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Posts tagged ‘husband’

You’re a runner when …


I had one of those “you know you’re a runner when” moments yesterday while my husband was stranded on the side of Interstate 80 above Colfax, more than 100 miles from our home in Tracy, an exburb of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Nevermind the fact that his 1998 Toyota Camry had likely climb its last hill, I was staring down a major sloped incline and all I could do was think about how instead of running out the door as quick as possible in my running clothes with sandals on, I should have grabbed my Nikes.

Well, I did grab my Nikes.

Just not the right ones.


Those are not my running shoes. And lucky for everyone who reads this blog, my black toenails aren’t showcased in this lovely photo.

My husband waited more than two hours for me to make the journey up to get him. I had to drop my freelance work after solving a particularly messy navigation issue with a more-complex-than-I’d-like CSS hack. I was about to celebrate when I noticed a call on my phone went straight to voicemail.

Then I had a text message from my husband that said: “Call me!”

1) My husband rarely leaves voicemail or calls twice to get me. 2) My husband doesn’t text often. I’m still not quite sure he knows how. He owns an old-school Samsung flip phone. We talk about moving him to a smart phone, which I’ve had for about five years now, but he never seems too motivated to do so. He just usually borrows my iPhone.

It’s with that knowledge that I present his poor, 1998 Camry.

He bought it five years ago. It’s his commuter car. He puts roughly 120 miles on it every work day (he works 9/80s, so he gets three-day weekends every other week from his engineering job in the Bay Area). He’s put 200,000 miles on it since he purchased it from a private owner.

We’ve known for awhile that it likely was on it’s last leg. But it was a good car and measured good gas mileage.


Photo editing note: I blurred the license plate. Because no one needs to see that.

It’s a little heartbreaking. Not a lot, though. He’s more heartbroken that he won’t get to go camping this weekend like he had planned. Instead, I had to bring him and all his camping equipment home, which barely fit in our Jeep. The car is being towed to my parents’ house in Stockton (closer to our AAA 100-mile tow coverage) and we’re going to decide what to do with it.

But it’s not going to hit the freeway again.

We bought our Jeep last fall when my Camaro started giving me problems (ever seen a V6 on fire? I had a moment, or twenty, with that car on the way back from the Bay Area after the Nike Women’s Half Marathon Expotique last year, smoke, losing power, all the things that make a person freak out, on the Altamont of all places).

We ended up getting the Camaro repaired for less than we thought it would be, so we decided to “garage it” and baby it a little more.


Unfortunately for me that means I’m turning over my Jeep keys to my husband for awhile. The Camaro, which gets amazing gas mileage for a 11-year-old sports car, can’t handle the extra miles. It would end up in the same position as the Toyota.

We’re looking for a used commuter car, but not quite in a rush to get one yet. I’ll be driving my Camaro again, which won’t be nearly as much as I was driving it before. My full-time job as a journalist meant that I was racking up mileage on my car every time I did an assignment.

Sure, we got paid for the gas, but the wear and tear on a car isn’t compensated. Now I drive to work and am there all day. I come. I go. That’s about it. I even walk to lunch because it’s pointless getting in my car to go somewhere.

My husband, while sad, did make sure to grab his Chico State license plate frame from the car. To me, that marks the point where you know your vehicle is really gone.

And I’m still regretting not bringing my running shoes to get in hill repeats. For real.

Sending my husband to See Jane Run packet pickup


I’ve had an incredibly busy week. We made last weekend a long one, adding the extra day at Six Flags Magic Mountain. Then I came back to a 10-hour work day to catch up on my freelance assignments. Yesterday, my boss for freelance left for a well-deserved vacation. She left me a ridiculously long to do list.

My anxiety is a little off the charts right now. But I’m trying to handle it.

My biggest concern was the See Jane Run expo happening this week. This race, unlike many of the ones I’ve run lately, is on a Saturday. It’s nice because it gets my long run done at the beginning of the weekend. But there’s no Saturday expo, either.

I spent all Wednesday trying to figure out when I’d have a free moment. Then I realized my husband worked incredibly close to the packet pickup area. So I politely asked him to brave the expo and pick up my race packet.

I have to say, I was a little nervous. I kept expecting a phone call. It never came. He brought home my race packet perfectly tonight. I was worried he didn’t grab my chip, but it was on the back on my race bib.


The race, which includes Chipotle as a sponsor, includes a coupon for a buy one, get one deal at the restaurant. It also has the amazing “champagne glass” ticket at the bottom ready for me to claim my chocolate and champagne after the race (I’m so very excited for that!).

Plus, the race packet actually came in an incredibly cute back with the See Jane Run manifesto on it.


