Living with a runner: a partners perspective!
I’ve talked a lot about running and us runners so far in my blogs but what our lovely partners?! How do they cope? Are they on-board with our crazy running endeavours? Surely, they get bored? Are we too selfish?
This topic was suggested by a couple of readers, so I decided to delve into the matter a bit deeper, put my journalist hat on, go straight to the horses’ mouth and ask the tough questions!
I must say a huge thankyou to Rachel, Jess, Sham and Bianca, partners of Caden Shields, myself, Zac Newman and Craig Appleby for firstly offering their time to this project and secondly for offering such; honest, enlightening and funny responses.
I am rapt with the collection of responses, thoughts and feelings in this piece. I am sure this blog will reverberate with a lot of you and make you, nod your head, smile, laugh and hopefully organise a date night or 2 with your partner! Enjoy!
This goes out to all the running partners out there; Thankyou!
Home: Living in Opawa, Christchurch, NZ.
Fiance: Caiden Shields (been together for 4 years)
Occupation: Primary school teacher, grade 3 and 4 ESL
Kids: A five month old puppy named Remi
Home; Living in Frankston South
Fiance: Getting married in December to Mr Run Culture himself, Dane Verwey. (been together for 4 years)
Occupation: Primary school teacher, teaching prep
Kids: Two boys; Lachlan 4.5 & Patrick 2
Home; Living in Cockatoo
Married: to Craig Appleby (been together for 9 yrs).
Occupation: Entrepreneur / Director
Partner: Zacca Newman; over a year
How obsessed with running is he? Unfixably addicted- got a real problem, obsessed but still flexible enough or is he quite carefree and laxidazical about his running?
R: Unfixably addicted. Wouldn’t say it’s a problem as such, great to have an extreme passion.
J: Yep unfixably addicted.
B: Obsessed but still flexible. However has shocking time management. So often makes us late. Not putting into factor our boys and their needs. And gets me grumpy with him.
S: Obsessed but still flexible enough.
Most embarrassing running habit?
R: Letting farts loose while running, including when passing strangers in the street.
J: I’d say his outfits. He never has any shame with what he’s wearing. Whether it’s recovery sandals with socks or very short shorts.
Another one is the way he takes food on the go. Smashing down greek yogurt out the door with a smoothie in the other hand and a bit of toast balancing awkwardly.
B: Not sure.
S: Zacca struggles at times to sleep after hard sessions, he moves around all night and keeps me up, he tosses and turns for what seems like hours and then it takes him so long the next day to get out of bed…..hobbling around!
What’s he like if he doesn’t run? Is he a better or worse person?
R: Definitely more irritable. Running is a form of pleasure and stress relief, without it, he is less happy.
J: When we first met Dane had an achilles injury so I didn’t realise how much he ran. This could have been a ploy. I’ve just got use to it now. Running makes him happy but it can also make him super tired fitting it all in.
B: Worse person. As it does help to clear his head. Especially when injured.
S: A tinsy bit grumpy – hahahha! The endorphins levels aren’t optimum when he ain’t running
Weirdest running attire?
R: He doesn’t wear anything too embarrassing.
J: As mentioned above he has no shame with what he wears. Sometimes I question the matchy-matchy looks or the way he layers his outfits in winter. There is a beanie he wears that looks like a swimming cap and he also would wear my snow gloves for a run. I could keep going…
B: Craig’s just weird in general
S: Dont think he has any…his pretty on fleek with his running gear:)
What do you just not understand about their love for running?
R: When we first met I struggled to understand why he still went running on his birthday and on days it snowed. But now I understand it’s part of his daily routine and he doesn’t miss it unless absolutely necessary.
J: The amount of shoes he buys.
B: I get it but I get frustrated at the constant nature of it.
S: Being an entrepreneur, I am superbly driven myself and believe in following one’s passion and doing what makes you happy hence I totally understand the obsession he has with running and his passion for it.
Do you have a hobby or dream you pursue as passionately as he does his running?
R: There’s nothing I’m currently as dedicated to, as he is to his running (he is pretty bloody dedicated). I enjoy physical activity and sport too but just not to the competitive level he does.
