Who supports you? That’s your running team

Back in 2000 I watched the movie The Contender, about a female senator being blocked from the vice presidency because of personal attacks based on potential sexual indiscretions in college. The Oscar-nominated performances of Joan Allen as Sen. Laine Billings Hanson and Jeff Bridges as President Jackson Evans were great. But it was a scene at the end, during a stirring speech by President Evans, that made me realize what kind of husband I wanted to have one day. Not President Evans, but a lesser character: Sen. Hanson’s husband.

The Contender with Joan Allen, with support from her husbandThe speech scene is interspersed with frames of Sen. Hanson on a run in a cemetery with a car slowly driving alongside her. Her husband is using the car to help her keep pace. During her run, she’s listening to the president’s powerful speech, which he’s delivering to Congress lauding her character, her choices, and her service to the country. Her husband had rolled down the window of the car so she could listen to the speech on the radio while she ran.

My husband and support, Brian

Brian, on a roadtrip to Fredericksburg, Texas, earlier this year

I thought to myself, What a man. One day, I want a husband like that.

Fast-forward several years later, while dating my now-husband, Brian. I hounded him incessantly to run with me. Not just run with me, but to transform into the exact kind of runner I was. He’d go on runs with me occasionally, yes, but I wanted him to like it, crave it. Like I did.

It took me a few years, but I finally realized that my need was borderline co-dependent, so I began focusing on me as an individual runner instead of trying to force us to be some intense version of a couple who runs together: attached at the hip during our first marathon, traveling to races together, sharing dirty, trail-y running adventures.

By letting go of that vision for us, I was able to realize I had the kind of husband I whispered to myself about back in 2000:

My husband and support, Brian

Brian, in the gym

    • I hate out-and-backs. For instance, I’m about to take off from my apartment in North Oak Cliff for a 10-mile run in a few minutes. I am literally able to take off in any direction and Brian will drive to wherever I land to pick me up when I call. As he drives me home, he’ll ask me what I saw on my run. Ask me how it went, if I had to stop, how many times and where. He’ll ask if I remembered to stop my RunKeeper.
    • When he knows I’m headed out on a run, he’ll make my water bottle for me. He’ll ask if he should tuck energy chews or a Nuun tablet in the bottle’s zipper pouch for this particular run.
    • When I’m disappointed at the number of runs I’ve skipped or cut short lately, he tells me how strong I am. He’ll encourage me to get back on schedule.
My husband and support, Brian

Me with my No. 1 pillar and cheerleader, spring 2013

  • He reminds me to blog, retweets my Dallas Runaround tweets. When I double-post my Runkeeper activities to Facebook or Twitter (yes, I’m one of those), I can always count on a favorite or a “My wife’s a beast!” comment.
  • For each and every race, I can count on Brian seeing me off at the start and being at the finish line.

It ends up sports bras aren’t the only support this woman needs to be a successful runner. I always viewed running as an individual, solitary act. Now I see that, for runners who are blessed, it’s a team sport.

Thank you for being my William Hanson, Brian.

Group counseling + boot camp = better body and mind

My latest for The Dallas Morning News, this time about a group in Plano, Texas, that combines group counseling with fitness and nutrition. The results? A better emotional state than solely counseling, and better fitness than just hitting the gym. Click here for a link to the story instead.

I’ve been terribly absent here for a while. I plan to hop back on soon with an update on my own personal fitness/running state.

The Dallas Morning News | Fitness | Team Move profile by Christy Robinson

Recent sights, sounds and happenings on the Katy Trail

Brian and I are on our second-to-last week of official 5K training. But we’re tagging on a couple of more weeks to get down running the whole thing without stopping.

I think we’re there, but Brian’s adorable at scamming me into having us stop when he’s perfectly spry enough to keep going. Like today, he started futzing with his new mp3 player I got him for his birthday (Metallica makes him run faster). At the perfect 1.5 mile mark, he stops and literally fumbles and bumbles and boobs with his player like he can’t find the volume, and oh no, now it’s locked — Christy, how do I get this unlocked? I thought I saw you adjusting it the other day — you don’t remember how? Show me how.

I gave up trying to get us to keep going and realized what it was: a breather. He can fake-futz now … but those tagged-on extra two weeks of training? A no-futz zone.

Recent sights: A fat, very domesticated cat sauntering onto the trail, plopping in the middle of it, and lying belly-up for rubz. From anybody. As if there weren’t racing bicycles and roller blades whizzing by. I was like, Dumb cat. You obviously have no sense of self-preservation; go home. … After I spent five minutes on the ground giving him rubz.

Recent/all-the-time-smells: I know nature means small animals die. And that nature lines the trail. I’m just saying … the smell of dead birds or squirrels or whatever seem so much more horrid on the Katy than on any actual trail-trail (non-concrete) I’ve exhaled on. Grosssss.

Recent feels: Despite today’s futzing episode, Brian and I did well on our 3-miler. Maybe what helped was that The Nothing was rolling in from the West, which dropped temperatures and gave us a little rain during the run. The fact it looked like it was about to open up a torrent on us put a spring in our step, too. I love running in the rain, even if we only got sprinkles at the time of the run.

Cool report: Brian saw an old TCA-mate of ours on Facebook say that she signed up her and her husband for a half-marathon. I teased him about the grin on his face and said that he’s smiling because he knows that it doesn’t sound as crazy as it did just a few weeks ago. Maybe it doesn’t sound completely un-crazy, but less crazy. He did the “pshhh whatever” thing.

Later, he mentioned that maybe just maybe we could try to run from one end of the Katy to the other at some point. That’s around 7 miles. Haaaaay! Bodes well for our runny future ; )