"I have arrived. I am home. In the here. In the now. I am solid. I am free. In the ultimate I dwell." --Thich Nhat Hanh

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Married to a runner - Steps to succeed as a runner, father and husband

For this month’s blog symposium Trail Runner Magazine asked: Is it easier to date a fellow runner or a non-runner?

Being a runner with a full time job has its challenges. Add on top of that kids and a wife who is also a runner, and you have yourself a whole new ballgame. I honestly cannot talk about my time as a runner before all these add-ons, as up until few years ago, I really wasn’t a runner at all. Sure, I had bouts of sporadic gym streaks, and I did run an occasional 5k here and there, but I was not dedicated. Hence, I did not have scheduling problems at all. For Amy and I getting into running happened at a somewhat similar time. We both started training for similar races and doing similar distances. Just go back and check our blogs for more if you want to know all about those. At the same time when we started to run together, we had one and then few years later another kid. It would have been easy for us to bump down our distances, or to take some time off from running, or really pick a different hobby, but we thought otherwise. Instead, we upped our distances and our training. We learned all about compromise, scheduling and how to keep everyone happy most of the time.

Sunrise - new day - new challenge

Here are some steps to succeed as a runner, a father and a spouse.

        Kids come first - always

If there is one thing you learn as soon as you become a parent is that your kid(s) come first. Overnight, your priorities change and that schedule you had a week before can be thrown away. If there is a t-ball game at the same time as your scheduled run, guess what comes first. Running and training can wait. There is a time and place for everything. You learn really quickly, how to get your runs in when needed. You have to learn that your kids don’t care that you just ran 50 miles. They want to play and you have to be ready. Going into all your runs knowing that is very important. Your kids grow up fast. Don’t miss it.
Running with kids

       Compromise is your friend – go with the flow

Having a running partner and kids at the same time, makes having a schedule even more important. One of the most important things to remember is to be flexible and to compromise. There have been times when we both had to do a long run over a weekend, only to realize there are events, work and other things in the way. We’ve both had to compromise and move our long runs to Friday, Monday, super early in the morning, or later at night. While getting those runs in is important, having a happy environment trumps all that. Even with crazy schedules, missing runs almost never happens for us. Just remember that flexibility and compromise are your friends.
Going with the flow - sometimes its cold

        Time with each other

One of the best things about having a running partner is that we can spend time with each other. Getting out on those long runs together, or running a race together, provides much needed bonding time. Even when the going gets tough, and we just put down our head and grind on, we can feel content in each other’s presence. Having that special person next to you is enough to keep you going. While some people like to sit around and lounge together (don’t get me wrong, we like to do that too), we like to run together. Every time we go out is a new adventure. Even when we do not run together, we can spend hours talking about that run, or that next race coming up. Running has brought us closer together.
Bonding time!

       Time alone

Having a running partner makes it easy to go out for a 4 hour training run. Who else could understand, why you would want to go out for 4-5 hours. Unless you do something like that, you just wouldn’t understand. That alone time is invaluable. It is my time to recharge my batteries, to think about other things, without having to worry that my loved ones will be mad when I come back home. They know why I run. They understand why I run. They are happy for me, which in turns makes me happy.

Alone time - sometimes you race alone
It is not always fun and games, and we do have our battles and challenges, but doesn’t everyone else too? While we train a lot, we also make sure that we leave enough time for our kids and each other. Sometimes the yard and house work have to suffer, but honestly, that is not going anywhere. Being positive role models for our kids, spending time together as a family and enjoying life is the most important thing. 

The best cheer section
Being a married runner with a running partner and kids is not easy. It is challenging, but at the same time very rewarding and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Together we succeed!


  1. so I saw the picture of the covered bridge and just had to say that brought me back to some wonderful days back in college on a special run I would go on that had that same structure.

  2. ////ok so I had to comment again, I really enjoyed this post. I married a non runner... I was going to write about it some day. But one thing about it is she just doesnt understand that I have to run daily. I used to run every day for 10 years straight before we got together and she was fortunate I was hurt at the time. So when it came time to get back into training again, she just didnt understand. For the longest time I felt prevented... i still do. She is important to me but if I have to run late at night or mid day or after work I feel like she has been waiting around alone all day waiting for me and now I am going to go take another hour and a half to run. honest life hits hard and I am glad ou have found ways to make it work... I am still trying to figure it out.


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