Someone asked me last night what it had been like to live with a marathoner. He said that he had been recently thinking that a certain amount of selfishness had to be involved with anyone training in the capacity one does for a marathon and wondered what that was like for someone (like me) who was not involved in the sport. I think he’s right; there is a certain amount of selfishness there. I guess there has to be some targeted self-focus for anyone that hopes to achieve something great though, whether it’s running a marathon, succeeding in a big way at work, or even becoming an amazing guitar player.
I had to think for a few minutes, and an odd thing came to mind actually. I never really minded all the training, all the running at perilous times of the day and night and in all kinds of weather. What bugged me, and not in a huge way by any means, were the unrealistic expectations my former husband John, a long-distance runner, had at times. Call it optimistic, but he often made plans to run 20 miles and think he could come home and easily settle right back into the day and proceed as if he hadn’t been running for a couple of hours. Call me crazy, but I’d go along with it each time and find myself waiting for his return, making a big breakfast (as he requested) for he and I and our young son, only to have him leave the table, nauseated and unable to eat. He continually pushed himself harder and harder, and seldom considered the implications of what he was doing to himself. It was frustrating to witness, particularly the times when he ran too hard and too fast in the Boston Marathon and ended up in the Prudential garage with an I.V. in his arm.
But this is what I remember most. Continue reading “Running on Empty”