What makes a great partner? For our SPIbelt Ambassador Melinda, it takes a man to stick with you through thin and thick, miles after miles, with hugs and donuts along the way!
When SPIbelt approached me about writing up a little post about MFH – My Favorite Husband – and how supportive he is with my little running obsession, I was thrilled! One of my favorite things to do is to brag on how awesome a man I married. I’ve been thinking about what I’d like to say about my sweet husband and will admit to procrastinating on writing it a few days. Why? Because May 24th is our wedding anniversary and I thought it would be fun to talk about why he means so much to me.
See, there’s nothing I love celebrating more than birthdays and anniversaries (besides Christmas)… because CAKE! Any solid excuse to eat cake is pretty okay in my book.
As I mentioned, MFH and I have been married 34 years. He started running soon after we were married, maybe a bit before the wedding? I can’t quite remember. Either way, he’s been running around for 34 years; I’m the newbie.
By the time I started running – Labor Day 2011 – he already had many 5k’s, 10k’s and 2 marathons under his belt. He’s never been big on racing, he just enjoys going out and grabbing a 5k every other day and maybe 8-10 miles on Saturdays. He’s got speed but he’s also very modest and will downplay his accomplishments. Plus, he’s super cute!
See, MFH and I met the first day of 8th grade and for the most part, we’ve been together since that day. Sure, we had squabbles and breakups through Middle School and High School but I firmly believe that if you can stick with a person through those teen years, you’ve definitely seen them at their worst…or pretty close to it!
After 9 years of dating, we finally got married, had two great kids, and here we are, still together. I wouldn’t trade it for the world!
So, what does all of this have to do with running?
Well, remember the part in the marriage vows that say, “For better, for worse? In sickness and in health?” It’s pretty easy to parrot those words when you’re 23 years old and head over heels in love. It’s quite another thing to put all of that into practice when the rubber of life hits the road. After the kids were born, we relocated to the Rockies in Colorado. We were so excited to live in the mountains! It was so pretty and life was great!
I got sick. VERY sick. After 5 years of hospitalizations and tons of meds, I began to improve, but the illness had taken a toll and I had gained an incredible amount of weight. The doctors at that time told MFH that I had maybe 5 years left to live.
When we received that news, we knew we HAD to leave Colorado; one of the problems was due to the high altitude. I had family in Mississippi so we relocated there. Both kids were out of school and in college, independent, and we felt comfortable moving.
The move turned out to be a great thing for us! After a scare caused by a little difficulty with medication – that caused me to lose 30 pounds – something clicked in my head. I thought “I wonder just how much I could lose?” I definitely had a few pounds to drop!
After being challenged to do the C25K program, the combination of eating smarter and moving more treated me well and the pounds started to melt away. YAY!!!
This is where MFH deserves so much credit! If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t still be running today.
When C25K started, MFH laced up his running shoes and ran every. single. workout. with me. He timed all the intervals. He told me when to walk and when to run. He celebrated my first ever mile without stopping. It was a huge accomplishment!!!
After completing C25K, we ran my first 5k together. That was THE hardest race I’ve run to date. It was held on the Mississippi State University campus – there are hills on that campus! I swear they put every single hill on campus into those 3.1 miles.
MFH knew I was struggling and would sing the Rocky Theme Song to encourage me.
When that started to fail, he switched to the Hawaii 5~0 theme song and would hula dance up the hills to encourage me to keep going! If that isn’t love, I don’t know what is!!! We crossed that finish in 58 minutes and I was hooked! By this time I had dropped about 65~ish pounds was “only” about 100lbs overweight. Eventually, I lost 170lbs. I just let my body decide when it was done.
As time progressed, my distances increased and MFH ran every training run and every race with me. He encouraged me every step of the way. He’d listen to me cry when I thought it was too hard then he’d boot me out the door to do the miles. He still does that today!
Finally, we started training for my first marathon, his third. Bless him, he’s never been a fan of the longer distances, so at the time he said this would be our last race training and running together. He was confident that I could do this on my own. We trained through the hot Mississippi summer then traveled to Maine to run my first full. We had such a great time!!!
Upon arriving home, I started training solo and have been ever since.
Do I miss our miles together? Yes, I do but I also enjoy the long, long training runs preparing for my ultra marathons. Every now and then we grab a few miles together on Saturday mornings with our running group. That is always a treat!
Now, he’s my crew and cheering section when I run my ultras. I love coming through after a 20~ish mile loop and seeing him there. He’s always ready with whatever I need and a quick kiss. I’ll run my heart out for that kiss!
We’ve traveled to Germany and London for the Berlin Marathon and the London Marathon. Who knew when he started timing me on C25K a few years ago we’d be traveling to Europe so I could run a few miles!?!
These days, he supports me from home while I’m out training. A few weeks ago we had a tornado warning when I was 5 miles from home. I heard to sirens going off and thought, “Hmm…” Pretty soon, I saw him driving down the road to pick me up and bring me home safe.
This past Valentine’s Day, I had an 18 miler to knock out. Mid-run, he pulls up next to me with a heart-shaped donut. It was my Valentine’s present. He knew I’d be too tired to do anything special that evening so he decided to surprise me. Isn’t that the sweetest!?!
He’s been there to comfort me when a race doesn’t go as planned.
He’s paced me at a 100k and to celebrate its successful completion!
I am one #blessed and #spoiled wife and it made me so happy when SPIbelt approached me about writing this up for you. I think we need to be proud of the person we married! I know I sure am!!!
It’s my greatest desire to make him as happy as he makes me. I love this man!!!