J: I played soccer since I was in primary school till last year. I loved it and I do miss playing so I’m thinking I’ll start indoor soccer again.
B: Being the best Mum I can be and family unit. Which is why I don’t have an interest in running myself. After Craig’s running commitments I’d prefer us to be together as a family.
S: Yes, I am passionate about building businesses (I have built 2 and sold both). And am a big advocate for women empowerment and gender equality so I am currently centred around consulting in this area and building a business that allows for me to do the above.
Will he run forever? What do you hope he does?
R: I’m sure running will always be a prominent part of his life and as long as his body lets him, he will run. I hope he achieves what he wants with his running, then is able to focus his time and energy on other things (eg family and life balance)
J: Whenever I see an old guy running I think that will be Dane for sure. I won’t mind if he’s still running.
S: I support whatever he wants to do – if he wants to run forever and it makes him happy then that is what I will support. However, he has as good head on his shoulders and will know when its time to slow down.
Does he have a healthy life- running balance? Are there areas he could improve?
R: Currently he spends most of his time working or running. I would like to see running training reduce with time but I understand for now, he needs to run as much as he does.
J: When it’s right in the mix of marathon training the double runs can get time consuming. Sometimes it’s a lot with late work finishes, runs, having dinner and getting enough sleep etc..
B: Sometimes I feel running is a higher priority than our family. Which frustrates me.
Since we swapped roles this year, yes. Me working full time and Craig being part time and staying at home with the boys. It’s been heaps better for our family as he’s around more and our boys get to have his influence too. This is a great opportunity for all of us. Craig’s ‘maternity’ leave time!
S: I think when one is obsessed about achieving something or your passion – balance is contextual to that pursuit. I do feel he does make an effort to have balance especially with our relationship and I do appreciate it.
Do you actively listen when he drums on about running all night long?
R: I actively listen 75% of the time, other times I just pretend to listen!
J: Of course I listen. A fartlek is what?
B: Sometimes… it’s not often we get to actually sit and chat about things. Our boys and day to day routines is generally what is discussed.
S: Well firstly, Zacca doesn’t really go on about running all the time, so when he does I do listen attentively because I do know how important it is to him. Just like when I go on about my stuff – though he does have selective listening (hahahhhahahaha).
Have you heard of Seb Coe? Who is he?
R: I’m sure I’ve heard Caden speak of him before, and I’d put my money on him being a runner but I can’t say I’m certain.
J: I haven’t heard of him. Do I get points for knowing Kipchoge?
B: No I haven’t heard of him.
S: Never heard of him – hahahahaha! Though google is my best friend and now I know who he is:-))
Running and all it’s parts can take up a lot of time (training, stretching, gym, massage, travel, washing, preparation). How do you ensure you get enough together time?
R: I try go running with him when I can (short runs that I can keep up with him on) otherwise I enjoy travelling to watch his races.
J: Most days are all good and we spend quality time together. Other times I’m thinking surely you’re done by now??? Or I’ll already be asleep by the time he’s home.
B: We don’t unfortunately. Date days in our school holidays, both teachers. We also drive together to work on a Monday/Tuesday (we teach at the same school). This is also part of having young children, less together time.
S: Yeah, it does but we make time especially on weekends to spend some quality time together – we do brunch (I mean who doesn’t in Melbourne right!!), we go for events and hang out with family and friends as well.
Do you have any other key tips you’d like to share to those partners living with a runner?
R: Acceptance is key. I may not understand his running obsession 100% of the time but I have to accept it’s part of who he is and what makes him the kind of person he is. I think it’s also important to have my own goals and ambitions so I don’t feel lazy or unmotivated in comparison to him
J: Number one tip- don’t get sucked into going to Ferny!
Get a good pair of headphones if you’re going for a walk while he’s running.
B: Remember to bring them back down to earth. They need it.
S: I would say that patience is key – lol! But also find something that you are passionate about as well, this will allow for the both of you to grow together as a couple and as individuals. It doesn’t have to be anything that is over the top – learning a new language, a new skill, cook, work out – whatever it is that you have wanted to do but never had the time to!