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Most mornings, I’m happy to hop out of bed at 5:30 am to squeeze in a run. It’s just how I like to start my day.
I understand that willingly bundling up under three layers and run/skipping around ice patches on the path probably makes me in the minority.
But today, getting out there felt so good. Even if it was 28 degrees. Even if my nose was bright red by the time I was done. Even if it took me a full five minutes to disrobe from all my sweaty layers (you’re welcome for that lovely mental picture).
I ran 4 miles without knee pain and maintained a less-than-9-minute-mile pace. My sub-2 hour 1/2 marathon goal is in sight!
So why am I proud this morning? Well, it’s not myself I’m proud of today. (I pat myself on the back often enough.)
I’m proud of ABS (that’s my boyfriend-roommate, for any newcomers). A little backstory…
When ABS was and I first met, I had just finished my very first 1/2 marathon: the Napa to Sonoma 1/2 Marathon with Team Challenge.
I raved about the race, and told him that I had already signed up to run a second race: the Las Vegas 1/2 Marathon, just four months down the road.
“Where do I sign up?” he responded.
Here’s what that meant for him and for us:
- We had barely known each other a few weeks and already we were committing to taking a cross-country trip together.
- He was agreeing to train for and run 13.1 miles. He had only ever done a 5K, and he was, well, drunk, when he did it.
- As a member of Team Challenge, he was also agreeing to raise $3,700 for Crohn’s Disease.
Needless to say I had an early inkling that he was a keeper.
As ABS and I trained together — our first run together was 2 miles, and gradually we made our way up to an 11 mile trek at 6 am one morning in Central Park — and naturally running together brought us closer.
We started cooking healthy meals together.
We both started losing a decent amount of weight.
On race day in Vegas, we finished within two minutes of each other (granted I ran my little heart out and he had some stomach problems and ended up walking the last portion of the course).
When we got back to NYC, we both entered the lottery for the NYC 1/2 Marathon — and we both got in!
But as training for that race began, and we committed to running outside as often as possible, ABS came down with a nasty cold, which progressed into bronchitis.
He was sidelined from training and had to bail out of the race.
At that same time, ABS had started a new job. All of a sudden, he was working 12–14 hour days on average. Working out took a backseat. Takeout became the way to go.
Meanwhile, I was working at the same job with flexible hours, making more time than ever to squeeze in workouts whenever I could.
When we started living together, I started to get frustrated. I hated that ABS wasn’t making working out a priority and refused to see his point of view. In my mind, he should be waking up even earlier (he already gets up at 5:30 am) to run, or he should go to the gym at 10 pm if that’s what it takes.
Weird. He didn’t break up with me. I would have broken up with me!
For a long time, I let my disapproval for his new lifestyle lead to little fights. I didn’t know how to motivate him to get back to the gym.
Finally he got through to me: He wanted to work out. But during the week, he’s exhausted. By the time the weekend comes, he wants to relax.
Badgering him wasn’t the way to motivate him. My bad.
Needless to say that when ABS approached me at the end of 2010 saying he had joined the nearby New York Health & Racquet Club, I was thrilled for him!
He has since signed up with a trainer and has been excited about eating healthy meals. He even said he does want to run another 1/2 marathon, but needs time to train, and right now work is just too time consuming.
Last night, ABS got home after his training session and was so excited to tell me about all the different exercises he had learned.
I couldn’t stop smiling.
“I’ll never love working out like you do,” he told me. “But I’m doing it, and I feel good about it.”
Then he asked me to take a picture of the dinner he had made to post on my blog for him. (He made spinach tortellini — we’ll work on the “limited cheese intake” another time.)