Valentine’s Day might be just a Hallmark holiday, but why not get excited about a holiday that lets you shower love on your significant other, family and friends. I have a lot of pretty amazing people in my life, and while this blog is usually about my love of running, this post is about showing those that support me and my running obsession a little love. I couldn’t be more thankful for all the support I get from my friends and family.
My boyfriend, Ian, and I have been dating for close to two and a half years, but we’ve been friends since college when we landed the same summer job up in Syracuse at Green Lakes State Park. There was a really fun group of people that worked in the park office, although I’m not sure how much you can call what we did “work” as many hours were spent watching DVDs or playing cards. We worked together for three summers before going off our separate ways. He was in school in Staten Island before moving to Minneapolis and I came down to D.C. for grad school, but we always kept in touch over the years.
Despite being half a country away we decided to give a relationship a try and I couldn’t have dreamed of falling in love with a better guy. So corny, I know, but also true. He gave up some really good coaching jobs in Minneapolis and moved in with me just after Christmas. Aside from constantly reminding him that he really shouldn’t call me his roommate, it’s been absolutely perfect. He’s tells me he loves me, makes me laugh and finds ways to make my day easier every single day.
He is also incredibly supportive of my crazy running habit. Not a runner, he probably now knows more about running than he could ever have imagined. He lets me babble on about my training plans, tempo runs, track workouts, race strategies and more. He drives me to all of my races, cheers me on and holds my stuff when there isn’t a bag drop – even when it’s a big purple backpack filled to capacity. He tells me every race time I get is amazing, even when it’s not. Every day I get to spend with him is a good day.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my Mom & Dad in this post – the first loves in my life. Married for more than 30 years, they have been the perfect example of unselfish love. Talk about supporting my crazy running habit, they’ve been there since I first fell in love with sports playing three sports starting in the first grade. For most of high school I continued with the three sports playing on ten different teams a year. They were always there. My Dad even coached a lot of my baseball and softball teams over the years. They sat through some freezing cold soccer games, drove all over town for basketball games and still let me in the car after softball games despite my ability to always finish games and practices as the muddiest player.
They might have thought they were done after I gave up school sports midway through college, but then I went and signed myself up to run a marathon in San Diego. I could not have picked a U.S. city much further from Syracuse. I didn’t ask them to come, but of course they did – and even gave me hugs at the finish line after nearly five hours of running. (Eww.) They also put up with a lot of talk about my training. Even after years of running and tons of races, they still travel to many of them and cheer me on along the way. At my most recent marathon up in Canada that was much smaller than most races I’ve done, they teamed up with Ian to act as my support crew. Read more about their efforts there in my recap post on the race. You don’t get to pick your parents, but I sure got lucky.
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Be sure to tell those that support your love for running how much it means to you and that you love them!