It's no secret that Nick and I both love running, trail running, ultra running, hiking, pretty much anything we can do outside with our legs. I also love all the fun places our hobbies take us. I love our road trips to races in Arkansas or the Flint Hills of Kansas. I sometimes say that I want to go on a vacation that doesn't involve racing, but if it weren't for the races, we might never go visit those awesome places.
Just like any couple, we have our rough spots from time to time. And when I think about the circumstances surrounding the difficult times, it usually comes down to one or both of us NOT being able to do what we love.
I was in grad school and working part time for two years of our relationship, which caused me to cut way back on my running and almost eliminate all ultra running. I could get pretty grumpy with all the stress and all the NOT running. On top of that, I found myself becoming extremely jealous of and resentful that Nick was still running ultras, running his first 100's, while I sat on the sidelines handing off water bottles and salt caps. Hey, I'm not proud, but I'm not perfect. All I can do is recognize I have flaws and work on minimizing my b****iness.
Last summer, after months of butt and leg pain, Nick found out that he had to have surgery to remove some broken off chunks from one of his discs (the back kind). He was in a lot of pain for the month or two leading up to the surgery. Pretty much everything was uncomfortable for him. And of course he could not run. There was nothing I could do to make it better. No going for walks, no hiking trips. Even sitting at a restaurant was out. He was nice enough to volunteer at my first 50 miler for 13 hours while I ran. I imagine he felt some of the same jealousy that I did during his races.