After almost eight years together something remarkable happened this morning. We woke up, I pottered around for half an hour and then managed to rouse the other half up and out of bed so we could…wait for it…run together. If you’ve read my blog for a long time or have met me in real life, you’ll know that the boyfriend/fiance is not a runner (unless for a bus). He has dabbled with cycling in the past and is an excellent swimmer but pounding the pavements is not “his thing”.
That’s not to say he’s not supportive. Training for and running the Marathon des Sables is no easy feat and can put a strain on any relationship but he stuck by me and was my rock even though he thought I was crazy. He’s been wonderful over the past few weeks – helping me out with my broken arm and telling the story of how I called him at 8am in the morning to say “Er, honey, can you come to Victoria station? I may need to go to A&E as I think I’ve sprained my arm.” Yep, never a dull moment when I’m around.
And I sometimes think the more races I pursue, the more he’s put off the idea. so yesterday when I put the idea of a light jog to him, I expected a resolute NO. But to my surprise (and perhaps thanks to a few glasses of white wine, mixed with beer) he mumbled an OK.
So we set off together for a run up and down the road together. Me in my adidas Ultra Boost and lycra gear and him in his Dunlop Green Flash. Yes, he doesn’t own a proper pair of trainers. Nevertheless, he started jogging lightly beside me, cursing every so often. Remember this is a man who hasn’t, in his own words, run since 1999. Let’s just say, we took it slowly. Running for a few minutes, walking for a few minutes, running for a few minutes. Yes, he was huffing and puffing saying “I feel sick” but he did it.
And running with the partner highlighted how difficult it is to start running. That’s not to say he’s completely unfit – he can cycle no problem – but getting your body used to running takes time. Firstly, you have to master your breathing. Then you need to condition your body to be able to move without stopping, think about posture and relax your shoulders – all those things that runners take for granted. No wonder so many beginners are put off at the start.
It’s like learning a language – more often than not you have to start off with the boring stuff such as vocab and tenses before you can move on to conversation and laughter.
As for the partner and running, he wasn’t entirely convinced. But he has agreed to try it for a month. Does this mean I’ll have a partner-in-crime and running? Let’s wait and see.
I’m afraid he wouldn’t let me take any photos to post on social media. One step at a time…