As I close in on my first marathon, I’m reminded in so many ways that I wouldn’t have been able to do this without incredible support from so many others. From encouragement to advice and much more, I’ve been so lucky to have a great community of runners around me, both virtually and in real life, who have been there for the journey. However, one person has gone so much further above and beyond to help me realize this dream of completing 26.2 that I cannot let it go unnoticed. My husband, Chris, is the rock in my life in so many ways, and no matter what adventure I pursue, he is 100% supportive of my efforts. Running was no exception.
From the start, Chris has been there for me, allowing me to grow as a runner and set my path for personal fulfillment in this sport. Among other things, this is how he has supported my running in the past 20 months:
- pays for running shoes, clothes, race entries, etc
- agrees to travel to races
- listens to me talk non-stop about running, how I feel when I’m running, what I have learned about running, and all other things related to running
- massage my feet, legs and back when they are sore
- brings me water on my long runs
- meets me and runs with me every week for 3-4 miles at the end of my long runs – in 100+ degree heat!
- swats mosquitoes off my back during the long runs that keep us out during the dreaded 20-min at dusk when all the mosquitoes emerge
- comforts me when I cry because I had a bad run
- encourages me to continue when he knows I’m not giving it my all
- encourages me to stop when he knows that I just don’t have it that day
- reminds me to celebrate the miles I have done when I cut a run short
- runs with me when we travel – including in the rain and in the snow
- dressed in a Santa suit for the 3K Santa fun run at Camana Bay (2014), when it was well over 80-degrees and sunny during the race!
- cooks dinner after my long runs because I am too exhausted to think about food
- brings me whatever I want after my long runs – because I can barely move to get a glass of water, a beer or dinner
- brings ice to create my ice bath after a long run
- asks about my running every day to see how I did with my training
- goes to races and waits for hours while we line up, run and finish – sometimes in very chilly conditions
- tells me he is proud of me
Just this past weekend, when I carefully planned my longest ever, 19 mile run, only to have the plans go awry, Chris was there to support me. Long story short, I planned to do the first 12.5 outdoors then finish off at the gym (in the AC), and I was looking forward to that the whole run. I got to the gym only to find it CLOSED! So I ran back to my condo, let Chris know that I had a change of plans and would be running on our road, back and forth, for a total of 5.5 mi to get to 19 miles. Oh, and it was in the dark. I headed back out, only to have Chris join me and run certain stretches of the road, then wait for me to loop each end and joined me again. This was also after he ran with me for four miles earlier in the run. When I had 1.5 miles to go, I was almost in tears and said I wanted to quit. He reminded me that I was almost there and to quit would be silly at that point. When I finally finished and we walked up the stairs to our home, he gave me a kiss and told me he was proud of me. He then shooed me to the tub for my ice bath, brought me the ice, a cold beer and made dinner while I soaked. He knew just what I needed. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner in life to support me in this effort.
I love my husband for all of these reasons (and more), and it is obvious to me through his actions, words and support, that he loves me too. Chris, I’ll be running mile 26, the hardest mile of the race, for you. Thank you for being my biggest cheerleader in this crazy adventure to my marathon! I wouldn’t be here without your love and support.
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