There’s a big elephant in the room in the early morning hours in our house when we’re getting ready to head out of the door to a race. It’s the fact that my husband is the secret to what keeps me running.
To know my husband, you would know that he is not a man of many words. He is the strong, silent type. At 6’4″ (and a half, as he tells the kids), we have gotten used to his shadow as he looms over us the night before a race cooking us a well-balanced and protein-filled meal. Afterwards, he tells us to get to bed and get as much rest as we can.
This shadow looms over us again at the crack of dawn, as he wakes us up. It’s during these mornings, that getting us out of the house on time is no easy feat. In the early mornings before a race, that’s when the kids and I are the grouchiest. It’s at this time when we wonder out loud why we have committed to leaving the warmth and comforts of our beds to go out and put ourselves through inevitable physical strain and pain. It’s through my husband’s encouragement and support that we muster the strength to get out the door and to the city of the race and arriving at the start line on time.
We have a rhythm now. I typically drive us all to the race, and as I lurch into the vehicle after the race, he drives us all home. He brings lawn chairs and camps out at the race finish line. He usually has his iPad in hand, so he can take pictures of us as we cross the finish line. He has also taken to timing us in our races and has been keeping track of each of our personal bests.
He has not been able to come to every race, and that’s OK. I am happy that he gets his own exercise in the form of golfing. He has set a good example for the kids and I in the importance of regular exercise. We do feel his absence during those run days. He is our rock.
This past summer, I watched quietly and intently as an older couple in their sixties were preparing for a race. The husband sat quietly at his post of choice on a picnic table reading a book, while his wife stood stretching beside him, readying herself for the run ahead. For a moment, I wondered if that’s what we will be like in 20 years.
So I’m raising my water bottle for a toast to my husband, Jeff Farrelly. I thank you and love you and look forward to the races ahead.