Stretching the run, stretching the runner’s relationships

Since I run kinda funny, once a month 3Rs posts a running comic courtesy of Jason Nocera from Running Shirts and Gifts.  

I’m a runner, married to a runner but the addictive run still causes marital friction from time to time. Like the time someone, ahem, “got lost” while running the trails in the natural area that’s about 2 miles from our house.

Sometimes the trail calls, promising one more view, one more pond, one more rock outcropping around the curve or over the hill. Sometimes the trail wanders, leading the runner off route. Sometimes the run feels too good to stop yet. Just one more mile.

Yes, I was irritated at the “I’m going for a run, be back in 20 minutes” that turned into an hour and a half. But I also understand it.

As runners we’re well-acquainted with fatigue that turns muscle into lead, with stabbing cramps and stiff tendons, with constricting lungs that refuse to embrace the oxygen they need. We tire of shushing the inner voice that whines and wants to give up.

So, when the run feels just right we run for it. When the lungs open and embrace the air, when legs and arms pump in synchronized power, when muscles stretch out smooth and feet fly – we run for the joy of it.

Then we come home. Have we gone too far?

What do you think is a healthy balance between sacrificing for the run and sacrificing the run for your family or other obligations?

Has the run ever created friction in your relationships?


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  • great post. my girlfriend and I are both serious runners. Although we do a lot of training runs together; schedules force us to have at least 1 or 2 runs where we’re doing them separately. the above mentioned cartoon? That’s us….always.

  • But at least you understand each other. I feel for the runners and the families of runners where one spouse can’t relate.

  • totally agree with you there. Frustration. for sure.

  • Great post! I married a former runner, who’s currently a Marine and no longer has a passion for working out. While I try to be as understanding as possible when he comes home late (8, 9 o’clock at night), I almost always catch an eye roll or a tone when I tell him I’m planning to do a long run on the weekend. No major fights, just a bit of friction, but I’d love to just have him understand.

    • I wonder if part of the tone stems from the fact that he used to run but doesn’t now. But good for you for going anyway. I regret the times I let an eye roll stop me from doing something I loved.