The Somewhat Condensed History...
As a general rule, I feel very blessed that pretty much my entire running career has taken place with my better half by my side. It's a blessing for many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that I'm certain beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is no other running partner who would've put up with all the crap that I can dish out. Quite simply, I'm just not all that nice. And when adversity rears it's ugly head, I'm downright horrid (especially to those I'm closest to).
But, this guy of mine is a trooper. He's resilient beyond belief (in running as well as in real life), and we've got this matrimonial bond going. Honestly, I think he just feels obligated to put up with me.
It has historically worked amazingly well, at least in my mind. While running buddies of different genders can present some challenges in terms of pace (boys really are faster... it's just science), we've historically been able to offset this particular challenge because, honestly, back in the day when we started running, Chris was fat. Thankfully I'm pretty sure he never reads this blog, I guess we'll find out now. But, we've covered a lot of miles over the years. As a result, he's not fat anymore. He's faster than me... all's right in the universe.
Despite our pace difference, we still run together. A lot. And I enjoy it (most of the time), and Chris at least acts like he likes it (most of the time). If you could see the number of dollars we've paid to babysitters over the last four or five years or the amount of time spent on the road between Edina and Lakeville toting the kids between our house and Grandma and Grandpa's, it would be painfully apparent that it's a priority. It's ludicrous, really.
Fast forward to marathon training 2010...
Friends, this is getting serious. We ran 17 miles on Saturday. SEVENTEEN *insert loud and obnoxious expletive here* MILES!!!! Prior to this endeavor, I had never run a single inch farther than 13.1 miles. It's a whole new world, and the best word I can come up with right now is doldrums (which is going to be a whole other post, maybe tomorrow).
I've already discussed the Madeline Island 16 miler. It was gross. On Saturday, things were poised to go much better. Being at home, there were far more factors that were within my control, which is a big deal for me.
As earlier stated, this run went pretty well for me and I'm happy with it. Also earlier stated was the fact that I lost Chris just before mile 16. Highly unusual, but not unheard of. Not long before that point in the run, he'd told me to take the Garmin and go on. I wasn't exactly feeling a surge of energy, so I hung with him for a bit. I gave him a little pep talk (as much as I'm capable of, rose colored glasses have never been a defining accessory of mine).
Once we were back to Nokomis, I was itching to be done. I pulled ahead ever so slightly, looked back and decided I needed to forge ahead and get done. A little bit down the road I stopped at a water fountain and he caught up with me. Honestly, the details of this are fuzzy (apparently a nearly three hour run decreases my mental clarity). But, I ended up going ahead. I finished the run, exchanged some pleasantries with my fellow run club members, then set out to fill the water bottle so I could go be with him at the finish. It ended up taking me so long to find the stinking water fountain that he was done by the time I got back. Long story short, the two of us finished this run in two different mental places. That's a fairly unusual occurrence in this particular running relationship.
While I knew he wasn't real happy with the way the run had gone, I was apparently too wrapped up in myself to realize that he was pretty damn frustrated with me. We gathered with some neighbors later in the evening, and he proceeded to vent all his frustrations. I was a bit taken aback. Then, he started griping about my behavior on the Wednesday evening sprint and hill workouts. "I don't understand why you have a need to run 10 yards in front of me. What's the point?"
WHOA THERE. Problem numero uno: When I do the God awful, way out of my comfort zone workouts on Wednesdays, my only goal is to get through them. I'm not racing or trying to beat anyone. I'm just doing my workout and trying to get done. So, my good buddy, don't flatter yourself by thinking my performance has anything to do with you. Because, it simply does not. Problem numero dos: If you've been frustrated with my behavior, why the heck haven't you said anything? Bad mouthing me in front of the neighbors ain't gonna help, I can assure you.
So, more new territory for the running Holts of Edina. He has since told me that his frustrations were really just with the way his run went, and not a function of anything I did or didn't do. Can you say backpedaling? My understanding is that we will continue to run together. What we have here is an opportunity for growth, on both of our parts. Growth is, um, hard; and I don't really care for it. But, such is life. By the time October fourth rolls around, we will quite possibly be giants from all this damn growth.