My husband and I met through running. Since our first-year anniversary was yesterday, I thought this was a timely post. Running with a spouse can be enjoyable if you let it.
Running is a hobby we’ve both shared. We started running a long time before we knew each other and there are very few spans of time we run the same pace but it is enjoyable to share that time with him. Especially since oftentimes, running is free time. Instead of going for a long run alone, it can be enjoyable to do a training run with a spouse.
Some of the earliest dates were runs. I didn’t even say: “going to run with a boyfriend”, we were just college kids that liked running. Then we were close friends running together, then boyfriend and girlfriend, and now we are married.
These days, we share quiet moments with uninterrupted conversation when running. During this day and time, it’s hard to find these uninterrupted moments.
So how do we run together?
First set ground rules. This is true of any running partner or running group. You will be husband or wife, whether you run together or not. You might not follow the same training plan.
We typically run easier mileage together. I’ll speed up my pace 10-15 seconds per mile, and he slows down a bit. We agree we will try and meet halfway. We don’t do hard efforts together because our hard efforts such as mile repeat because our paces are not the same.
He is a faster runner than I am and also has different goals. (I like 5k-13.1 while he likes trail running, and 5k-10k). Occasionally he will do a tempo run with me, but that is the extent of workouts together.
We like to sign up for races together. The important part is we don’t race together. We will warm up and cool down together, but when the clock goes off, we race to our own standards. We are still training and racing together, but doing so to reach our own goals.
Racing for you is important because if one person is faster or feels good, it will create problems to stay on the course together. Part of being with a fellow runner is that you can’t expect to stay together or feel the same every race. We support each other, good or bad race. Post run, we are still married.
There are some important things to remember:
Ultimately someone might feel good or better on a particular day. That’s okay, and there is no reason to feel upset by it. With any running partner, it’s important to remember that running is for you. Once you reach the finish line, you both love each other and love running. There is no point to hold anyone back.
Running and working out can be a great addition to any relationship, but your ability to run the same paces (or not) does define a relationship.
Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport.
Questions for you:
Who are your running partners?
Do you run with a significant other or run with a girlfriend or boyfriend?
Today is my husband and I’s first year anniversary. Many of LOLZ readers know how we met and our love story, but it’s fun to reshare.
Here is a quick summary:
We met running in college. We dated for the second half of senior year then maintained a long-distance relationship for a year and a half after college. I decided to move to Texas, September of 2013 and we promptly moved to New Jersey after. After living in NJ for a while, we got on engaged April Fools Day 2014. A year of wedding planning went by and we got married April 12, 2015. Now we just finished year one of marriage. Good thing I blog so I can remember everything.
But here is the longer version:
In the fall of 2011, we met at a cross country scrimmage race between our colleges. After the scrimmage, we talked for a while and went on a run a few weeks later. During that time, I was coming back from my tibia stress fracture. I wasn’t supposed to worry about pace. It was towards the end of the season so my goal was to make it through the season healthy. I barely ran with my own team, let alone some random guy I had the hots for.
We didn’t run together until after the cross country season but we occasionally chatted. I was knee deep in a recent college major change and Tim was a chemical engineer, so we were both busy. When we finally ran together in November, Tim was getting ready for Nordic skiing so his focus wasn’t pace or time either. Running at a slower pace didn’t matter.
Eventually after several runs, we hung out. By that time, the semester was over and it was time to go home for winter break. I grew up in VA Beach and he grew up in PA so we didn’t live close.
Tim actually came down and hung out for New Years. We ran the Beat the Ball 5k as well as the Hair of the Dog 5k.
In the spring, we started “officially dating”. I think I even mentioned on the blog: OMG you guys, a new boy in my life” (just kidding). I don’t even know how it came up through blogging…
In May of 2012, we graduated and decided to try a long distance relationship. Our options at that point were to try a distance relationship or break up. Tim went to school in Texas and I began working in Oswego, NY.
