This morning I went out for a 4 mile run with my husband. Just before the 2-mile mark, I commented "wow, we've got some speed this morning" as it was the fastest not-on-a-treadmill run I've done in weeks. As I've mentioned before, the heat and humidity are killing my outdoor run pace (and my hair...) but I am keeping up with speedwork at the gym.
I felt like I was pushing myself, and was enjoying my 8:45ish pace.
My husband's response was "I'm just warming up." About 200 yards later he sped off.
So much for feeling speedy.
I used to get frustrated by my hubby's tendency to leave me in the dust. A couple of years ago, in our early dating days, there was one run which we agreed to "run together." A mile into the run, he took off. 30 minutes later I tripped on a tree root sticking out of the trail and tumbled ass over teakettle. When I finally caught up with him at our breakfast place, I was covered in gravel and had a twig stuck in my hair. Furious doesn't begin to describe my state of mind that day... mad because he took off, mad because I couldn't keep up, mad because I was scraped and filthy, and my pride was bruised to boot.
But when I did finally catch up with him, he was waiting patiently for me and was holding a cold glass of water because he knew I'd need one. He took me home and cooked me breakfast while I showered, because I couldn't sit in the restaurant covered in dirt.
Over the years I've learned to accept that he's way faster than me, and probably way faster than I'll ever be. But trying to keep up has made me a better runner. Knowing that he's watching the clock between when he wraps up a run and I when I do means that my ego won't let me take walk breaks. My race times improved, literally, by 2 minutes per mile (even more for the half-marathon) since we started running together.
And he's always waiting for me at the finish line with a cold glass of water...