A few weeks ago I was at a meeting when someone said something that had us all cracking up. She is currently training for her 23rd marathon and said that she prefers to do her training on her own. She lives quite a distance from her training group and she said that her husband thinks she is crazy for doing all of this. Therefore she runs close to home so that she isn’t away even longer than she already is with all of the training. That makes her training more tolerable for the both of them.
The idea that her husband thinks her marathon training is crazy made us all laugh because it was pretty funny. I think we were also all secretly laughing because we completely understand. Most of us have significant others, family members, and/or friends who think we are slightly mad for our running habits. Most people think of running as a punishment. There’s the sweat, the side stitches, and as a few of my athletes have recently noticed, lost toe nails just don’t seem to grow back like they used to.
But they love us and laugh at our early morning antics, strange eating habits and massive amounts of hydration, then hand us a towel when we come home all sweaty (and stinky).
Years ago when I really got into running and began logging much longer mileage my husband, who was my boyfriend at the time, had a chat with me. He said he couldn’t understand why I had taken my running to the level I had and that although he enjoyed running, he would never understand why I chose to do exactly what I was doing. I remember him telling me that he would accept that I enjoyed it and that running made me happy but he still found the whole thing to be a bit nuts. It was a legitimate comment and concern.
However, yesterday I sat here in our apartment after my 9 mile run and waited for him to arrive back from his 22 miler! It is a strange addiction this running thing. Once I crossed him over to the dark side he became a lean, mean running machine….and a certified running coach too! And one month from today he will be running his second marathon.
What the woman said in the meeting that had us all laughing is completely fair. We are slightly crazy and those around us probably do worry about our sanity at times. Even I cringe on Saturday mornings as I watch men with bloody nipples trudge along. I get countless e-mails about painful injuries or nagging aches that runners hope to find a cure for but are not going to let a little tendonitis get in their way. “Shin splints? I won’t feel them after the first 5 miles!” We happily put our bodies through the wringer and for a what, a free t-shirt to commemorate running as fast as we can possibly make ourselves go until we either cross the finish line or we pass out? Sounds like a blast. Sign me up!
Personally I really enjoy this version of crazy that I live in. As many people mentioned in the comments from my post yesterday we live in a really great community. Runners are a fun and “special” breed. I suppose birds of a feather truly do flock together and I am so glad you are all along to run this crazy life with me.