Thursday, January 5, 2012

Running and Relationships

Many of you probably know about Couple On The Run. They live by the philosophy that by harnessing the principles of exercising with a partner and applying this to other areas of our everyday lives we can achieve more. (the pic to the right is just a Google image, but you get the idea)

My husband recently returned from Afghanistan. Prior to this deployment, we had run together on many occasions. First, while both serving on Active Duty in the Marine Corps, then after, I got out, by going for the random weekend run or completing a local 5k. Before now, these were not exactly fun for me. Jason (my husband) was quite the speed demon in his youth, running the 3-mile physical fitness test in sub-17 sometimes! Ten years in the infantry has caused him to lose his love of running a bit (mainly because it became something he HAD to do, versus something he WANTED to do) and has taken a toll on his joints, but he still keeps a good pace. On the opposite side, after having a baby and struggling to get back in shape, I have FOUND my love of running. In the 7 months he was deployed, I logged nearly 800 running miles. I've signed up for a 1/2 marathon in the spring and am continuing my training program, but now I've added him to some of those runs.

Having worked at a running specialty store in college, Jason is quite knowledgable on the mechanics of proper form. He used to spend the majority of the run analyzing my gait and arm swing while I huffed and puffed in a weak attempt to keep up. Now it's different. On Tuesday morning, we headed out in the chilly weather to knock out 4 miles. We split stroller duty and he took the first 2 miles. And over the New Year's weekend, we did a couple 3.5 mile runs. We challenged each other to sprint up the hills and happily chatted away the miles.

He understands my new found love and is very supportive. I cannot imagine going through this journey without him. Running will make our relationship stronger. Together we are setting a healthy example for our daughter. And while he still gives me advice throughout the run, now he's telling me to slow down...and that feels GREAT! And running together sure beats spending any extra time away from him after not being together for so long!

Do you have a supportive partner in your running endeavors?