When You’re a Runner and Your Spouse is Not

When You're a Runner and Your Spouse is Not

Without fail, when I first meet someone new and they find out I’m a runner, one of the questions is usually, “Does your husband run?” 

Short answer, no.

Long answer, yes but he doesn’t like it, so not really?

It’s no secret that running is a big part of my life.  When you start up a blog 7 years ago just because you want to find more like minded people to discuss running with and you eventually become a running coach, it’s kind of obvious I like it.

Since Ron and I’ve been together (almost 20 years and 16 of those years married!), fitness has been a part of our lives.  Scratch that.  It was always a part of mine and Ron was trying to find his way back to healthy living after a slump of being not so healthy.  We started going to the gym together and just being more active mountain biking and hiking.

Eventually, I started to run more especially when I had the goal of doing a half marathon before I turned 30. Occasionally, Ron would hop in for a short run of 2-3 miles but nothing more.

Once I caught the running bug after the kids were born, that continued.  I would head out for a run, Ron would stay home with the kids.  In fact, he would push me out of the house when I was training for my first half marathon after the kids.  It was hard to leave my babes because I didn’t want to miss a thing.  But Ron told me to go run.  It was good for me, good for the babes and good for Ron.  Putting in those miles after the kiddos helped me remember that I was still the same Angela rather than a zombie of a mom who changes endless amounts of diapers and does countless feedings.

When You're a Runner and Your Spouse is Not | happyfitmama.comSigns courtesy of Ron

Over the years, we’ve figured out a schedule.  I became the early morning workout/runner and he would hit the gym after work.  It works out well for us because he’s not a morning person and I’m ready to fall asleep at 5 p.m.

Now, Ron is not totally against running.  He’ll pop out a mile or three at the gym occasionally.  He’s joined me for a trail run when we had some time before picking the kids up from school. Or he’ll participate in our annual family Turkey Trot at Thanksgiving.

It’s just that he doesn’t want to run more than that.  It’s “boring” and not his thing. When You're a Runner and Your Spouse is Not | happyfitmama.comRon waiting with the kiddos at the finish line of yet another race.  At least the kids had the beach to keep them occupied!

That’s totally cool with me. Just because I’m a runner, doesn’t mean he has to be.

Do I wish Ron was a runner?  Sometimes.

When I see other runner couples out enjoying a race or a long run together, it makes me wish Ron liked running.

But truthfully, I’m glad he doesn’t like running.

First of all, we aren’t fighting over who gets to run long first on the weekends.  Second, we don’t have to fight over who gets to run which race because one parent has to hang out with the kids. Third, he’s a really good Instagram husband at races.  It’s always nice to have pics from the course thanks to him. If he ran, I wouldn’t have any of those shots. (Selfish?  Absolutely). And lastly, it’s my thing.  I’m the crazy runner in the family who runs up mountains or runs long distances. I like that.

Maybe once the kids are older and we won’t need baby-sitters, Ron will find that he actually likes running.  That might be cool.  Just as long as he doesn’t get faster than me…kidding.  Sort of.  Not really. 🙂

When You're a Runner and Your Spouse is Not | happyfitmama.comThe one time I got him to run a trail race 5 years ago!

Ron doesn’t really understand why I run so much.  He doesn’t understand how I keep going back to running even though it has caused me pain. He doesn’t understand why I leave a warm bed at an unholy hour to run in the cold and the dark. He doesn’t understand why I talk about running so much.

But what he does understand is that it’s important to me.

He will help me roll out my calves every night. He doesn’t complain that my early alarm interrupts his sleep. He listens to my mind-numbing boring stories of running every single day.  Sometimes he even offers feedback (if he’s still listening). When I’m debating about registering/not registering for a race, he tells me to do it.

He knows running makes me a happier, more confident person, so that’s good enough for him. That’s all he needs to understand.

Linking up with Coaches Corner and Wild Workout Wednesday.

Does your significant other run?

Do you wish they did/did not?