The first few months were tough. By November, we were able to see each other for the first time since June. I loved my time in Oswego and it was one of the most pivotal and influential years of my life. I am so glad I chose to go there but it was hard to not be together.
After Thanksgiving, we saw each other again for Christmas, then in March and in May. As we adjusted, it was easier. After nearly a year, we made the decision I would move to Texas. As much as I enjoyed my job in Oswego, I wanted to continue my relationship with Tim and had to move eventually (he did not have that choice).
Less than two weeks after I moved to the middle of nowhere, Texas, Tim graduated his training. We were told we were moving to New Jersey. Neither of us knew anything about NJ except people drive quickly on the turnpike.
After living in New Jersey for 2+ years, we both love the area. It’s close to Philadelphia, New York City, the shore and both of our families. It’s the perfect location for us right now.
We got married on April 12, 2015, in Norfolk, VA. We truly had a wonderful time at our wedding and were lucky so many friends and family that could attend. We took our wedding as a celebration and party and that’s exactly what it was.
After getting married, we went on a honeymoon and cruise. It was one of the best vacations of my life.
Due to travel and work, my husband has been gone about half of our first year of marriage. It wasn’t a secret this would happen. I can’t say it’s been easy all of the time but we have made it work.
To be honest, it hasn’t been a crazy transformation or change since getting married. We lived together for over a year before getting married so there were many quirks we were both familiar with. Like any couple, we’ve had our ups and downs but we try to support each other through everything.
I feel so lucky to be celebrating our first year of marriage and many more.
April Fools Day is kind of a weird day for me. My blog FueledByLOLZ would cause you to assume I’m the queen of pranks and funny jokes today. Believe it or not, I’m not. I debated even posting this but at the end of the day, April 1st is like any day. It’s a memorable day for some and a day that gets pushed away by others.
I also have a lot of personal friends that read my blog, and I wondered what they would think reading this post about my struggles. Many knew me throughout my highest anxiety points and had no idea. Many friends had an idea but never said anything.
On April 1st, 2014 my husband proposed to me. We had been dating for a while, lived together and even moved together.
We began dating during an already turmoiled senior year of college. Then maintained a year and a half of long distance and eight months of living together.
Living together only reinforced our relationship. I made the decision in 2013 to move from New York to Texas, and I had no idea what to expect. I’ll never regret my choice.
The day after I moved in, I got a knot in my hair. It took over an hour to get the knot out but instead of remaining calm, I was in hysterics over a trivial knot.
He asked, why don’t you just cut the knot out?
I still think that could be a front runner of the most dramatic moment of our relationship. It caused me to panic immediately and get more upset. But of course, he remained calm and helped me work through the knotty situation. An hour and bottle of conditioner later…it was over.
Since then, he has been the calmer half and voice of reason. I panic and get upset, and he calms me down.
A long time ago, I blogged more about social anxiety and depression. I dealt with depression more in college and social anxiety after college.
Between working in Oswego, NY as well as living in Texas, I found myself isolated. I felt as if I was always moving and making new friend groups. After I had moved to Texas, I was more stressed and anxious because I had no family or friends, no job and nothing to do. We were 180 miles in the middle of nowhere. I had blogging, of course, but you can only enjoy blogging for a certain amount of hours, and you can only apply for outside jobs for so long…
There is a real world outside of the computer screen…
Even harder about the military lifestyle is if you aren’t married, you don’t receive the same benefits as a spouse who is. The city we lived in Texas is centered around the base, so there were a lot of obstacles we faced. Obstacles that added more stress and anxiety into my life and in turn, Tim’s life. Unlike where we live now, the base was the only thing to do.
However, I chose to move to Texas. I wouldn’t have learned so much along the way without. I did, however, notice old tendencies from college slowly creeping back. I began sinking into depression and with more anxiety than I had felt before.
When we found out we were moving to New Jersey, it was a relief. I’m sure I would have found my way in Texas, but NJ is a short drive to our immediately friends and family. It is a much better fit for us. September-December of 2014 flew by, and the change was good for me. I assimilated well into the Garden State and had so much on my plate with unpacking; I didn’t have time to breath.
