In the blink of an eye, January is history and we are well into February. For many, this month is a chance to celebrate the love you share with your significant other. February is also an important training month for runners. Spring events are just around the corner and many runners are ratcheting up miles on their long runs. Sometimes, the requirements of training can put a damper on February date nights. But if you are lucky enough to run with your partner, it makes every mile better and gives you even more to celebrate this month.
My husband and I have been training together for the last five years. We have shared thousands of miles, countless laughs, and even a few tears. We’ve seen each other at our best and at our worst on runs. I couldn’t imagine training without him by my side. We’ve run in snow, frigid temperatures, pouring rain, sweltering heat and humidity, and even one hail storm. Our runs are purposeful but rarely too serious. We have an agreement to always stop for wildlife sightings (deer, hawk, owl, fox, heron, beaver, turtles, and a wild turkey) or random cute dogs. We also know when one of us is struggling with a run that the other is there to talk, encourage, or give out hugs. Our runs have enabled us to step away from other distractions–sometimes, we can get caught up in work, electronic communications, or other interruptions. Running together is our time to chat about simple things like dinner plans or more serious life matters such as caring for aging parents or helping the kids in college.
In addition to training together, we usually run our races together as well. My husband is more of a sprinter than I am, so he can run many distances faster than me, except the marathon. Fortunately for me, my guy likes to hang out with his wife at races and he will run my pace. This makes it fun for both of us because we can share the experience, laugh at inside jokes, and be together in race photos.
Every now and then we run at different paces. Usually, this stems from me wanting my husband to be able to run his goal pace when he is so inclined. This happens once or twice a year and I’m always infinitely proud of him and his accomplishments. Similarly, he is always waiting for me at the finish line with a big smile and an even bigger hug.
Our shared love for running does have one downside. There is no one around to say “no” to crazy ideas! In the past 13 months, we ran 14 half marathons, many in full costumes. We even ran half marathons shortly before and after our wedding in 2016. Our first back-to-back race weekend was Rock n’ Roll Chicago. We ran the 5K on Saturday and the Half on Sunday. Both days were a pure delight and I was thankful every mile that I had my best friend to share the adventure with.
I’m grateful we can share miles of memories and years of adventures; 2018 is our year for destination race escapades. We are currently signed up for Rock n’ Roll Raleigh, Nashville, Seattle, Chicago, and Virginia Beach. It will be another crazy year with more stories to share and memories to last forever. Before 2018 comes to a close, we will have logged over 1,000 miles running together, which we look forward to celebrating! For now, we will take advantage of February to celebrate our partnership and teamwork on and off the road.