Finding the Right Partner

Next month, I plan to run a half-marathon. This is a bold move – not because of the distance, but because I am not a strong winter runner. For many, many years, the combination of asthma and cold weather have forced me to cross-train indoors. This year, though, I have been determined to not let the cold take over and I have been running – fairly well.

As part of my prep for this run, I decided that I needed to find a race as I simply haven’t done one in months. I needed to remind myself of that adrenalin rush and of what the crowded starts can be like, and I needed to figure out what to wear (in terms of layering and headgear). Burlington was hosting the event I needed: a 5K for couples and singles.

A couples’ run really appealed to me. It was different; it gave me a chance to compete on a “team”. But I also had podium hopes – and realistic ones – so I had to find the right running partner. I searched among male friends, and I endured the teasing by Facebook friends about being a cougar when I tried to find a running bud through that network. Despite my attempts, I had no luck. And, then, my husband, who I met many, many years ago at a half-marathon, piped up.

“How far is it?” Oh no, I knew it was coming. Dave and I met running, but his real athletic passions are cycling, tennis and hockey. Out of the blue, he will pull on his old running gear so that he can go out, but then he sets it aside for a few more weeks or months (after washing it, of course).

“5K,” I quietly replied.

“That’s doable.”

“No, I want to do well. I want to place.”

“Thanks,” and he walked away.

Oops, that was not my best moment. But after reminding him that he doesn’t ask me to play tennis with him for the same reason, he got it, and we didn’t discuss being “partners” again.

I never did find a running pal for the race and ended up registering as an individual. Perhaps this was a sign that Hubby is destined to be my running partner for life – especially at “Sweetheart Runs”. As it turned out, I was glad that I didn’t find “the right man” as I would have felt that I really let him down when I injured my back. And, when I saw that all couples at the race had their wrists tied together with a red ribbon, I was really glad that I was on my own.

Where, you may wonder, was my sweetheart? At the sidelines with the boys, all of them cheering me on. On a cold Sunday morning? Yup, I found the right partner.

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