Thursday, January 20, 2011
Married to an Endurance Athlete...and the Oprah Show
About a year ago Runner’s World did an article about running and marriage…about the issues that can arise by two people…one that runs and trains and one that doesn’t. Training is a time consuming entity…and if one party doesn’t “get” it, then there may be issues. Take on Ultra Endurance training and kick up the time spent alone, running….and all the issues that come with it….throw in kids into the equation and the balancing act becomes infinitely more challenging.
You need to understand….Bren, my wife, works out…quite a lot by some standards….an hour a day for 4 to 6 days a week. But when she looks over at my training schedule, frankly she can’t get her brain around it…why would anybody want to run and exercise for 6 to 8 hours at a time…alone?!? Why does anyone want to run in a 50 mile race…a 100 mile race…to run for 24 straight hours???
We are closing in on 16 years of marriage….and 19 years of knowing each other. It hasn’t always been smooth sailing…we are both pretty strong willed…and like all couples, have had some ups and downs. When I encroached into the Ultra Running and cycling, we both had to feel our way around that too…not to mention with the kids stuff too.
After all our time together, we have began to learn to meet the others needs, even when we don’t understand why….that includes hammering out training schedules, races, plans, goals and dreams. This year I will be scratching off something on my bucket list…with Bren’s blessing. She knows it’s a dream of mine, and even though it will take place Mother’s day weekend, she told me to go…in return I was to pay for her and her mom to take a trip together….looks like a Vegas Extravaganza may happen for those two.
I was sharing all this stuff with a high school friend…and she responded with the following: “I think one of the coolest things about marriage is when you realize that if you support your spouse in the things they love, it makes everything else that much more awesome.” That statement sums it up….Bren and I have far more ups now than downs…and having that support is what makes everything I do on the endurance front all that more special…that I have someone to share my triumphs with….even when she thinks it’s crazy. She said she married me knowing that there would never be a dull moment…she smiles now and says, “Life is never boring on Team Elliott.” I love that.
So that brings me to the crux of this blog…Bren LOVES OPRAH!...Loves her show…tapes it and watches it every night while the kids are in bed. Personally I don't care much for her…but Bren loves her…so there you are. She tried for over 20 years to go to a taping of a show. This past summer…her friend got tickets and took Bren with her. They had a ball. It works like this…if you put in for tickets on Oprah’s site…you are the ONE that has to use the tickets…you can change the guest you take…but if you are “awarded” free tickets for the taping…it’s you….no substitute. So Jen put in for tickets and took Bren. Brenda would always put in for tickets….and then ask her friends to do the same….and of course she would ask me to put in…and I would, knowing that I would never get tickets….never!!! NEVER SAY NEVER! I come in this morning from working out and notice I had an email on my “crackberry.” “Dave, Great News!!! Your ticket reservation request has been selected for the 02/22/2011 A show taping.” Oh joy…really….are they kidding? Maybe I worked out a little too hard this morning and didn’t read this correctly…nope…I read it right. So I did something I never do….woke up Bren early in the morning…We’re going to Oprah….I said “ We’re”….you and me babe…I always have funny and snide comments I quip off to Bren about Oprah…not a big fan…but who cares….my wife was giddy the rest of the morning…and waking her up at such an ungodly hour…she didn’t care. She looks at me and says, if you don’t really want to go…we don’t have to go. Are you kidding…we are absolutely going…not because I want to…but because I love you. Seeing each other fulfill what they have always wanted to do…that is truly one of the great things I have learned in being married to that gal. Oh…I still get to go do my thing this May (heck, this may be worth 10 years of races)…and that was to be my next blog…but this is too good…I get to go to Oprah…(yes there is some sarcasm)..but more importantly…I get to go with my wife…and watch her experience something she loves so much. She has been to more finish lines than not….she wants me to go run far…cycle far…and she explained to me what our marriage meant to her the other day in terms I understand….”Dave, Marriage is for the long haul….an Ultra marathon with lots of ups and downs…..the completion to the finish line is always worth the effort.”
Gotta go…I got bags to pack…we’re going the Chicago in February….to see Oprah….OMG!!! ;-)
Next time we will cover the bucket list item….til then PRESS ON!