Know when to not share the run…

It started off so well. In fact, I was pumped. Since my mother-in-law is temporarily living with us, and since she arrived yesterday, my husband and I thought it would be fun if we went for a short run together. You know…run together…bond…while running…together.

Sigh.

I really need to let go of my fantasy of running with my husband. Here’s the thing: he’s a much stronger runner than I. I know this, and yet I thought it would be different today. You see, I’m fairly comfortable running 5K now, and so, I thought running with a more experienced runner could be…well…fun.

Not in the slightest.

Right from the get-go, I was aware that my pace is slower than my husband’s. Instead of me trying to push myself, he let up, falling a bit behind me, allowing me to set the pace. While this should have evened things out, all it resulted in was me feeling guilty and also wondering where the heck he was. I simply could not get into a groove. Back I warped to when every step felt mechanical. There was no rhythm.

At the half-way mark, we stopped to walk as I usually do. I laughed a bit, told my husband that I was finding the run tough, but I was determined. My right hip was hurting. Weird. The sun was hotter than I was used to, expected at 9am when I usually run at 630. We walked and talked and that part was genuinely nice. Then we started running again, and it all went to crap, for lack of a classier word.

Not 5 minutes into Part 2, I slowed again and forced my husband ahead. I just couldn’t find my pace. Here’s my theory: since we both are used to running solo now, and since I no longer require someone running beside me motivating me (code word for yelling) to keep going, we thought it would be ok to simply run with each other, but still maintain a runner’s silence. We both had our ipods on. We both were listening to different music, with different beats. It threw me off completely.

Attempt 3 to run, with husband ahead. I thought I could focus on me now. This is where my body cried out “enough” and simply failed. My hips throbbed, both of them; my knees ached; and my finger joints swelled with inflammation. I had forgotten to take some kind of pain killer before setting out, which I find helps me get through a run. I did what I’ve never done before and what I never thought I could do before: I stopped.

I was so disappointed. I started crying. I kid you not, and it wasn’t the subtle tear-rolling-down-the-face-slowly crying either. I’m talking heaves, sobs, and gasps. Not pretty. Not pretty at all. How awful. Horrible thoughts were circling in my mind, and no matter how I tried to tell them to “bugger off,” they wouldn’t. I was so upset that I (a) couldn’t enjoy a run with my husband on a rare opportunity and (b) I couldn’t get through my usual 5k when it hadn’t been that long since my last run. I was lost.

So I walked for a bit. I even passed our neighbour and co-blogger Nick. He looked zoned out and I’m hoping he didn’t notice the sad state I was in (hmmm…if he did, he’d be a pretty awful neighbour now wouldn’t he?). I was slightly embarrassed that he passed me while I was walking and not running, but I was so demoralized by this point, that I mostly didn’t care.

About 500m from my ending point, I started to run again. I could see my husband, finished, waiting for me. He had no idea the mess of a wife that would soon arrive, or I’m sure he would have kept running. I did finish that last 500m, but it was tough.

I could blame the humidity. I could blame a lot of things. I’m not. Live and learn. Now we know. And perhaps I’m being too harsh on myself…on us. Maybe there was more than one factor at play today that was working against me. Who knows.

Wednesday is my next run. I’m not going to let today get in the way of that. I may have to give up my dream of running with my husband…or perhaps, next time we’ll know better, leave the ipods at home, and talk while running! Imagine!

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About Christine

Christine is the co-owner of Manley Mann Media and on the Board of Directors for the Islanders By Choice Alliance. In her spare time, Christine enjoys a good cup of coffee, an excellent book, and a square of chocolate (to off-set her love of food, she also enjoys various exercise endevours!).
This entry was posted in 5-10 km, Challenges, Short Runs, Social Run. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Know when to not share the run…

  1. Paul Alan says:

    Christine, you’re being way to hard on yourself. I understand how nice it is or would be to run with your significant other, but we’re all different. We all operate at different speeds, and maybe rather than the run, a walk of the same distance would work and in many ways be more beneficial. đŸ™‚ Save the runs for “your” time, so you can go at your pace.

  2. Stephanie says:

    I agree with Paul – and I’ve been there. For us we discovered that Andrew is a quicker and shorter distance runner than I am, running together doesn’t really work unless we’re willing to turn it into a social event and not a real run. If we get the oppourtunity to run together now we always take turns setting the pace, holding the conversation and allowing strolling together to happen so that we can truly enjoy each other. As much as I would love to say that running with Andrew is and always has been amazing, I can’t. My best running partners are my girlfriends who have the same running style as I do – it’s just plain tough to run with someone who doesn’t have a similar stride, pace and distance in mind. Cry it out and then take Paul’s advice:-) There are some things that we’re just not meant to do with our husbands.

  3. Christine says:

    Thanks guys. I really wasn’t trying to be hard on myself, more so depict a lessons learned kind of thing. My husband and I do lots of things together: running need not be one of them! And, with the busy busy busy that comes with our hectic lives, perhaps trying to get a stroll in where we can *talk* might be the way to go.

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