The Dream Star's Corner

Dare to Dream...and DO!
walk. run. fly.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Endurance Athlete Relationship Guide

I'm in a beautiful relationship with an amazing who supports what I do and brags to others about my accomplishments. He plays soccer and loves cricket but his involvement doesn't seem to require as much time and preparation as running 26.2 miles. He is just as accomplished and he's secure in himself to support my need to make goals and meet them... with one caveat...

...that I still make time for him. And that's fair, right? I mean after all, the end goal for us both is to have a lasting relationship for the rest of our lives together. So, with that being said, there comes a point in every relationship between an endurance athlete and their mate to have a good conversation about what it means to be with someone who has a need to do some exciting and sometimes questionable things when it comes to their sport.

 So recently, we had to sit down and have such a conversation.

Baby, I have time for you and anything you want to do! long as you give me a few days notice...

I'm all for spontaneity and surprises but please understand that they may not be well received during triathlon training or marathon training season. It's not because of anything you did, but please understand that we have training schedules with certain goals that must be met before the end of the week. For triathlon training, it may be a certain number of workouts or a certain number of hours. For marathon training, we usually have mileage goals set in place. So even though I'd love to sit behind homeplate at the O's game, I'm just not sure how that 1:05 p.m. start time will fit into my 16-mile long run and recovery period. So give us a few days notice and perhaps we can move some things around.

Yes, I know that box of Gu Gel costs $25 but I NEED it...and other things.

Don't question our purchases. Unless you know your mate has a tendency to overdo it, typically we need the things that we buy. Either our shoes are about to wear out or we believe you can never have too many pairs of Injiniji socks to ward off blisters, just let us spend our money the way we need to. Trust me, I'd rather spend $25 on a decent bottle of wine, but alas, I don't think a bottle of Oberto Barolo would make for a good fueling strategy on race day.

The running routine starts with the bathroom.

It's race day. Start time is at 7:30 a.m. But your runner is up around 5 a.m. What gives?! If they're anything like me, they probably have a routine. Get up. Get breakfast. Drink coffee, or tea (my preference). And wait....and wait. Then it happens. Bathroom time! "Going" is so important to us. It's a must to help us perform at our best without dealing with gastronomy issues later on in the run. If you are married or in a long term relationship with an endurance athlete then you've crossed this bridge and you're probably used to it. If you're in the early stages of your relationship with one, then this is one of the lovely things you can expect.

After a long run or hard hard workout, don't talk to me...unless it's about swimming, biking, or running.

I call this the "Brain Dead and Still" phase. After a long run or hard workout, we typically just want a hot shower and food and comfort. We may not be in the mood to entertain you, hold thought provoking conversations, or shower, get dressed and go out for a rich and hearty meal. I normally want to shower, (cold then hot), find my compression sleeves and my favorite compression socks, something warm, dry, and comfy, and a soft place to sit for a few hours while refueling on something simple like fruit and a sandwich or vegetables. In a couple of hours, I'm normally good to go and can at least form sentences and attempt to care about things. We will be achy and moving slowly. No need to show us sympathy...we're used to it. Just keep moving as usual.

So, those are the key points that I've had to make to my significant other. He understands me a lot more now and it has helped to strengthen our relationship. Communication is key! 

Do you have anything to add to the list? What issues have you encountered?

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