Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Running Spouses

ground running style #1


When I started running again 15 months ago, my wife watched with interest. She was interested in how well my body would take it, how long I would stick with it, and how serious about it I would be. She had just watched me bicycle several hundred miles for fitness before I started running, but I think she thought running would be too hard on my body and would only really be an occasional thing for me. She never said anything discouraging, but I could tell she had her doubts.

I watched her with interest, too, because I wondered if she would decide to start doing some cardio, as well. She's never been overweight or terribly out of shape, and has always stayed pretty active until the last few years, when her latest job involved mostly just working at a computer all day. I was hopeful that she would catch the bug. I made a suggestion now and then, and she seemed to play along and suggest she was interested, but I remained patient and didn't try to push her any faster than she was ready to go.

She continued to follow my running with interest as I trained harder, increased my training mileage and began to run 5K races, then 10K races as well, then longer races--12 races in 365 days, then a 13th race on the 366th day after my first race. She watched as I went from running 10-11 minute miles at the beginning to routinely running 8 minute miles and averaging under 7 minute miles during shorter races. And as she watched, her interest grew.

She began to shop for some running clothes, and conveniently GoLite had a factory clearance sale close to our house, and she got some nice running clothes. Then, within a couple of weeks, she decided it was time to "try some of them out" and she suggested we go for a run last Sunday.

So, I ran with her. I withheld advice unless she asked for it, and we just ran quietly, which she said she liked. When we got home, she said she wanted me to give her a plan and so I downloaded a basic Galloway 5K Plan. She liked it, and decided to start it the following day. So, Monday, we went for another run, and she settled into a nice comfortable pace. As we walked in the front door after the run, she asked me to email her a training log spreadsheet, so I did, with the first two runs entered into it. It turns out 12 minutes/mile is her starting aerobic pace, which is actually pretty good.

We have a family membership to the Fort Collins Running Club, so we set a tentative goal for her to run a 4K club race as her first race on January 2 (about 2 months away). That should be enough time for her to get her training distance up to 3 miles without a problem, given that she has had no problems going 1.75-1.8 miles on her first two runs, walking only a couple of minutes on each run. I'm happy for her.

This morning was Tuesday, the second day on her training plan, which is a walk or cross train day for me. She surprised me by waking me up early this morning to tell me the weather was beautiful and if I didn't plan to run that day, I should change my mind and head out. I briefly considered that I might have created a monster, but I got up and we talked a little about a few things, including running. She remarked that she remembered walking with me to the school and watching me run around the perimeter of the school grounds 15 months ago. "You looked like an old man running slow," she said, "like it hurt." She added that she was sure that's what she looks like now, and I assured her that was not actually the case.

On the other hand, maybe we do look like tired old people running...  running comfortably and fast!  In any case, I want her on my team.

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