It’s a good size too, one that I’ll definitely use for lugging around things. I’m a big fan of reusable bags. I have quite a few little backpacks from Rock ‘n’ Roll series runs. I also have some reusable backpacks from the past two marathons I’ve run. But this bag is not only functional, it’s also cute.

I’ll definitely be using it a lot.

The best part of my packet?

The race shirt!


I LOVE the shirt design and color. I’ve always been a fan of my bright race shirts, but this one is perfect for running in the evenings around town. (I’d rather wear something bright, because people tend to pretend like they can’t see me, even though I made myself pretty visible.)

Words cannot express how excited I am about this race. I know that barring nothing horrendous happening on the course, I will definitely do better than my 2:42 time from 2011. If my recent races are any indication, I also know that I’ll have a good time while pushing myself hard. That part of running is all new for me.

This is also my last long run before the San Francisco Marathon, which I’m excited to finally get to as well.

Lots of amazing things have happened in my running life lately. And I know See Jane Run will be another chapter in that.



“Love it will not betray you, dismay or enslave you, it will set you free…”
— “Sigh No More,” Mumford & Sons

Today is my five-year wedding anniversary. It’s been a half decade since my husband and I said “for better or worse” in front of 150 people in a beautiful chapel with tall, stained-glass windows.

We celebrated that day with friends and family. Many of those friends have gone the wayside, as it happens in life. We’ve moved on, finding new couples and individuals to share our journey with.

I was 24. He was 27. We’ve grown together. We’ve survived the storms that come with marriage.

And we’ve made it this far.

Five years. Four jobs. Three dogs. Two house. One kayak.

Thomas supports my running habit. He’s my constant race companion and the biggest supporter I have. The one who is always at the finish. The person who watched me cry after my first marathon. And again and again since then at each PR, at each triumph.

This weekend we travel down to San Diego for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon. A year ago at this time, I was struggling through life, unfulfilled and unhappy. After my horrendous 26.2 in San Diego, I vowed to never do it again.This weekend I aim for a fun 13.1 with my running buddy Sam, followed by an anniversary trip to Magic Mountain.

I know better than anyone what a difference six months, eight months or a year can make in a person’s life. Today I’m eager to try again, loving what I do everyday and in a better place.

That’s all because of my husband.

When I had a moment today where I felt defeated, he’s the one who brought me back. That’s what someone who loves you does. Five years may not seem like a long time, especially when compared to my grandparent’s 60-plus year union, but it’s the stepping stone to getting to 10, 15 and even 20.

I’m excited to get to those next chapters with Thomas.

Knowing the time is right (and why my husband is a saint)


I’m going to start this blog post with the truest statement I can: My husband is a saint.

I know a lot of women gush about how amazing and supportive their husbands are, but I know everyday how lucky I am. When I met Thomas 11+ years ago I didn’t know that we’d be sharing our lives together this far down the line. I never envisioned us being at each other’s college graduations. Or getting married. Or buying our first house. Or having three dogs.

I didn’t know. I was only 17, though, not even a high school graduate. He was 20 and still trying to figure out what he wanted to do with his life. He was studying to be a photographer. I think both of us are glad he eventually chose engineering. (Because really, two unemployed journalists in a house? Bad news.)

We don’t have an easy relationship. But relationships are hard. They take work. Both of us aren’t afraid of working hard.

I’m hotheaded even on my best days. I have a sharp tongue that gives me an upper-hand in verbal confrontations, but often leaves my opponent feeling lousy. I’m stubborn as all hell. My voice, even when I’m not mad, has a way of moving past “indoor conversation” volume. And I can hold a grudge forever without it bothering me too much.

I’m the one who calls our insurance company when they over bill. I’m the one who negotiated with the car dealer last fall when we purchased our Jeep. I’m assertive, much to the dismay of some.

So when I emotionally “broke” last fall, my husband was left picking up the pieces for a woman he’d never seen fall apart so badly in more than a decade together. It scared him. Probably more than anything else in his life or our relationship had ever scared him. He lost the essence of who I was. He lost me.

Now, he’s not a timid type or anything to that nature. He’s a man who handles large-scale projects for a living. He’s a man who really “sees the forest through the trees” in every aspect of what he does. He’s ridiculously intelligent, which he would say about me in return, but in a much different way. I’m a creative type, I can visualize projects, pages, design and code, putting it all together in my head. He’s analytical. He sees numbers and measurements. He’s a “measure four times, then cut” kind of guy.

This may, we’ll be married for five years.

What it means to us? We’ve made it this far in a loving, amazing relationship. We’re doing a good job! Good on us for keeping it together!

