What it means to love a runner…

2 Nov

I never thought that wanting to run throughout my pregnancy would make me “crazy.”  Okay, while I do not consider myself crazy, there are a lot of people in this world that think running up until you are 37 weeks pregnant (or running AT ALL while pregnant) is completely insane.  But do you know who has stuck by my side the whole way, supporting me, always reminding me that what I was doing has healthy for me and our child?  My husband, who, in every sense of the words, is my other half.

Loving a runner is not always easy.  Sometimes (okay, A LOT of times) we are crazy people.  To some who are “outside the circle,” some of the things we do are downright off the wall and absurd.  Loving a runner requires patience and the ability to laugh it off when your partner says, “Look, I know it is 11PM.  But I have miles to get in! I’m on a training program!”  Loving a runner means understanding that sometimes a “meal” is completely made up of scoops of peanut butter, a handful of Swedish Fish, and a Gu Energy gel.

Loving a runner means putting up with stupid amounts of money spent on running shoes and race entry fees.  Even after all these years, I am still not sure if my husband really relates to this one.  Loving a runner means being patient when we curse, scream, and fight when our muscles ache, when we have a bad run, or when we feel our bodies have disappointed us.  Loving a runner sometimes means being the gear bag toter, cowbell ringer, support sign holder, amateur sports photographer, pom-pom waver, and personal cheerleader…all at the same time.  Loving a runner often means leaving a Friday night party at an hour that even your mother would be ashamed of…all because of an early Saturday morning race.

Loving a runner means learning to embrace (okay, at least tolerate) sweaty hugs.  It means finding words of encouragement to keep your significant other going, even when you are questioning their sanity.  I mean, really…should any sane person be waking up at 5AM…on a Saturday…when its 25 degrees outside…for a long run?  Loving a runner means being understanding and accommodating when your spouse wants to fit in a marathon, half marathon, or other race on a family vacation.  Loving a runner means taking all of his or her quirks in stride, every pun intended.

But the good thing is, loving a runner is not all give and no take.

Loving a runner means loving someone who knows what it means to be fiercely dedicated to something they love.  Runners have vision; loving one means loving someone who knows what it is to sacrifice something important for the bigger plan.  Runners are strong and resilient; we do not bend and break easily and we know what it is to work hard for something we want badly enough.  Runners have an insane amount of trust and loyalty.  Everyday we train, we have to trust our bodies, our coaches, and our running buddies.  Loving a runner means loving a person who knows the importance of supporting and encouraging others.  We promise that if you do this for us, we will return the favor.

Loving a runner is not always the easiest job on the planet, but I assure you, its rewarding.

Why do you love YOUR runner?  If YOU are the runner, what kind of crazy things does your spouse have to put up with from YOU?

29 Responses to “What it means to love a runner…”

  1. myhighonlife at 12:39 PM #

    Oh my gosh I absolutely LOVE this post. I am book marking it. I am single and the runner. The guy I meet must either be a runner himself or incredibly supportive of the sport because I’ve read horror stories about significant others who don’t.

  2. clarissa at 12:49 PM #

    My husband wasn’t a huge fan of my Saturday mornings spent with my running club rather than out on an adventure with him and he didn’t understand the time commitment I was making. He figured if I ran on Saturday then why on earth was I running again on Monday and Wednesday and Thursday? He is more into team sports and especially sports with clear winners and losers. I finally explained to him that my weekday runs were like team practice, Saturday’s long runs were like a game and it was all in preparation for the championship at the end of the season. Put in football terms he was much more receptive. Sometimes we need to frame things for the ones we love before they become the cheerleader we know they can be.

  3. I love this!!! Both my husband and I are runners and we are each other’s biggest supporters! I think you summed it up pretty well and included most of our craziness…maybe throw in letting us hang our stinky running clothes in the bathroom to dry out so they don’t mildew…even though they make the room stink 🙂

  4. Great blog post! Loved this!!

  5. Anne at 1:49 PM #

    I love this! It applies to my whole family and hopefully one day I’ll find a man who will love this runner like your husband does!

  6. I’m a newbie runner and during my first and only 5K, my husband walked the route to get pictures of me running so that I can post on my blog.

    He even carried my bottle of water so that when I met him at certain spots on the course I could get some hydration.

    He has always been so supportive of me. I questioned how difficult it is going to be for me to start running again once baby is here, since I won’t have time to myself anymore and he’s already planning on watching baby after work or meeting me at the park so he and baby can be there while I work out.

  7. Heidi at 2:04 PM #

    Beautifully written and so true! : ) My boyfriend is my biggest support, never calls me crazy and stands up for me when others do! Support is what matters the most! : )

  8. Bonnie at 2:52 PM #

    Wow…I loved this post. 🙂 I’m the runner in our relationship & since my husband’s cancer diagnosis, he’s not been able to do short. High intensity, workout but instead can do long, slow endurance. So he doesn’t necessarily “get” my long runs but supports me in them because he knows it makes me happy. He’s a great encourager and even though I’m not fast, sometimes brags about my runs to his friends! I’m not a big racer, so he hasn’t had to endure early mornings, but always puts up w/my getting workouts in while we’re traveling.

