Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Righteous Runner Tribute to the Righteous Boyfriends/significant Others of Runners

It was a quiet Sunday evening. Scott and I were settling in on the couch for an evening of watching Lost episodes. I had run 15 miles that morning as part of my training for my marathon and was sore and tired. My feet were swollen and tender from three hours of pavement pounding but the worst was the pressure and pain underneath my toenails.This is called runner's toes and it is caused by damage to the nail bed either by the shoe or sock. It is  very common among runners.  As Scott was about to turn on season five, episode 3, I muster all my strength and roll to a standing position.

"Hold on. I've gotta go rip off this toenail," I say, hobbling towards the bathroom.
"Awww! Gross! Was that necessary!" Scott hollers. I turn to see him shaking his head and doing that finger biting thing. I'm back in five minutes and attempt to resume my cuddle spot, but not without a little teasing.

"Hey, look at this!"
"Think I can get a discount on a pedicure now since I only have nine toenails?"
"That little pig did not cry wee wee wee all the way home. It got hit by a bus."

For some reason, Scott is not amused. He's actually quite freaked out. Why? It's not ok for your girlfriend to rip toenails off and then laugh about it? It's not cute?

Poor Scott. He's been woken up to come pick me up from various spots all over Bucks County at the precise mile I've decided to be done running.  He's learned to come with a towel, flip flops, clean t-shirt, and cold bottle of water. He also keeps the windows down no matter what the weather. I'm pretty sure if his banged-up foot hadn't slowed him down, he would have hidden when my runny buddy Lauren and I returned from our triumphant 17 mile run Sunday morning.  I have no idea why he wouldn't hug me until I after a shower.

Scott, welcome to the world of having a runner girlfriend. For when you have a runner girlfriend, things are different. What runners think of as perfectly acceptable behaviors can come across as disgusting and frightening to those not in the know. It takes a good man to tolerate our demanding training schedules and some of the unflattering side effects of running. Marathon training requires a lot of dedication and commitment not just of the runner but of their significant other. But, the boyfriends of girl runners (or the girl friends of boy runners) know that those disgusting, stinky, sweaty moments when we are red and puffy, the hours of stretching, icing, whining, the small fortune in sports bras and race fees, the early morning wake ups, will all add up to one of our best moments---crossing those finish lines. There will be smiles  that can't be beat and a feeling of pride and satisfaction that will, I promise, make those quiet nights on the couch instead of a bar and bruised toe nails more than worth it.

So, lets raise our water bottles  and do a Shot block to the guys who stand idly on the finish line as we strive for PRs and paces

  • who understand what a PR is and why it's important.
  • who drive us to all over this green Earth at disgraceful hours of the morning.
  • who will make as many stops at as many gas stations as needed en route to a race--again, without judgement.
  • who wait while we run.
  • who endure snooze buttons and multiple alarms throughout the weekdays.
  • who do not judge when we order appetizers, main course and dessert at dinner and clear the plates in record time.
  • who buy breakfast after a morning run.
  • who hang our medal racks.
  • who ensure our bibs are on straight.
  • who take goofy photos (or, if you're my boyfriend, multiple photos of my butt while I'm not looking).
  • who join us for a mile or two even if they hate running.
  • who do not get why the Shot block joke was funny but pretend to laugh anyway.
  • who are now running experts  from listening to their girlfriends go on and on and on about this sport.
Any  runners out there who (actually read this silly blog!) want to give a shout out to their significant other? Let 'em know you care by commenting on this never-read blog. It's almost as symbolic as letting them hold your gear bag. :-) 


  1. I will definitely be sharing this post with my husband!

  2. Oh my poor husband...he has gotten roped into this running scene after years of proclaiming that he'd only run if chased. And even then, it might need to be a lion or armed individual, to really get him moving. But the love for our youngest daughter, (and my begging), will be what gets him to run his second 1 mile fun run in a couple of weeks. Yes, he complains about that one mile. Run at the pace of an 8 yr old. I need him to run with her bc she can't run alone, but also won't do a 5k yet, which I'm busy running with our 10 yr old. What a guy will do for his running gals ;)