What it means to outsiders? We should have had children four years ago.

I’m not even kidding.

I’ve been asked, in recent years, whether there was “something wrong” with me. I’ve been confronted, point blank, by someone inquiring if I was barren.

“All that running you do can’t be good for getting pregnant,” someone once told me.

Even better was when someone told me they could recommend a good specialist in “that area” of concern.

When we got a new dog this year, I nearly died when I got this text message: “So you’re going to keep getting dogs instead of having children?”

My reply to all these things isn’t exactly holding my mouth:


Instead, I’ve become accustom to using a phrase I heard from a once-friend: “Ladies and gentleman, please get out of my uterus!”

My grandmother, who I love dearly, even pulled a guilt trip on me last summer when I turned 28. She told me that women my age have two or three children by now. “I’d like to see your children before I die,” she implored. Thanks grandma. THAT’S exactly what I needed.

When I called her up saying I had “good news” recently, she responded: “You’re finally pregnant!”

No grandma. No. I had signed up for another marathon. She wasn’t impressed.

My husband once told me he wanted children by the time he turned 30. He was also 20. A lot changes in ten years.

He’ll be 32 this year. In a month, I’ll be 29.

And you know what? We’re talking about it now. In detail. We bought a four-bedroom, three-bath house in 2010 with the intention of “growing” into it. But not with 10 dogs. With children. (Want people to REALLY start nagging you again about children? Buy a house that’s too big for you.)

But the conversation started last year, when I still had a full-time job that kept me away from home 60+ hours a week. Then the part-time job that sometimes ate up 30 hours a week. I had tests done last year before my gynecologist skipped town (seriously, she was just gone one week). Soon, everything else got in the way.

This month, we started going through the motions again. That means no more birth control. Period tracking through an iPhone app (ahhh, modern technology and sorry for the TMI, not really sorry though). It also means vitamins and supplements.

We’re not jumping in full boar quite yet.

With my history of diabetes I’m actually not really “allowed” to try until at least three months worth of blood sugar tests. And I’m still hanging onto some weight it’s recommended I drop. I know not everyone gets pregnant immediately. But my new gynecologist has recommended a timeline that includes waiting to really “start trying” in the fall. As in September or October. Not tomorrow. Or Sunday. Or our fifth wedding anniversary, etc.

(Side note: I’m a bridesmaid in a wedding this December and I love the bride so much that I don’t want to be the ridiculously pregnant bridesmaid, so this timeline works out just fine. I go back for blood sugar tests after a couple months of diet watching through the summer.)

We’re also watching my recent history with anxiety and depression carefully.

Which is where the part about my husband being a saint comes back into play.

When everything that happened to me at my previous job reached crescendo and less than 24 hours later I was in a hospital recovery room after having my gallbladder removed, my husband noted the lack of people who even bothered to come see me. People he thought were my friends didn’t even send text messages. People who’d I worked with for years. (To be fair, I would have been more upset if I wasn’t so incredibly drugged up.)

One person came to see me. One person who truly loved me. She’s one of my best friends.

Thomas would have done anything to make me better. Anything.

So he did.

“You aren’t going back there,” he said to me while I was eating strawberry Jello with tears in my eyes. “If they don’t care enough about you to show up or even wish you well, you aren’t going back.”

He made the decision for me. For my health. For my sanity.

There was no discussion about money or responsibility or bills. He assured me it would be fine. He was heartbroken when I tried to get my surgeon to clear me as soon as possible so I could send a letter of resignation (the surgeon wouldn’t, he made me wait two weeks before he’d clear me if only because he thought the surgery and painkillers were impacting my decision making: “See how you feel in two weeks, then let’s talk…”).

The Tuesday after my surgery, I received the email informing that I would “not be returned to my position.” My mild-mannered, gentle husband, who isn’t prone to hyperbole, flipped his shit (there’s no lack of a better statement here, that’s what happened) even though we knew I wouldn’t be going back. I didn’t need to be mad. He was mad for me. I’ve never seen him so angry in all the years we’ve been together.

Because to me, it felt like the weight of the world was released from my shoulders. To him, it was the ultimate insult after more than a decade of work.

So you can imagine, at this point, that we don’t come to our discussions lightly about children. We’ve rarely come to any decision together lightly, even five years in to a marriage we hope will last us until we’re old and gray.


One of my favorite photos of us, from our first dance at our May 2008 wedding.

But I know something now I didn’t know six months ago when the world I knew changed forever: I know that when he said “for better or worse” he didn’t mean it as just a simple recitation.

