Sunday, August 7, 2011

A running streak

My husband Jon is on a running streak. He hasn’t missed a day running in more than two months. That’s a lot considering the past few years he has been more of a weekend warrior squeezing in 20-30 miles over the two days. That’s a training regiment I wouldn’t exactly recommend. Frankly, Jon probably wouldn’t recommend it either considering the way he would limp around on Mondays and Tuesdays.

I mentioned to my coach that Jon had been doing a lot of running, and he reminded me that it was about time for his annual alumni reunion race. A few years ago, Jon and his Wake Forest teammates decided to reignite their competitive drives and do a 24-hour relay, for fun. I can’t say running three 10ks a few hours apart, sometimes in the middle the night, would be my first choice for fun. Yet Jon always comes home with funny stories that seem to outweigh the running pain and sleeping in a van with eight other smelly guys.

Whatever the reason for his renewed running, I am glad Jon has found time to work it into his day. He has even made himself get up at 5 a.m. to get a run in if he knows he has a busy day ahead. It’s quite impressive because I know he is not a morning person. I remember after we were married Jon said to me, “Oh God, you’re one of those people.” I looked at him confused, “What do you mean?” Jon’s response, “A morning person.” I confess, I love mornings. Of course, the advantage of marrying a morning person is at least your coffee is always ready when you finally stumble out of bed on the weekends.

I am taking a little credit for his streak. He came home last week and was exhausted. He slumped down on the couch and said, “I’m going to ruin my streak.” Being a runner I understand how hard it is to run at the end of a busy day. That’s why I do most of big training runs and workouts in the morning and leave the shorter runs for the afternoon. I convinced him to just go for a short run to take the pressure off. He reluctantly got out the door, but he seemed pleased with himself when he returned and even ran a little more than he planned.

Though Jon is using his streak for motivation, I know a lot of runners who go a little overboard in order to keep their streaks alive. I’ve known runners to jog around an airport or do a late night run to make sure they got their run in for the day. Personally, I don’t believe in a streak for the sake of a streak if the quality is not there. I don’t see how you can get a quality run in at midnight or while dodging cars and sucking in fumes at an airport.

One of the last times Jon did a lot of running was in Beijing when he was with me for the Olympics. During one of my workouts before the Olympic marathon in China, I ran him ragged as he shuttled water for me. When we returned to our hotel the maid was cleaning it, so we had to wait. Jon collapsed on the hall floor, a pile of sweat, tears and general weariness. Yep, I snapped a picture, he was even too tired to put his hand up to block me.

I may not believe in running streaks, but I do believe believe in gaining momentum which is essentially what Jon has been doing. He is finally fit enough to enjoy his runs and has even been tinkering with a few workouts. I keep prodding him to see what he thinks he can run in a mile in, so I can have a workout buddy. He’s not biting.

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