Of all the things that I am most proud of with my running, it is the perseverance that I show. The commitment to getting up and out of bed each day, to completing each hard workout, and to pushing through to the finish line of each race. I’ve gotten better at it over the years, as I’ve learned my limits and discovered that I am capable of amazing things, even when it feels really hard. None of this would have been possible, however, without the support of my amazing husband, Michael.
Michael has been a part of my running history ever since I started. In 2003, when I decided to run a half marathon with Team in Training, even though I had never run more than 3 miles before, he not only supported my decision, but agreed to sign up with me. We covered endless training miles together, worked hard to meet our fundraising goals, and crossed the finish line side by side. Eighteen months later, when I decided that I wanted to run a full marathon with TNT, Michael again joined me throughout the entire process. I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have crossed that finish line if he hadn’t been there. After that experience, he decided that he had had enough of running himself, and he transitioned into being the best race support that a girl could ask for.
In 2006, I traveled out to Anchorage for yet another marathon. Michael was there, pedaling along the course on a rented bicycle to find me at as many cheering spots as possible. He even managed to supply me with Gatorade mid-race when I discovered that the provided sports drink wasn’t working for me.
Of course, in 2008 our wonderful twins entered the world and running became even more of a challenge. In the day-to-day circus of raising two young kids, finding time for a run became just one more thing that we had to fit in. Michael found ways to make it work. I began to get up well before dawn to run on our treadmill. He easily agreed to take on all of the morning duties, getting the kids up, dressed, and fed before school so that I could just focus on getting in my run and getting showered before leaving for work. It’s a system that we still use today. On Saturdays, he not only watches the kids so that I can get in my long runs, but often goes grocery shopping as well.
Races provide a whole new challenge. When the race is farther away, he stays home with the kids and plays the role of a single parent so that I can have a few days away to run and relax. For most of my local races, he is right there on the sidelines, with the kids in tow. We often joke about how he is a professional race spectator, especially at the Disney races, where he has mastered the art of navigating the race course via monorail and bus while toting two kids and a double stroller. I’ve found myself standing near other mothers at the start of races and listened as they’ve worried about whether their husbands will dress the kids in enough clothes or feed them breakfast before taking them to the race. And I realize just how fortunate I am, because I’ve never once had that concern. I don’t need to remind my husband what to do with the kids because he knows how to prepare them even better than I do.
So on this Father’s Day, I want to give a tremendous “Thank You” to my husband for being such an incredible support system. I literally would not be able to do all of this without you by my side.