It’s a situation every girl imagines. She pictures it in full detail: the season, the clothes, the hairstyle, the food, the audience in attendance, and of course, the person beside her when she lifts her head, smiles, takes that first step…
…And runs a 5k with her boyfriend.
Okay, that’s a stretch. By “every girl,” I mean “possibly just me.” At any rate, you can bet that last month, when I realized Albuquerque’s annual Sweetheart Run was coming up, and I just happened to have a man in my life, who just happened to have accompanied me on multiple running adventures already, I just happened to make short work of getting us registered for the 5k. As a team.
Yes, I asked him if he wanted to do it.
At least I think I asked him.
I may have asked him.
I was excited. This was the first time that Robin Hood and I would actually run a race side-by-side, instead of me bee-lining to a given event’s 10k or half-marathon, leaving him to square off against the 5k. Sure, we’ve run together once or twice a week for a while now, but as any runner knows, even if it’s a distance and a companion you’re wholly familiar with, it’s just different when you add numbers, safety pins, timing chips and official starting lines to the mix.
It heightens your senses. I felt almost shy standing there waiting for the race director to send us on our way. I wondered what “5k Robin Hood” would be like. Heck, what would I be like running a race with my boyfriend? Would I push the pace too hard? Would he outkick me at the end? Would he get irritated if I talked too much? And why oh why hadn’t I thought to plan matching outfits???
When the starting horn sounded, we trotted off much like we do on our weekday running dates. Only this time, we wore those numbers and safety pins and timing chips. We added to our mix, and the result?
The result was that his 5k-self and my sharing-5k-with-boyfriend-self proved no different than our regular selves. And that was cool.
The result was that the pace never got pushed too hard. He did launch into a marvelous kick at the end, but then he waited for me so we could finish together. That was cool, too.
But the coolest result? To put it simply, and to prevent the gushing from triggering my own gag reflex, I got to share one of my favorite Sunday-morning activities with one of my favorite people. He even claimed to have enjoyed it.
It was a definite plus that there was food at the end.
It was a definite BIG plus that there were lots of ducks and geese about to distract a certain hunter from his post-race discomfort.
Try sharing something you love with someone you love, whether or not that love is romantic. It may open new levels of the relationship, or it may just reinforce levels that already exist. Either way, add a little something to the mix. I can almost guarantee you’ll make it sweeter.
P.S. Happy Valentine’s Day, Robin Hood! I love you, even if you don’t want to wear matching outfits.