I’m excited to kick off the “purposeful running” stories with Jamie! She blogs about her journey at From Couch to Ironwoman, and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know her the past several months. She’s already well on her way to achieving her goals.
If you missed my original post, I want to share your purposeful running stories this year… reasons you run beyond physical fitness. What additional benefits got you hooked on running, or have you discovered along the way? I’ll share a guest post every other Sunday. I’m also starting a tab to track these stories as they’re posted. Thanks for participating!
When Laura asked for bloggers to share their running story as a part of a purposeful running series, I knew that I had to jump at the opportunity! I hope that some of you can relate to my story or that it inspires you to get your significant other out there running with you!
You would think that I would enjoy running by myself. Part of the reason that I loved swimming (I was a swimmer from eight years old until my second year of college) was that it gave me a lot of time to “myself”. Yea, I had teammates in the same lane as me but 85% of practice we were swimming, which makes it a little challenging to have a conversation. I used swimming as a way to get rid of the stresses of my day and contemplate a variety of topics. Sometimes I would just zone out, hey it happens!
Running has a lot of the same inward benefits, stress relief being a huge one! However, if I had to pick one main reason for running it wouldn’t be the stress relief, the endorphins, the impact it has made on my body nor the ability to set goals and achieve them, although all of those are added bonuses. It would be something entirely different and it has to do with why I started running in the first place.
While I enjoyed swimming alone, I love running with someone else. A specific someone else: Mike, my husband.
In April 2011, I decided that we were going to start the popular Couch-to-5K program after seeing it mentioned on Facebook numerous times. Of course, we started running to get in shape but for me it was something we could do together. I never once wanted to do the Couch-to-5K by myself; I wanted to do it with Mike.
We trained for our first 5K, 10K and half marathon together and we just recently signed up for our first marathon, Wineglass 2012! We’ve done most of our training runs together, with the exception of when I have been injured and a few days where our schedules just didn’t match up. Sure we’ve run with my mom and Mike’s mom (both of them are runners), which was nice, but if I could only pick one person to run with the rest of my career the choice would be easy. Mike is my partner in more ways than just in our relationship.
Even though we don’t race “together”, with the exception of our first 5K where we crossed the finish line together, we run in the same races. I don’t even want to sign up for a women-only race because Mike wouldn’t be able to run in it with me! I’m sure he would make a great cheerleader, though! At times I feel bad that he has to run slower when he is with me, but I think that we still bring out the best in each other. He motivates me to do better, I have to if I want to keep running with him, and I am so proud when he excels!
We don’t talk much when we run, but we are communicating in so many other ways. I listen to his shoes hit the pavement, his breathing and follow him to where he wants to take us on our training run. Running is our “us” time and I cherish every moment.
Could I ever run with other people without Mike there? Sure. Is that my preference? No.
Do I ever want to join a team? As of right now, no. Let’s be honest here, would Mike and I get to run together if we did? No, because he is faster than me. While running teams may be beneficial and necessary for some people, I don’t think it is a good fit for us. Maybe in the future I will change my mind but I’m not holding my breath in the meantime. We are contemplating joining some group workouts, though, so that we can get a little variety in our routine and Mike can run at a faster pace.
Mike and I are going to run together, swim together and bike together until we don’t want to do this anymore. We will support each other when we struggle or are injured and we will celebrate when we achieve our goals and cross finish lines that we never imagined that we could.
So, why do I run?
I run so that I can be with my husband, my partner, my best friend.
Everything else, in my mind, is trivial.