a kind of it is what it is.
Entry fees for races.
Early morning race days.
Long runs on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
On Sunday, I sent a text to my husband just after I passed mile 9 and he responded “You said 10?” Meaning, I’d told him it would take me about 3 hours to finish and so I should be done by about 10… that was me underestimating both myself and my bossy pants running partner Ashley aka Speed Queen aka Beast Mode Runner aka She runs really slow when I’m around. Sorry. I’m getting distracted.
I sent another text that said “I guess I’m running faster than I thought.” Followed by “You don’t have to come babe, it’s okay. I get it.”
I didn’t want him to have to rush to get the kids ready and drive 30 minutes, try to fight the half marathon traffic AND find parking… it was too much.
So I kept going thinking that was that. I had to put my phone away so I never got his next text.
When Ashley and I turned the corner and could see the flags I thought THERE IT IS. I let her know that I was ready to haul ass and touch that chip timer mat thingy… the flood gates opened.
But then… I heard “babe!” and there he was. With our two babies. And I cried like nobody’s business.
I cannot describe what it feels like to see your partner, your love, your road dog, your everything standing there to watch you complete something that one year ago you never thought possible.
I am so, so happy he came.
All of that? Makes running, to me, that much better.
That last text? Said “I’m at the finish line.” I saw it in the car later that day. This? Was just my reminder that I picked the right one. What makes me happy, makes him happy… and that’s how this partnership thing works.
He is my running partner. Maybe not literally, but figuratively? Absolutely. He supports me. He pushes me. He encourages me. He believes in me.
And he’s proud of me.