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The incredible story of how the Cycling Husband became a Running Robert

As some of you might know, I recently started running with this cyclist, aka The Cycling Husband. After training for about two days, and moaning for about two weeks about the state of his knees after those two days, he whipped my ass in Skukuza.

It took me another two weeks to forgive him.

Because, you know, it’s only taken me four years to get to the point where I could run a marathon! Granted, I had some hiccups in the middle of those years, a little bit of blood, a lot of sweat, mostly tears.

Then he proceeded to outrun me in New York. To be fair, he stuck with P and I the whole way – right until the end, when he clearly just needed to GO. (Maybe, he did need to go. He certainly ran like something was chasing him!)

I managed to reel him in, so we all finished together. But I’d be lying if I said he couldn’t have sprinted to the finish.

How annoying is that?

I am the one who runs. He is the one who rides. This is how we maintain a happy balance in our house. Saturday mornings are for his riding. Sunday mornings are for my running. We do not train together, and we do not compete, because no matter how fast I think I am, I’m pretty sure I can’t maintain an average of 25km/hour.

But now there’s this complication. Because the Cycling Husband, who previously poo-pooed running and runners and anything to do with running and runners, has proclaimed that the New York Marathon was indeed the Best. Day. Ever. Also, the Best. Event. Ever. (Don’t tell the organisers of Sani to Sea, in case they veto his entry next year…)

So now he is a runner. And instead of just running to survive this thing I signed him up for when he was out riding with his mates and unable to protest, he is running to run.

And we know he is serious because he upgraded his running watch.

Which means that I can now see in glorious full colour just how badly he is whipping my ass, racing through my route at a full minute faster per kilometre than I do. It is killing me.

Why did my mother teach me that Anything Boys Can Do, Girls Can Do Better? Didn’t she know that I might kill myself in an effort to live up to her expectations?

As if that’s not bad enough, there is suddenly a whole crew of cyclists-turned-running-rabbits in our crowd. All of them male. Seems we may have started a trend. And no, I can’t keep up with any of them!

But I have a plan. Next time, I’m going to sign him – and his bevy of Boy Wonder Racing Rabbits – up for one of those mind-numbing runs around the East of Joburg. A double lapper. In the heat of summer. Because the reality is that it is my fault for setting the bar too high in the first place.

I don’t care who you are, you will find that Dark Place in the East. Even if you sprint right through it.

Who knows, I might even gain a new running watch …

PS I know I sound annoyed, but the truth is that I am in awe. And I am also truly grateful that the Cycling Husband decided to run with me, because as one of my friends said, how amazing to experience the Best Day of My Life, with the Love of My Life? Also, I really hope he keeps that running watch, because there are plenty more Best Days to come. Just as long as he remembers that his place is next to me, not in front of me!

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