19 comments on “When You’re a Runner and Your Spouse is Not

  1. You are not alone, my husband is an avid hiker and walker, but holds no interest in running. He knows I love it, and is happy to support me and take photo’s, but doesn’t want to run. He says it’s because he is too competitive (and he is), and he would always want to win.

    But do we go on epic hikes together, and that is something that we both love.
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  2. So… in my case, until a couple of years ago I was Ron. My husband has run since he was a teenager and I was really not into it. But when the running bug hit me a couple of years ago, I came with a bang – running blog, running coach, different challenges; I found races he had never heard of; we started doing destination races; I introduced him to running watches, etc. etc. He says I made running cool, but I think I will need to ask him if he likes that I started running – it really was always his thing and when I read back what I have written it almost sounds as if I hijacked the whole running thing from him, LOL!

  3. You and your hubby sound like my hubs and me 10 years ago. I was the runner, and he ran. Sort of. Then he asked me if I would run a marathon with him and stay with him every step of the way. I said “Of course!” and we have been running together ever since. I still enjoy it more than he does, though.
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  4. Your husband is super supportive and that’s what counts in the end. Especially when the kids are young. I love that my husband is a triathlete, so with his different sports he’s always doing something, but I still get to run with him once or twice a week. The perfect combination of running alone time and hubby time.
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  5. You know I’m in the same boat, in fact, I wrote a satirical post about this a few years ago (which my husband loved!) There are definitely pros and cons to being a runner with a non-running spouse, but for my hubs and me, it’s worked out just fine. I kind of like having my own thing!

  6. My husband is not a runner or an exerciser at all. Sometimes I wish he was so we could do it together. He is my biggest cheer leader though so there’s that!Looks like you all have found a great system

  7. I’m newly married, and my husband is a runner, who’s much faster than me, but I’m much more serious about it, I would say! I’m hoping to get to “coach” him as he tries to beat his current half marathon PR. We can probably handle 4-5 miles together before he leaves me in the dust, lol!

  8. Great post! I’m so lucky that my wife is a runner. We met at a running party and I couldn’t imagine it not being in both of our lives.

    I’m glad you guys get to intersect and do some runs together! Those who run together, stay together!

  9. It is such a fact. Lot of times we have noticed that your partner is simply not interested in your activity, in this case running. However, it is very important to support each other even if you are not participating in that activity. I hope I get a runner partner. 🙂

  10. This is a cute post 😉 My hubby runs, but not as much (nor as far) as I do, and it’s all good. He definitely has much more natural athletic ability, so if he took running a tad more seriously, he’d totally kick my booty. He is very supportive of all the races I do, the early mornings and the abundance of running shoes in our house. On occasion, he does a few races with me, but we never “race” side by side LOL

  11. My husband is not a runner, but he’s super supportive. When training for my first marathon, he rode his bike on the trail, stopping by with water or fuel. During long races, he’ll make multiple stops along the course to take photos and cheer me on. He doesn’t understand why I need to race or run so much, but like your husband, he knows it’s important to me.

  12. It seems that in most partnerships only one partner is a runner. Weird, but I think it works out for the best like you say. My husband is my support crew and while he may not always understand why I want to run so much, I have all you people for that. 🙂

  13. My husband is only kind of a runner – in that he runs sometimes but not often – he likes it but he doesn’t love it – and honestly, I’m OK with that. I think it helps us have more balance and well, I have a babysitter for weekend morning runs and I’m not complaining! 🙂

  14. My husband is a runner but doesn’t love it in the same way I do! It’s probably his favorite way to exercises (and he knows its good for him) but he doesn’t really like it. He does races because he’s competitive. He is definitely faster than me but I have a few distances where I hold the household PR:) Its nice to have someone to talk to about running. Its great that Ron is still so supportive of your running even though he isn’t really a runner!

  15. I absolutely LOVED this post – I am a runner (still new to calling myself that) and my husband is not. I signed up for my first half marathon and all race expo long, people kept asking “oh is your husband running too” so it’s lame that it’s assumed and it’s nice that he’s not…sometimes I wish he was, but realistically I don’t – he carries my stuff at starting lines, takes the best pictures, and is always my number one supporter – it’d be different if he ran too
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