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The other side

July 6, 2011

Dating a runner takes patience. Sure, on the face of it having a partner who’s active and enjoys the outside sounds like a good thing, but is that the reality?

As I was telling my girlfriend over a leisurely weekend lunch about the race I’d registered for the next weekend I realised something was amis. Turns out that weekend – that Sunday, in fact – would be our first anniversary. Rather than a nice lie-in, I’d opted to make my way to the Lee Valley White Water Centre to run a 10k at 9:30 in the morning.

‘At least that means my run will be out of the way early, so we’ll have the rest of the day to ourselves,’ I offered. I then booked a nice meal for that evening like a good boyfriend.

But do the trials and tribulations of the partner stop there? Sadly not… If you’re thinking about dating a runner you might want to weigh up the following:

  • We create endless washing. The laundry bin is always stuffed with sodden clothes, more often than not covered in splodges of mud.
  • We insist on early mornings. The weekend after next I’d registered for a half-marathon in High Wycombe without thinking about the fact that we’re at a gig the night before.
  • During the winter months, we’ll probably end up incapacitating ourselves for the rest of the day after our longest runs. Out of the house for three hours then moping around in jogging bottoms, complaining that going upstairs hurts. Fun times.
  • Our feet are bad. Like, really bad. It was only a couple of weeks ago that I finally got rid of my annual marathon black toenail. It was minging before I cut it off, and it was minging afterwards. If you’re a foot fetishist, avoid runners.
  • We interrupt holidays with ridiculous runs in tropical heat, abandoning partners to their own devices for however long we’re out.
  • We’re boring about our sport. To a non-runner listening to a reeled-off list of split times the only supportive thing to do is to nod encouragingly, remembering not to ask questions so the anecdote can end all the sooner.

However, while we were driving up to Manchester listening – on my insistence – to the Comrades Marathon episode of Marathon Talk (a podcast my girlfriend declared to be mostly about poo and painkillers) I realised that I’m very fortunate to have found a very understanding lady. I can only hope that I return the favour as the boyfriend of a knitter…

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