Then the Garden State Honeymoon period wore off.
I had a very successful but often gone boyfriend; I couldn’t find a sustainable job, and I was struggling to make friends.My depression and anxiety began to creep through the cold winter months. I made friends through (the then small) Oiselle team I had a solid two friends, but that didn’t help finding a job. I applied to things in my field (public health) and outside of it (running stores as well as a couple of hospitals). I sent follow up emails but went weeks without hearing anything back.
Anxiety is different for everyone. Someone might struggle in overwhelming social settings like parties, but someone else might struggle with mental and personal thoughts. Personally, I battle with second guessing everything I do. Not in an average way but a way that can lead to panic attacks. A way that I have received help throughout the years.
Even when jobs weren’t calling me back, my husband reassured me I would be fine. We were financially fine, and I was making a small living, but I found myself spending weeks isolated. Maybe that’s when I made the goal of traveling New Jersey to go to every diner, but I can’t be sure.
It’s odd to look back and say “my boyfriend” but he supported me throughout everything.
He supported me through anxiety ridden meltdowns to even telling me: no, don’t work there, you will be miserable (and that was most definitely true).
Fast forward to late March 2014. I was running again; I had just begun working at a local running store, and my anxiety was dwindling. A long six months after moving to New Jersey my life was slowly coming together. Even though on paper I should have been happy, I still felt as if I wasn’t providing enough or not doing enough.
On April 1st, I was in the midst of another meltdown.
Anxiety is funny that way; you can be happy, sad or somewhere in between.
You never know, and there is no way to predict it. At the time I was crying my eyes out, sad…for what reason I can’t remember. I had gotten over it by the evening, but I was still in a funky mood. Was I going to go to bed sad again? It never adds up either…my life was coming together. I had a job; my running was going well, and I was making friends. For some reason that is always unknown, I had anxiety.
Tim proposed me to that evening. I was shocked, and it didn’t feel real. It took me a couple of seconds to not be as shocked but of course, I said yes.
The engagement wasn’t a band-aid to fix my anxiety. It wasn’t a cover up to make everything feel better, but it was a turning point in my life. For a reason, I can’t explain it was the start of building myself out of a hole that I had dug for myself.
Throughout the wedding process, my husband was there for me when he could be. The wedding planning took up plenty of time, but it wasn’t ever that stressful. Another interesting point of anxiety is that it can make you very Type A in a certain situation and laid back in certain situations. The wedding was one situation I was laid back.
So where am I now?
I’m reflecting and thinking about where life has taken me in the last few years. If you asked me three years ago:
Would I be living in NJ and loving it? I would have laughed.
If you had asked me two years ago: Would depression be out of my life? I would have also probably laughed.
If you had asked me a year ago: where I see myself after one year of marriage…I don’t know what I would have said. I would have laughed to buy time but, to be honest, I’m not sure what I would have said.
While depression is something I am currently not dealing with, anxiety is something I always will. There are periods my anxiety is worse and periods where it is almost nonexistent. I would not consider it a day of day battle but I also wouldn’t consider it over either.
My husband has been there for me throughout everything. Throughout the good, the bad and the ugly. Throughout trivial meltdowns that I can’t explain and the highs and lows. Social anxiety will be something I will deal with off and on, but the major battles are thankfully in the past. April 1st will always have a different meaning to me.
Our wedding Anniversary is on April 12, 2015, so I’ll have more of a story then.
My husband I met through running. We were on neighboring college cross country teams and one day we ran into each other in my tiny college town, Our first few dates were runs. When we went out to eat for the first time, I knew things were real. Fast forward a few years and many timehop memories ago and here we are today.
We both still run and occasionally we still run and race together. Certainly not all of our runs are together or even half but we do run together once or twice a week.
So what does it mean, having two quasi-serious runners in one house?
While thinking out loud, here are some common thoughts and phrases that have been said in our household….
