Guest Blogger: The Non-Running Spouse (Running Widow)

I’m married to a non-runner. He is entitled to his own opinion and happens to be a damn good writer. The views he expressed here are solely his and do not in any way represent the view of the Author of this Blog. 

The thinking here was that I would write a guest entry to Cécile’s blog as the non-running spouse. If it’s bad she deserves half the blame.

When we first became an item, I had the notion I would have to become a runner or something: To enjoy life together would require us to enjoy the same pursuits and to pursue them together, and I didn’t figure her for fly-fishing.
But soon I realized she loved me for who I was and what I did and didn’t expect me to be at her side for however many godawful miles she was peeling off that day. Later it occurred to me she probably enjoyed that time to herself. So we achieved a balance.
These people, they are driven. You don’t try to shape the experience. You just accept them and support them and get out of their way, because they’re going to run. They’ll find the hour. They’ll work it in however they have to. You can stay in bed.
I got accustomed to how she runs her schedule, which would become kind of a clock to me. Every day, every day, she will have that hour or more. I learn when those hours are likely to fall and what they mean at the time. I learn what she’s trying to accomplish and I try to put myself in her situation and, when she asks me, dispense advice based on what I’d do. That’s about it. That and ice.
However when we were very new, I used to fuss a lot more. I’d get in my car and leave water bottles on her routes — because I’d offered to do so out of a desperate need to belong to the cause — or meet her somewhere with a bottle. On one of those meetings, a hot summer afternoon when she was logging 15 miles (24 kilometers) or more, and before I had grasped the idea that I could calculate her arrival time, I showed up too early and sat in the car for 20 minutes. This drew the attention of the (very) local police, who descended on the Moose Lodge parking lot just as Cécile was arriving. As she jogged up to the scene — the scene being my car surrounded by two or maybe three units — the officer in charge immediately surmised: “She’s training for a marathon and you’re waiting with water.”
I also came to accept that at any given location, she would soon know it better. Finding our way to the reception of an out-of-state wedding was now simple because Cécile had run past the place a few hours before.
So I became a running widower: the time apart, the complexity of mileages, your runner’s doubt, the laundry. It becomes a comfort.

Cours, ma chérie.”

At the Boston Marathon in 2012, during a heat wave.

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