Last Valentine’s Day we interviewed running couples, and that story quickly became one of the most read stories on our blog. We decided to revisit the idea of running and relationships again, but ask some questions of all runners, regardless of their relationship status. What happens when you go on dates with people who don’t run? What if you are in a relationship with someone who — gasp — doesn’t work out at all? We asked several Whippets to share their experiences, and here’s what they had to say.
When you’re dating someone faster than you…
Austin (my fiancé) is faster than me, but we both find ways to help each other be better runners. I’ll run the last 400 of his 2 mile repeat with him, or he’ll do the last 1000 of my set with me. He knows I hate pushups—and I know he hates planks—but we encourage each other to suck it up and do them anyway. I drag him to yoga, and he drags me to 6 AM Saturday long runs—but no matter what, we always find a way to meet in the middle with our shared love of post-workout beers!
When you try to date but your training program gets in the way…
I’ve found that people get annoyed when you schedule a 9ish pm weeknight date so you can run/go to the gym beforehand or leave early to wake-up really early.
If I were to plan a romantic run, hands down it would be the northernmost part of the Central Park reservoir loop at around 8pm on a fall-spring day with temps in the mid-40s. Has to be the most peaceful spot in NYC with an amazing view.
— Matt Lehman
When your running team helps you through a major relationship transition…
While I wouldn’t wish a divorce on anyone, since I had to go through it, I am so grateful for the Dashing Whippets. The miles flew by on Saturday long runs when we’d get into deep conversations about arguments I had the night before. The Whippets’ support and encouragement, laughter and jokes, and serious advice carried me through miles, and through the emotional pain of losing love.
And certainly, translating that emotional pain to pounding out tough interval workouts with the team helped me run faster than ever.
There were times when I ran the first few repeats of a workout too fast or pushed the pace early in a long run only to die later. There were also times when I stopped running for weeks at a time because I was too busy swiping right. But the Whippets always supported me, texted me, told me to slow down or show up, laughed with me, cheered for me, and showed me, this is the love I’ve gained.
— Chandler Self
When you have speed goggles…
I’ve never been very good at dating slower guys — definitely guilty of speed goggles over here, and I like a guy who can pace me on workouts or force me to run a little faster than I’m comfortable with :). Although this is not an absolute, I will say that I am fond of wooing boys who have speed goggles of their own 🙂
Having an early morning run is a great way to escape from an awkward hookup (that was me in college). It’s also great when you can snooze your alarm for your early AM group meet-up knowing that you will have someone who will run with you later in the day. I am pro runner-couples, although I’m still on the lookout for my Mister Runner Right — if you fit the above description and enjoy drinking beer post-run, call me 😉
When you’re building your running family while training for marathons…
My wife Cheryl Rubinstein (who runs under her maiden name Goldwasser) and I have been living together in the city since 2008 and running together for most of that time. By together I don’t mean “right next to each other,” because Cheryl is much faster than me. For example, we both trained for our first marathon (NJ in 2013) together, but Cheryl ended up finishing 10 minutes ahead of me. Ditto (even more so) for 2016’s NYC marathon, when I ran a respectable 3:54:59 and my, ahem, training partner finished over 22 minutes ahead.
But the greatest thing, in my mind, about running with Cheryl has been building our own running family. In 2013 we adopted a whippet mix (Beaker) who immediately took to heading out for morning miles. Then, right after we joined the Dashing Whippets in 2015, we found out that we were expecting our first child. I was super excited by this but also very amped that I would be faster than Cheryl for a while! Unfortunately, 4-months pregnant Cheryl still smoked me at the Brooklyn Half that year!
Cheryl was lucky to be able to run through that pregnancy, and we did a super fun (and very appropriately paced) Sleepy Hollow 10k on what turned out to be our last weekend before Cam was born on October 25, 2015. Cam got into the swing of things immediately, coming along with me to meet his mom after her first post-pregnancy Whippets outing when he was three months old. Cam and his jogging stroller became a key part of our shared training plan for the 2016 NYC Marathon. I think at one point Cheryl pushed him for something like 14-15 miles on a long run.
This year we were working our way through 9+1 (complicated by that fact that we can’t run the same race without securing early morning childcare), when we found out that we were expecting our second. True to form, Cheryl remained on her feet, running a sub-2h Staten Island half in October in challenging weather conditions while 6 months pregnant. Cheryl wrapped up her last day of this pregnancy the same way she did with her first — out on a run with our dog Beaker. Our second son, Rhys, arrived two weeks ago today (January 29th). We’ve got a double jogging stroller in the basement waiting to put him, his big brother, and both of us to the test as we continue to train for the 2018 NYC marathon.