What is it like to be the spouse of some of the fastest runners in our sport?

Shalane Flanagan and Steve Edwards visit the Grand Canyon
Shalane Flanagan and Steve Edwards visit the Grand Canyon

When Meb Keflezighi ran across the finish line at the marathon trials last February—thereby securing a spot on his fourth Olympic team—his wife, Yordanos, and three children were waiting to hug their hero. When Shalane Flanagan collapsed into the arms of teammate Amy Cragg after finishing third, her husband, Steve Edwards, picked her up and carried her to medical attention. And after Desi Linden clinched her place in the Olympic marathon, she celebrated with a vacation in Bali with her husband, Ryan, and family for much-needed rest and relaxation. When it comes to being married to America’s finest runners, often the spouses are the ones managing the behind-the-scenes. Here are some sentiments from three who watch their significant others run really fast on the regular.

Desiree and Ryan Linden enjoy the Sydney Opera House in Australia.
Desiree and Ryan Linden enjoy the Sydney Opera House in Australia.

WHEN IT COMES TO FAMILY VACATIONS…

Ryan Linden: For Des’ marathon prep leading up to the trials, I actually traveled with her and the dogs down to Florida for the whole training segment, which helped to make it feel more normal knowing we were all together.I did a bunch of her daily runs with her leading up and some of her workouts to help out.

RELATED: What Olympian Shalane Flanagan Does Before Every Race

WHEN IT COMES TO TALKING ABOUT EVERYTHING (OR NOT)…

Steve Edwards: I feel like my role as Shalane’s husband is to be an escape from her running. I rarely ask her about her training unless she brings up the topic. We discuss all the different facets of our lives most of the time. The last thing she wants to discuss is business when she is around her husband.

Meb Keflezighi takes poses with Yordanos and their kids at the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego finish.
Meb Keflezighi takes poses with Yordanos and their kids at the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego finish.

WHEN IT COMES TO BEING THE PARTNER OF THE WORLD’S MOST DECORATED MARATHONER…

Yordanos Keflezighi: It has been an amazing journey for all of us to witness Meb’s success. Much of his success came with many trials and tribulations, but his faith, determination and resilience has taken him to the very top. The depth and longevity of his success is a testimony to his faith.

WHEN IT COMES TO KEEPING AN EVEN KEEL DURING AN OLYMPIC YEAR…

Steve Edwards: I feel that the highs and lows of emotion can drive you crazy. The euphoria of racing well and then being in a dark place after a bad race will drive you crazy. These emotions will always happen when you put so much hard work into something, but remaining rational and keeping it in perspective has worked for us in the past. Remaining balanced, consistent and keeping things in perspective is the recipe for success.

RELATED: Three 2016 Olympians Share Their Good Luck Charms

WHY AN OLYMPIC YEAR IS NOT THAT DIFFERENT FROM OTHER YEARS…

Ryan Linden: The reality is it’s another marathon, just one that comes around every four years. To me, that really helps make the days feel as normal as possible.

Shalane Flanagan and Steve Edwards en route to Beijing, China, for the world championships.
Shalane Flanagan and Steve Edwards en route to Beijing, China, for the world championships.

WHY LUCK IS DEFINITELY EARNED…

Steve Edwards: You train hard to put yourself in the right situation to get lucky. If you aren’t in the race, how are you supposed to be lucky? Hard work brings luck. Train hard, put yourself in position to win, sometimes you get lucky and win, sometimes you are unlucky and lose. It’s all in the game.

WHAT IT’S LIKE BEING MARRIED TO A STAR…

Yordanos Keflezighi: My favorite part of Meb’s “celebrity runner” status is when individuals of all backgrounds are inspired in some way to get the best out of their own personal lives. Meb has made a difference in the hearts and minds of many people through his running. He has transcended his approach to athletics in everyday life that no matter what the challenges others face, they will be able to persevere in their lives, just as he did.

Yordanos Keflezighi and daughters support Meb after he paced a half marathon.
Yordanos Keflezighi and daughters support Meb after he paced a half marathon.

WHY THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS FAILURE…

Steve Edwards: I would say after most of [Shalane’s] failures, I honestly believe they aren’t failures. We learned so much from those experiences, and, in some cases, she ran a perfectly executed race or workout; she just didn’t have it in her that day. I admire her for giving it her all and realizing her limitations. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her fail, because she’s never quit.