Thursday, October 18, 2012

The value of a support system

My first half marathon, the Nike Women's Half, was in October of 2006. My now husband and I had been dating about eight months. I decided to start running and do a race in an expensive, far away city in an election year (we were both political staffers at the time) just weeks before the election. I told him repeatedly that it wasn't necessary that he come cheer me on. But when I crossed the finish line limping from IT band pain, I felt sad and alone knowing there was nobody there waiting for me.

At the end of my second half in Traverse City, Michigan, he was there taking photos and hugging me at the end. It was a completely different way to finish a race. In the six years I've been running my husband has only missed a few races, and he's always there as my own personal paparrazo. When I was finishing the Detroit Marathon he was able to run faster than I was and meet me at the finish. I look for him at the end of every race, and it's knowing that I will see him that helps keep me going.

There is a face behind this camera.
While running is a solitary sport for me (by choice), it takes a lot of support to do all the races and long runs. My husband has never once complained about all of the early morning races or training runs when we're at home or on vacation. He knows how important it is for my sanity. Last week, during a particularly stressful stretch, he suggested I should run more because I haven't been logging as many miles. That, my friends, is love.

He has also been supportive of working our travel schedule around races - Pensacola in February (I know...it's a tough life), working our entire summer vacation around a 10k in Freeport, Maine. He knows that when we travel I'm always looking for a race to squeeze in. He's also totally game for seeing all the different cities and is as pro placemaking as I am. It's a perfect match.

I think this is the only photo ever taken of us together after a race.
I am very lucky to have such an incredible support system. Without my husband agreeing to let me spend our time and money on races it would be impossible. When I'm heading out at 7 a.m. on a Saturday to go for a long run, I know it's with his complete support. I guess behind every running obsessed cityphile is a great man.   

 

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