J has taken up running. Not necessarily by choice, but when I dropped a few non-refundable Benjamins and signed us up for the Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon, he was kind of screwed.
Not to say he’s not in shape – he spent 10 days in France last summer riding part of the Tour De France course. I mean, the guys no couch potato. But after an ill-advised attempt at running 6 miles home from work, up some pretty substantial hills, in old crapped out shoes, he hurt his knee and pretty much swore of running for a bit.
So running has been my thing and cycling his. We hold each other’s particular activity of choice in the same high regard as taking the dogs out – we do it as a favor to the other one. I’ll go on the sporadic bike ride with him, and he ensures that he’s at the finish line of my races. That is, until I signed us up for that race.
He probably wouldn’t have been so agreeable with my purchase had I not insisted that his sister and brother-in-law sign up as well. If there’s another dude joining him, then it’s acceptable. Male thing, I don’t know… Also there is a wine festival at the finish line. What better way to consume all the calories you just burned off than by drinking gallons of vino?
Either way, he’s now running. And I’m so proud of him. 3 times a week, my sweet man is lacing up his (new) Nike’s and doing runs. With me.
I’ve shared my dislike for running with a partner. My therapeutic “me time” is just that – for me. I don’t want to share it, I don’t want to feel pushed, or hurried, or slowed. This is the time where I can just be. But now I have this guy with me.
For our short runs, we actually *gasp* run without headphones! We talk! We kind of bond and shit. It’s freaking me out because I actually kind of like it. We get to catch up with each other and talk about our days and all that stupid stuff that couples do.
Now don’t get me wrong. I’ve gotten pissed. As soon as he starts running even a little bit ahead of me, something clicks and I immediately go into “must catch him” mode. Like when I’m racing and I see people in front of me that I want to just start picking off. I’m competitive, what do you want from me? You know what else I am? A brat. J’s been running for what? 3 weeks now? He should NOT be ahead of me. Me, the half marathon runner extraordinaire. The one whose put over 500 miles down. No! You get behind me – or at least next to me, or face the wrath of…
That terrifying beast…It’s dramatic. I know. I shouldn’t feel this way, but I do. But that’s the same kind of determination that gives me the ability to pick off those people in front of me during races. And sorry, J, I love you baby but that’s just one of those little quirks you get to deal with.
All irritation aside, perhaps one of the greatest things about running with him is he’s turned into my motivation to get out the door. So often I come home, weary, or cold, or just plain not in the mood, and he’s there, lacing up his shoes, pulling on his armband, and encouraging me to do the same. And I do. Through grunts and irritated snarls, he persists and out we go. Running together like a couple that actually enjoys doing so. And maybe we actually are – I just don’t know it yet.
What are your thoughts on exercising with loved ones? Keep it separate or together forever?