Friday, 30 May 2008
I think my husband has a serious problem and I need some advice on what to do. It all started a few years ago when he met someone at a race wearing a t-shirt from an event called The West Highland Way Race. It turned out that it was an event where people ran 95 miles in one go! I couldn't believe it when he said he wanted to take part. I thought it was a phase and it would pass. But it hasn't. The addiction has just got worse over the last 8 years. He spends a lot of time on the internet reading blogs and watching videos and even meets other people to share experiences. I think they just encourage each other.
I've also found strange items of clothing in our bedroom. He recently bought some Skins and frankly I think they're obscene. They leave nothing to the imagination. I've also noticed that some items keep going missing from the fridge and cupboards. He says he needs to eat chicken and potatoes and even baked beans for breakfast. I'm at my wits end.
Do I have grounds for unreasonable behaviour? Can he be cured? What should I do?
My dear Running Widow,
You have my deepest sympathies. This is a very serious addiction called Ultra Running and I'm afraid there is no cure. I'm sorry to be so blunt. There is an organisation called The WHW Family that gives excellent support to both runners and their families but once you are part of it there is no escape.
You have to embrace the lifestyle your partner has choosen. All your friends will be connected in some way to this event. You will find Outsiders do not understand and will judge you for standing by your man. You may even lose contact with some of them. Weekends and holidays will be arranged around races and training. If you want to see your partner you will have to be brave and go with him. Some Ultra Runners are lucky in that their partners know about their condition before they get married and so have a choice. But it sounds like you married a lardy bum who became addicted later on. That must be tough.
The food issue is very important to Ultra Runners. During an event, some are known to mix baked beans with chocolate milk, rice pudding and Jelly Babies. So eating chicken or potatoes at breakfast is quite mild.
You sound like a special person. Your husband needs love and support. He cannot do it without you. Make yourself invaluable to him and you will have a bargaining tool if he becomes unreasonable. Help him to choose races in places like New York or Zurich so you get something out of it too. It won't be easy but it can be rewarding in the long run.
Good luck with the future
Monday, 26 May 2008
I reckon I've got 2 weeks before race hysteria picks up. If he gets a cold it's not a problem as there's still 2 weeks to go. A wee hamstring/groin niggle? Plenty of time to get it sorted out. We might even be able to go out on Saturday night since there's no big run planned for the Sunday. I really like this brief period of calm.
I know it doesn't last but it's quite nice all the same.
Monday, 19 May 2008
Next it was down the winding road to Kinlochleven and a visit to the Co-op to stock up on a few things. For the first time in years I had a Cup-a-soup. It wasn't too bad and it was warm and filling. I didn't want to risk another dodgy pub lunch although to be fair I've not been in the Tail Race Inn to eat before. Mrs Pacepusher was going to run from here so she set off just before the runners were due to arrive. She fully expected to be caught by someone.
Funniest moment of the day was Mrs Pacepusher's arrival at Lundavra. We weren't expecting her to be first so Pacepusher wasn't prepared. She threw her top into the back of the car, yelled 'Where's my water? You're a rubbish back up!' grabbed her bottle herself and left. Total time 10 secs! Pacepusher was speechless!
Sunday, 18 May 2008
Chocolate milk at Rowardennan
Had my grapes and ready to go
The long drive round from Rowardennan to Beinglas is always the worst bit on the actual race day. It was nice to do it in clear daylight and without sleep deprivation. I parked at Beinglas Farm and noticed a sign which had camping charges. It also said it was £1 to park your car! As I was intending to eat in the pub I didn't pay my parking charge. Maybe I should have paid it as the £8.80 I paid for a disgusting cheese toastie and chips was a rip off. I always make a point of spending money here but this is the second time recently the food has been inedible (I bought a cheese roll to take away at The Fling that was stale).
All 4 runners arrived together and I finally met The Man from Peebles. Unfortunately I didn't take any photos here as I was busy filling water bottles etc. By this time the temperature had risen to the low 20s. The Runner needed sun cream as he burns easily being fair skinned. Everyone looked in good shape (despite Pacepusher going over on his ankle) and they were still good humoured. Next stop Auchtertyre aka the Wigwams.
Pacepusher was the first to arrive and he did not look happy. He had gone over on his ankle again and it didn't look pretty. So the Sports First Aid kit got its first outing in the 2 years I've had it. We agreed it wouldn't be sensible to remove his shoe as it might not go back on. So I gave the ankle a good drenching of ice spray (first checking the skin wasn't broken). It probably didn't make any difference but he later said it felt as if it had an effect. I had also managed to get more milk at the farm shop so he downed a cold pint of the disgusting stuff (I hate milk. Yuck!) and he set off before the others arrived.
Arriving at Auchtertyre
The Runner and The Pastor arrived together about 10 mins after Pacepusher left. Both were in good shape and they also downed some cold white stuff. Strawberries and grapes were also consumed with their beans before they set off.
The Man from Peebles arrived 10 mins after they had left so I didn't have to wait long. He needed more water and had a coffee. He was confident of finishing before dinner.
I arrived at Bridge of Orchy as the heavens opened and checked into my lovely hotel room. It had a birds eye view of the road so I could watch for the runners as they ran down the hill. First to arrive was Pacepusher. He had pushed himself really hard. In fact he had pushed himself so hard he was shaking and not just from being wet. He was also a bit incoherent. I've seen many friends like this at the end of races so I gave him a big towel to wrap up in and got him a cup of tea. By the time The Runner and Pastor arrived he was a bit more with it. They both knew that a hot shower was the best solution and all 3 headed off to warm up.
The Runner was in a bath when The Man from Peebles arrived. As 8.45pm was the earliest we could have dinner, he had plenty of time get ready.
Everyone was in good spirits for dinner although Pacepusher sat with ice on his ankle which was ballooning up nicely. Service was very slow and we must have been the last meal to come out the kitchen. It was very nice but I suffered indigestion all night as a result of eating so late.
The Runner and I were the first to go to bed since he was nodding off in the corner. We agreed to meet at 7.30am for breakfast.
Monday, 12 May 2008
Why are runners so attached to t-shirts from certain races? I see it frequently at races we go to. Is it a badge of honour? Is it an ego thing? I have to say it's mostly men I see wearing old manky t-shirts eg London Marathon 1983. Are you making a statement? 'I've been running longer than you've been out of nappies!'
Many years ago I threw out some of The Runners old t-shirts. They were grey, mildewed and holey. I was the talk of the steamie! Well, the Troon Tortoises training runs for weeks. It stills gets cast up from time to time.
Well, this is advance notice. When you have more t-shirts than drawer space it's time for a cull. So lookout for a subdued Runner in the next few weeks. At least he will be better dressed at races.
Just don't get me started on his pants...................