We’ve been through a lot of “worse” in the past year, from my crying everyday at after work home for months to the initial prescription for Zoloft to my leave from work to what happened in January. All the time, he’s been there. My biggest cheerleader. My best friend. The smiling face I see at the end of every run I do. The person who celebrates my PRs just as much as he celebrates my finishing bad races. The man who made the biggest decision of my life in a moment I couldn’t.

“We’re waiting for the right time,” people say when others ask about having children. It’s a stock reply. It’s the avoidance reply. It’s the polite way of saying “I don’t want to talk to you about that” or “stop asking me that question.”

The reason I’m front loading my race season? The reason I’m running two marathons in the spring/summer and don’t have one scheduled for the fall/winter yet? Because now, we’ve decided together, that it’s getting so close to being the “right time.”

Meet me Monday: Keep it all in perspective

I’m allowed to diverge from running every once in awhile on this blog. After all, it’s kind of about all aspects of my life, but mainly focusing on running.

Yesterday, after a morning five-mile run and a long blog post about staying warm and keeping safe, I ditched my Nike Equalons and running capris and put on a satin blue dress, nylons and patent black leather shoes. I put in contacts and did my makeup. All of these thing are incredibly rare for me.

I “got pretty” because my husband and I were heading to San Francisco for a three-hour dinner/dance cruise aboard the Hornblower California. I had booked the cruise as a Christmas present for Thomas. It was to celebrate our 10-year anniversary of being together.

We have a different wedding anniversary. But we’ve continued to celebrate our “other” anniversary for the past four times it’s come up. I consider it our real “anniversary.”

It was an amazing night. We arrived to spectacular views of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

We boarded and were seated at our private table. I’d upgraded us to a “celebration package” with a bottle of champagne, two beautiful blue commemorative champagne flutes and a couple boxes of truffles.

We had a beautiful four-course meal. Both of us had chicken.

We spent some time on the decks to take in views of Angel Island and the Golden Gate Bridge. We ate dessert as we passed under the Bay Bridge before heading back to port.

Except it was the “ort of San Francisco” on Saturday night when we cruised.

We had an amazing time.

But, it also served to remind me that there is much more to life than running. There is more than marathon training. There is more than cross training. I wanted to lose the weight partially for my husband. He deserved a slimmer wife. But he never cared either way.

He’s stayed by my side for 10 years, through thick and thin. I’ve only been running for two years.

He takes me to most of my races. He’s there at the finish line. He doesn’t see my failures if I don’t make it all the way on a long training run. He rejoices in my successful moments.

He helps me stay balanced. He keeps everything in perspective. He’s good like that. And, for one night we enjoyed dinner without thinking about the calories or how it would effect my morning run. I’m not even bother that I decided not to run at all today. He had a good time. We had a good time. Sometimes that’s more important than a run.

Meet me Monday: My husband

It’s cheesy, yes, but my husband is my biggest fan. He doesn’t care that I’m not a ridiculously fast runner. He doesn’t care that I rarely, if ever, place. And he rarely complains about waking up early to take me to a race.

In fact, he often takes me and my friends to races and then finds something to do for the 3+ hours we are waiting in corrals, running the race and then finding our way back to where we need to be.

When I woke up with my head spinning and feeling faint on Sunday morning, he tried to encourage me to go run. But ultimately he comforted me when I decided I didn’t have my third half marathon for the month in me. My body was battered. My legs were tired. I have bruises all over my back and shins from rolling and massage. I’m generally just beat up lately.

And yesterday, after I was bummed because I didn’t run and I didn’t get my miles in, he cheered me up at a concert we had planned to go to for more than a month beforehand. By the way, Mumford & Sons, Eddie Vedder, Beck, Carlos Santana, Foo Fighters and Tony Bennett topped off with Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds makes for just about the best concert ever. Sound too good to be true? That’s the Bridge School Benefit.

My husband is good at being a “runner’s husband.” He brings me my bag (even if it’s bright pink/red) and a change of clothes at the end of a race. He lets me have my moment with my medal. He even doesn’t laugh at me for wearing it all day long on the couch when I get home.

And he embraces my cheesy moments. When I got my first personalized bib at the San Francisco Marathon’s 2nd Half Marathon in July, he thought it was cute that I was so excited. It’s still my only personalized bib to date and really, come on, that’s pretty special.

He doesn’t care that at the end of a race I smell horrible or that I’m slightly cranky if I don’t get some sort of food pronto. He’s embraced this whole running thing better than I could have ever expected.

He didn’t marry a runner. I kind of morphed into one after we got married.

He gets excited about it because I do. And that’s pretty awesome. Especially because there’s nothing better than someone you lovely waiting for you at the finish line.