I have read recently about people training for their first long distance running race (full and half marathons) and often heard that, to ease the time pressures of training, you should get your family involved. With the Endurancelife Gower half marathon less than two months away, I thought this was a great nugget of advice.
Now, how to get my wife enthused about my new running ambitions when I should be focusing on writing up my PhD thesis before the rapidly approaching funding deadline?
Why not sign her up to the same race? Likely chance, you might think! I can see it now; “Darling, I have signed you up to a 14-mile trail running race… in south Wales… in November”.
However, I am in the lucky position that it was my wife who got me into running in the first place. So within 10 minutes of me telling her I was to be a part of Project Trail 2015 and would be racing the Endurancelife Gower half, she had also entered.
My wife considers herself not to be a competitive person. However, I have come to realise that this self-declared personality trait is fleeting; later the same day, my wife arrived home declaring that her sole aim of the race was to beat me!
As an optimist, I remembered to focus on the positives. First of all, training is now a family affair and the weekend long run has become a staple of the weekly routine. This is also the session I most look forward to, as our strict training programme quickly reverts to a couple of kids chasing each other in circles, climbing trees and generally playing.
Second, if ever I needed an incentive to train, the idea of my wife having household bragging rights forever more provided plenty of motivation. So now, when my wife thinks I am leaving the house extra early on my morning run-commute to “get the darned thesis finished”, I am actually fitting in extra top-secret laps of the Cambridgeshire countryside. Nothing like friendly competition!