By Dave Foley
Planning to marry a runner? Here are a few prenuptial words of wisdom
1. The daily run is part of her lifestyle. View this situation as a dog owner might. A dog needs to be let out once a day or the results are unpleasant. Same with a runner.
2. Though he may go out the door frustrated and irritable, invariably he’ll return from his run cheerful and refreshed – running does that. You may wish that a grouchy spouse would go out for a five-miler several times a day.
3. Runners are pack rats. Expect your spouse to accumulate more race T-shirts than she’ll ever need and purchase several pairs of new running shoes without discarding her old ones. However, if you donate these items to charity or throw them away without asking permission, there will be trouble.
4. The more he runs, the more he’ll complain about stiff quads, sore knees, shin splints and other infirmities. Don’t interpret this as a waning of interest in running. The aches and pains, he’ll tell you, mean that he’s approaching peak conditioning.
5. If you’re attending a social function made up of runners, take a good book, or an early leave.
6. I hope you like spaghetti.
7. Even though your spouse can run a 45-minute 10K, race day is at least four hours long. Figure on arriving an hour before the start, allow an hour for the race itself and two more hours for post-race activities and awards. Think the Academy Awards take a long time? No way. They don’t give out Oscars 10 deep in every age-group.
8. No matter how well your spouse appears to do in a race, if her performance fails to meet her expectations, you’ll be riding home with a grump.
9. Although open communication is essential to a marriage, be warned that runners do not take kindly to coaching tips offered by non-running spouses. Expect your helpful advice to be answered with silence at best or with short negative assessments of your personality.
10. Your spouse may bring home trophies and plaques, which will likely be displayed in your living room. Just be glad his hobby isn’t big game hunting.
11. While running may shrink waistlines and build muscles, it can also inflate egos.
12. Watching a marathon is nowhere near as exciting as attending a professional baseball or football game; even a golf tournament has more suspense. Essentially it will be a day spent looking at people you don’t know, running toward a finish line you can’t park within a mile of. Even if you see your spouse run by, she may not acknowledge your cheers.
13. Running is forever – there is no finish line. It’s not something he’ll outgrow or retire from once he’s past his peak. The sweaty clothes in the hamper, the running shoes in the back hall and the complaints about sore legs will be with you forever.
14. It’s inevitable that your spouse will encourage you to take up running. Understand that to do this will double your laundry, add another pile of shoes to the back hall and give you soreness in muscles you never realized you had. But you might also discover why the man or woman you love loves running.
Dave Foley, whose wife, Cyndy eventually became a runner, too, has been married for 45 years.
By Dave Foley