Let’s go on vacation and oh my gosh…a net downhill half marathon. I’ll do it if you do it…
Workout Wednesday on the track is real and if you miss it the lawn is looking like a comfortable bed tonight.
There are three different foam rollers on our nightstand.
There are three different laundry modes. Socks and underwear Running clothes Normal clothes
Long runs are together whether one is biking or we are slogging at LOLZ pace.
Happy birthday, here are these spandexy booty shorts and socks.
Sorry I’m going to eat my typical prerace dinner and breakfast. I plan to go to bed at 8pm and wake up at 4…that’s a normal and common occurrence.
Travel races in our house mean travel diners too.
There is an explosion of shoes at the front door, in the front closet and in the bedroom closet too. There is never a room without shoes.
We love being able to run together and support each others goals. We don’t run every run together or even half but it’s nice to run together and have a hobby we both enjoy.
Questions for you: Do you and your significant other share a hobby? How many pairs of running shoes do you own?
I received my wedding photos last week and I’ve finally put everything together. My wedding was one of the best and happiest days of my life! It’s hard to believe it was already four months ago! My life continues to live on and I continue to enjoy life.
In my last post I put together a final slideshow from the wedding. I also answered a few questions with a survey. I’m a sucker to look at my friend’s big days so please enjoy.
Here are a few questions and a quick survey too. If anyone can learn anything from my wedding than it’s a success right?
What was the best part of your wedding day?
It’s hard because there were so many “best parts”! As cliche as it sounds the best part was celebrating Tim and I with our family and friends. It was great to have all of my friends together in one spot.
What do you feel was totally unnecessary?
To be honest, I think we got rid of a lot of unnecessary things before the wedding. We didn’t have over the top decorations, 10 feet tall centerpieces or anything like that. We focused on keeping a simple wedding. Fancy decorations and over the top glam is some people’s dream wedding but it wasn’t mine!
What would you change, if anything?
If I could change anything, I probably would have invited more people! We didn’t have a destination wedding, however, many people did travel. This meant several people were unable to come so we had a lot more space then I expected. Our wedding planner said about one-third of guests invited wouldn’t be able to come. That was accurate.
What was unexpected that you loved?
One thing I loved was how much people were able to enjoy themselves and mingle with others. We decided not to have assigned seating. We wanted people to sit where they wanted. I was warned this could go badly but guests were able to meet new people and enjoy themselves. I was happy it ended up well and people were able to meet others and chat. I think it was the riskiest thing we did at our wedding.
What are your fondest memories of your wedding day?
A few of my favorite memories were dancing with my beautiful flower girl, dancing with my husband and just laughing the entire time. I truly never stopped smiling.
Is there anything you wish you had spent more time or money on?
T and I agree we wished we had spent more time rehearsing our dancing. It was extremely awkward but I guess awkward is the definition of us. We made up for it during Nicki Minaj’s Anaconda though.
Is there anything you wish you had spent less time or money on?
There wasn’t anything we felt we should spend less money on. We definitely put a lot of our budget into an awesome DJ, good food and good booze. We spent the least on decorations and I think that worked out well for us.
Were there any unexpected surprises or issues?
We were supposed to have sparklers but the firecode in Norfolk prevented that. It wasn’t the worst thing in the world and if I had properly researched that we would have figured it out sooner.
What’s your number #1 tip for future engaged couples?
Tackle each item one at time.
Similar to writing a paper or working on a project, wedding planning has multiple steps that must be conquered. There are so many websites with timelines for wedding dates. Print one out so it’s easy to figure out what needs to be done, when! I also think that having a day of the wedding planner was the best thing we did. We didn’t worry about anything!
How did you feel after the wedding?
I was happy. It was truly one of the greatest days of my life and I will never forget it.
Thank you to everyone who followed along and took this journey with us. We had one of the best times of our life and could not have done it without everyone. I appreciate my family, friends and readers sharing their love. It’s time to move forward to the next chapter of our lives.