Whenever I speak to people about my goal to run a marathon on each continent, the first question usually is, “There’s a marathon on Antarctica?” Yes, there is. (I’m registered to run it in March of 2017.)
The second most popular question is one that addresses my husband and what role he plays in all of it:
Does he run them with you?
Does he go with you to all of the races?
To answer the first question- typically, no. He is fit and he is capable, but running for a long period of time is not his thing. He is a busy-body… to say the very least. He tends to get bored when he runs for long periods of time. Triathlons are more his speed- He has done twelve, plus one half-ironman. He ran the Dublin Marathon with me in 2012- his first and only marathon. We ran it in a little under 4:30. He was not trained that well, and was in a lot of pain, but he was a trooper! It was so fun to start and finish together. To this day, I still make fun of him and the whimpering/moaning sounds he was making towards the end
Yes, he goes with me to all of continent races. Traveling is something we are both passionate about. Very early on in our marriage we agreed that we’d rather spend our money on travel before anything else. We still agree that we would spend our last dimes to see the world before we spent them on anything else.
For my 33rd birthday, Brian gave me a plan to finish all 7 continents by 2018 (read more here), not only because it was my dream, but because it was his dream too. He comes along to all of the continent races with me, not just because he’s an amazing, supportive cheerleader, but also because he loves it, too. Since he’s a planner and a go-getter, he gets more excited for new trips than I do (and that’s saying a lot because I get really excited.)
(Chicago Marathon Expo 2012)
Spouses of marathon runners have to be extremely patient, supportive, and understanding.
Brian is very driven. He’s always been that way. He’s a dentist, but he’s also a teacher, a lecturer, and a successful entrepreneur. I have always been supportive of his passions and his attention being paid to many things other than home and family, so when it was my turn to invest time in something that I believed in, he jumped right on board. He sets out waters at all hours, he’ll massage my tired legs, he lets me take long naps while he wrestles all of the kids, he arranges his Friday schedule around my long runs, and he picks me up if I’m having a bad run. I support him in all he does and he supports me.
The funny thing about marriage is that what works for one couple doesn’t work for all. In our relationship, Brian is the giver, the decision maker, the observer, the talker, the planner, and the optimist. I am the introvert, the “I’ll do whatever” one. Most of the time I’m oblivious. I’m content to sit quietly and not make any decisions. All of these things about me kind of drive him crazy
We balance each other out. We also have our struggles just like everyone else. Marriage is a beautiful thing, but anything that’s worth having never comes easy.
We stay positive for the other when they’re feeling discouraged. We laugh together. We make time for each other. We hug and kiss the first time we see each other every day.
Most importantly, we are a team. The life that we have made over the last 15 years came with a lot of hard work and every day we thank each other for the hard work the other has done. He has never once depreciated my role at home and I am grateful for his hard work outside the home so that he can provide for the family.
Like I’ve said before, everyone who has ever earned a marathon medal had a team. It could be a spouse, friends, parents, a run club, or anyone who told you, “You’re gonna run a marathon? You’re amazing!”
B is definitely on my team.