    I’ve never thought about the benefits of loving a runner…thanks for that perspective! And good luck walking that baby out! 😀

  9. Lorri Randle at 5:14 PM #

    I LOVE this. My first half marathon my husband woke up with me and while I rode a bus up to the start, he road a scooter-cause they had closed the road. Then road all the way down taking video and pics of me. Its actually colder to drive a scooter through a canyon than run :0)
    And this past weekend he ran HIS first half WITH me so ‘he can appreciate my crazy passion better.”
    And he is never complaining when I ask him for foot massages.
    In return I do get up very early so that I can get as many miles in before the kids get up so we can enjoy as much of our Saturdays together. And he tells me he loves me for it! :0)

    • daisydesk at 10:03 PM #

      I’m still a new runner so my hubby and I are still adjusting to the affect it has on my (our) schedule. Why do I leave our bed covered in unfolded laundry for a run? It’s a no brainer to me but it’s an unfinished task to him. “Why are you running in the rain. Your gonna get sick!” he hollers out after me when I leave the house. We have dailymile to thank for that one. All the real runners do it and I don’t want to be left out,is my reason but tell that to hubby? It makes no sense to him at all. But I will tell you one thing he understands, my hips are slimmer and I now have definition in my legs. He has now begun to do situps every night. 🙂

      • katieRUNSthis at 8:53 AM #

        Its amazing how that works, yes? That sort of happened in my relationship too. Once I got running and dropped some weight, all of a sudden my husband wanted to do P90X. 🙂

  10. Caroline at 6:31 PM #

    haha this is all so true. My boyfriend had to put up with a craaazzy Caroline the weeks/days before my first marathon. I was so stressed and nervous and just like a complete mess to deal with haha : )

    • katieRUNSthis at 8:54 AM #

      Marathon training brings out the craziest of the crazy runner habits. For real! Between the training, nutrition, and nerves…we totally don’t even act like ourselves! Good thing we have strong partners to put up with us!

  11. Jean Henshaw at 7:21 PM #

    My husband has always been there – cheering, photographing & carrying the bags. Yes, he’s been up at 5am(sometimes earlier) and smiled throughn it all. I know he loves this runner & I love him for all he does for me.;

  12. Elaine at 11:12 PM #

    I just spent a ‘leetle’ too much $$ at the local running store today to get some more gear from my first half marathon so guess my hubby has to put up with that… 😉

    Great post! It’s all true.

    • katieRUNSthis at 8:50 AM #

      Oh, yes! I have so been there too. You go in for a $2 Gu Energy gel and you come out with new shoes, a new pair of running shorts, and 10 Gu Energy gels. 🙂

  13. liverunloveyoga at 11:13 AM #

    Great post! I think my boyfriend can totally relate. We trained for and ran Chicago Marathon together in October and it was challenging, yet amazing. You sum up all the words so well in this post!

  14. Lynn Roylance at 1:47 PM #

    Oh I love this blog post! Really hits home for me and my family. With two small kids, my husband is amazing when it comes to watching the kids so I can run. I wouldn’t be able to run if it wasn’t for his support!

  15. Well I will be the first guy that posts. Every point you made I looked back on previous relationships and was like hmm that is me and that is not the other person. Being a single male runner can be difficult since when they want to go on a fun date all I think about is man I can’t eat or drink really tonight besides water to make sure I wake up at 6 for this run. You decided it for me I need to find someone that will help support instead of try to get me to skip a weekday run.

    • katieRUNSthis at 1:57 PM #

      Thank you so much for commenting! This absolutely applies to either partner in a relationship! Have you ever thought about trying to meet a girl at a race? I read an article in Runner’s World years ago that said a lot of guys do that…especially fitness-minded or running-minded ones. If running and physical fitness is important to you, it is imperative that your partner understands that. And what better way for them to understand that than if they do it too! While my husband isn’t as into running as I am, he IS into fitness. He cycles more than I do and I fully support him in that! Just keep looking! Ms. Right For You is out there! And she’ll be your biggest cheerleader EVER!

      • Well my problem then is I am too competitive haha. My last half I was in the zone and paid no one attention to any other runners. Maybe I will try this during the Vegas marathon which will be my first full. I’m excited but I will probably end up zoning out before hand as well. Maybe I should quit traveling for races then haha and do some fun half or 10K locally where I try to go in not wanting to place well, but enjoy the run instead.

  16. daisydesk at 12:27 AM #

    I like the fact that my husband listens to me. If I think I should do something he doesn’t get in my way about it even if he doesn’t want to do it himself.So even though he’s not a runner and I’m starting my running adventure sort of late in life and he’s wondering where I lost my marbles at…., we’re still good and I can run as much as I want. (have to squeeze in a little laundry here and there but otherwise good)

  17. LOVED this article! I’m not married, but my dad, if he can at all help it, he is at every race cheering me on with camera in one hand & cowbell in the other. 🙂

  18. obviously you wrote this a while ago, but i still wanted to tell you how amazing of a post this is – it’s so true and can be SO hard on our significant others. sometimes i think we tend to get caught up in how hard running is without remembering that it does affect our families too, so thanks for the reminder 🙂 my husband is my #1 cheerleader and I love him insanely for it. he deals with me and running day in and day out and never complains, even when I KNOW he’d rather be doing other things then going to bed early on a Friday or listening to me dissect for the umpteenth time about how my run went. ❤ yay for supportive spouses/partners!

  19. Carrie Shaw at 7:57 AM #

    I love this and I would say you are right on! Along with carrying all of my stuff and following me around with a camera, my boyfriend has to put up with my nerves and all my crazy thoughts leading up to any big race!

  20. This post made me cry. But in a good way.

  21. AWesome post as usual Katie!! Hit home on all counts!


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