In high school I gave a speech at graduation. In that speech, I used the aphorism that “behind every good man is a great woman.” Most of the bored soon-to-be-high-school-graduates rolled their eyes because they knew I was talking about my girlfriend of over three years. I have sometimes wondered how many of our peers in that moment thought: “How long until they are married?” The answer to that question was: just over 5 years. A few of them even got to come and celebrate with us!
During our time together, my wife has challenged me in all the right ways to become a better person (this blog was even her idea) and to grow as a man, husband and future father.
But yesterday, she was not there to go running with me.
Fortunately, her hard work has paid off and I was able to get myself out of the house and out for a “light” training jog of running for 8 minutes, followed by 1 minute of walking, three times. It was not easy, and I have to confess that I actually had to listen to some music after the first mile because I was so bored. I had no idea just how much being able to chat with my partner made the training so much more enjoyable! I would have much preferred the ability to ask her random questions about her engineering job that I don’t understand at all, than listen to any music, sermon or audiobook on my phone.
The single most frustrating part was not being able to spout off the random things that pop into my brain while I jog. When I jog with my wife, I can vent all the craziness to her and she will either laugh or pretend she didn’t hear me so I move on to something else. Let me tell you, the kid in his front yard in full football pads practicing kickoffs or the girl who walks circles in our neighborhood wearing headphones or the kid who was riding his bicycle around the same small area of his front yard (we are talking high school kid here) would have been excellent sources of conversation to pass the time while I jogged. But alas, no one was there to absorb my deep thoughts.
The funny thing is, I ran at a much faster pace than normal. We usually go at what amounts to a 12-minute-mile pace (which includes the 1 minute of walking between intervals). So yesterday I should have gone right at 2 miles during the 26 minutes of jogging plus walking. When I finished, I realized I had gone a lot further than I expected and was much more exhausted than I should have been. Come to find out, I ran 2.5 miles, which turned into a 10-minute-mile-ish pace.
So what’s the takeaway here? That I run faster/farther without her? Absolutely not. Had I been expected to go much longer yesterday, I most likely would have called it quits early because it was too hard for me by myself. I needed her with me. Just like in life, my wife is my running mate who helps keep me steady with the right pace and provides amazing support along the way. If she had been with me yesterday, I not have run as far or at as fast of a pace, but I would have been much more satisfied with the run and enjoyed it a lot more.