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All runners know the sacrifices they make each and every day to better themselves as an athlete. From eating healthy, to sleeping early, to waking up early to get the workout done, those are just a few of the sacrifices we make in pursuit of our race goals. This past season, I started thinking about how important a strong support system is for a runner and how their sacrifices make a world of a difference in performance. For me, my significant other is my support system. Without fail, my boyfriend has been at every single one of my races (okay, he may have missed one due to his 21st birthday), and all the sig others deserve a huge “thank you” for all that they do for us. Thank you for…
- Waking up before the sun for races. You get there an hour or two before the start, listen to us ramble about how nervous we are, sleep in the car for an extra few minutes and spend the rest of the morning chasing us down at different mile markers to cheer us on.
- Accepting that you will rarely see us out of running clothes. Let’s be real: Wearing jeans after being in running shorts feel like venus flytraps; changing one pair of workout clothes to another just makes more sense.
- Leaving early from parties, or being okay with going to functions without us because you know we are either wiped out from today’s training session, waking up early the next morning for another training session—or both.
- Biting your tongue whenever we spend our paychecks on more running “essentials.”
- Eating some ridiculously healthy foods with us. While you may prefer a burger and beer, you’re often stuck with kale salads, beet juice and too much pasta.
- Taking some of the best race photos. Without fail, you are somehow always able to capture our good side, even at mile 22 when our feet are about to fall off.
- Being there for the good, the bad and the ugly of running. From setting PRs, to black toenails and chafing, to missing BQs by a couple of minutes, you know exactly what to do and what to say through the roller coaster of emotions that come with the sport.
- Occasionally running the last stretch with us. Whether it’s the final sprint or jumping in for the last couple of miles when you know we are really hurting, it is always perfectly timed and aimed at getting us to the finish line strong.
- Dealing with a runner’s logic and our tantrums that go something like this: “I am NEVER running again!” You know, right before we sign up for another race hours later.
- Sharing every moment of our journey with us and providing us with unconditional love and support.