Yesterday morning, I was indulging one of my favorite Sunday/Monday traditions and was reading the NYTimes' wedding announcements. As someone who really doesn't care for marriage or weddings, I have no idea why I do this. A few times I've seen people I know (that's what happens when you go to a snooty college for undergrad), but mostly it's just voyeuristic pleasure.
The lead story this week caught my attention: it celebrated the marriage of two competitive runners. He was All-American at Stanford; she was All-American at Yale, an Olympian (10k in Athens), and took 3rd in Chicago in 2007.
This got me thinking: Is it important to you that you date/marry a runner? Or is it enough that they just understand that you run? Would you want your partner to be someone that you could actually run with? Lots of questions, I know, but I'm genuinely curious.
For the most part, the men I've dated have been supportive non-runners. One boyfriend ran a marathon, sort of. He did all of his training on the treadmill at the gym after work and had a miserable race. Another boyfriend was actively not supportive, cajoling me to turn my alarm off in the mornings and skip my runs (that wasn't the only way in which he was annoying, and how that lasted four years is one of life's mysteries). One of my good friends/training partners often runs with her husband - in fact, I've run with her husband a few times. None of my boyfriends have ever been that supportive.
So I guess, for me, I would say that it's important that my partner be supportive. I'd love someone that I could run with, but day-in/day-out that might get kind of old. Or worse: competitive.
Of course, I'm still looking forward to the Times' announcement that features one of these:
Actually, no, I'm not. I don't see the appeal to getting married mid-race. At all.
On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"