Editor’s Note: Let me introduce this post. It’s written by my husband. If you’ve ever listened to me thank the people that help my running, you know that although he doesn’t call himself a runner, he’s always the first person that I thank. I spend a lot of time out of our home, running. He supports me.
Here is his experience supporting me.
So….my wife is a marathoner. Not just that, she is an obsessive marathoner. She has a coach, she has a physiotherapist, she has a dietician, hell she even has sponsors (and not the kind of sponsor you call when you realize that your running addiction is out of hand).
Here’s an outline on what living with a marathoner (a hardcore one, even for that sport) is like. If you know me, you know I am blunt, but you also know that I love Erin (and would suspect correctly that she already reviewed this post and ok’d it before you read it). Hopefully you’ll get the humour (and truth) in this post. If not, I probably don’t much care for you anyways.
Time to yourself
Couple time is great, but it’s also important to have separate interests. I love reno’ing, I’m a music and movie buff and a computer geek. Erin and I have lots of interests in common, but none of the ones I just listed are anything she cares about. Her running means lots of time for me to blare music, watch insanely loud action flicks and gut the house. Our home is small, so those aren’t things that I can necessarily do while she is around. The downside is that time together is on a crazy schedule. Weekends mean cramming your own “to do’s” into time while they are out training and scheduling everything together around races, training at the track and running events.
One of us is going to live a long healthy life (hint – it isn’t me). I’m banking on Erin (a nurse) to take care of me. Folks, it is always important to have a plan.
I’m a proud Canadian, but we live in the second fattest country in the world (kudos U.S., kudos). My wife runs 6 days a week. This isn’t my 20 minute runs on the treadmill either. This is dozens of kilometres; she tells me she has run 1200 km this year. In addition, to help stay loose and recuperate, she does yoga. I am winning in all sorts of ways here. While most Canadians are struggling to fit into their already too-large pants and loathing how they look in a mirror, my wife has abs, a slender frame and perfect legs. Any spouse who says they don’t care about this is an idiot and a liar.
We may share cooking responsibilities in our house, but it would be fair to say that I am the “goto” chef (Erin hates cooking and I love it). Feeding a marathoner is like feeding a giant teenage boy. Not only do marathoners eat an insane amount of food, it needs to be good food and it needs to be served up frequently. Moreover, your eating schedule (assuming you want to eat together) is completely controlled by when their practices and runs are scheduled. Supper happens after work/practice/cool downs. Breakfast has to be before training, but lunch has to be immediately after. Perhaps even worse is that portion control goes out the window and low-fat foods are frowned upon (I now make 0% frozen yoghurt for me and full fat frozen yoghurt for Erin). The next point (Self Image) outlines why the extra fat is a problem.
Then there is the hangriness. Marathoners get moody, angry, frustrated and (I’ll say it, I don’t care) bitchy if they aren’t fed properly. They burn so many calories that they are in constant danger of running low and when that happens they get hangry (I doubt most recognize this – but I bet their spouses do). I could count on one hand the number of times Erin and I have ever fought, but I bet she was hangry almost every single one of those times.
I’m not a chubby guy. In fact for most of my life I wished I weighed more (sadly, after blowing by age 30, my body and love of food have turned on me a bit). I work in an office. I sit in a chair all day. Then I come home and sit on a couch (and I love that couch). My body is nothing like my wife’s and it never will be. I’m self-confident about how I look and I’ve got a pretty high self-esteem (I think the term arrogant has been thrown around), but there is no feeling 100% good about the shape you are in when you date a marathoner.
Give me your feedback (and your damn money)
Have some notes on living with a marathoner? Post a comment below. Haven’t donated to Erin’s run across the Gambia yet? Well then you’re a bad person and I will drown a kitten if you don’t (so click the Donate Now link below).