Dec 26, 2011

frontRUNNER - Running Into Each Other's Arms

Running Into Each Other’s Arms
(How Training Together Can Improve Your Relationship)
By Patricia Concepcion

As a child, I grew up watching my father run waking up extra early every morning before dawn and getting back just in time to drive me to school before work. Back then, and often even now, it never registered in me the amount of commitment it took to be that dedicated to a sport  - and what’s more, to be dedicated to your family, learning to shift from one priority to the next. As I grew, however and as I became more involved in the dynamics of my fathers running career. I realized that there didn’t need to be a shift: that although those two aspects of his life seemed so different there was definitely a grey area in which both passions met and were harmonious. Soon, my mother and I began training for races ourselves, and then we began running them, although while my dad would join the pros in the grueling 42k races and my mom worked her way up the ranks. I was left in the kiddie pool of running – the 3k races. I didn’t mind: what interested me more was the way in which my parents’ relationship had grown, even after so many years of marriage. They have more in common now: more to talk about, more experience to share. They had crossed finish line together – literally. Running gave them more time together away from work and away from the chaos of home and their children. It was so much more than a sport- as my father says it had become a way of life.

Seeing all of this, it made me wonder  exactly which aspects of the sport were most effective in improving a couple’s dynamics. Through my parents stories and friends, I have now seen many couples who have begun running together, and become all the better for it. I believe that this is because dedication to the sport had intermingled with their dedication to each other, making both much stronger than they already were. There are certain aspects of running that just fill you with a sense of enlightenment and purpose, and by sharing that with someone else, you attribute this feeling with being with them as well. That said, these are the aspects of running which I feel are beneficial to every relationship: whether you are happily married, getting there, or are in the throws of a new found love….

Training Together

There  is no question that much of the journey into becoming an avid runner happens before the marathons: that is, the constant training or maintenance which occurs before the race even begins, By sharing this experience with someone else, not only are you spending more time with each other, you feel as if you have grown together and are now ready to face anything that comes in your way. My parents not only run together on a regular basis, they push each other to go further than they have before. Setting goals each time you go out for a run only builds endurance. It builds camaraderie and trust as well.

Winning Together

There’s nothing like that feeling of reaching the finish line of a long, hard race: your mind clears, your breathing slows, and the only things you feel are the pounding of your heart and the pounding of your feet against concrete. Finally, you have made it to the end, and no matter how slow or how fast you were, the important thing is that you’re on the other side. By running with your significant other, you are associating this very feeling with being together. Now whenever you feel accomplished or enlightened, you will know that your partner is there, keeping up with you, always at your side. This is true for both inside and outside the running environment, because once that feeling is established; it will always be there, no matter what obstacles you strive to overcome.

Carbo –Loading Together

What better way to prepare for a marathon than a good, hearty meal? And what better way to spend a meal than with your significant other? Instead of sitting at home with nothing but twelve pizzas and the entire first season of your favorite TV show, try turning the kitchen into an intimate, candle-lit table for two, or head out to a nearby Italian restaurant and order your favorite pasta. For those in the more advanced spectrum of running, taking a break from training doesn’t have to be just sitting around at home; plan a romantic getaway, head to a spa, or go on a spontaneous food vacation. Romantic dinners and mini-excursions are always a great way to spice up a relationship, and that way, you’ll both be getting the energy you need for the next race without the embarrassment of pigging out in front of significant other.

Setting goals and striving to achieve them are a big part of not just sport, but of life as well. What people don’t realize is that the skills and the emotions we get from being on the road can apply to any situation, By running with your partner, you are including them in an aspect of your own life which brings you happiness, perseverance and a sense of accomplishment: feelings which are already a big part of any relationship. So go out, kick up some dirt, and bring your partner with you… You might be surprised what rewards await when you both reach that finish line…