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Confessions Of A Running WidowNF100


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#1 nursenicky

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 09:50 PM

Workmate:   “so what did you get up to at the weekend?”
Me:         “well, my boyfriend took place in this 100km run, so we went to that”
Workmate:   “wow that’s mad, so how long did that take him then?”
Me:         “oh about 15.5 hours, but he reckons he could do it in under 14 next year”
Workmate:   “..and what did you do while he was doing that?”
Me:         “I was his support crew”
Workmate:   “what does that involve then?”

At which point I make up some glossed over version of the truth about cheering him on and making sure he’s got a coffee at the end. As the reality of being a support crew, or should I say support crew who is also a wife/girlfriend (or husband/boyfriend!)of their other half (OH) goes far above and beyond what anyone would expect, or indeed is prepared to hear on a Monday morning before they’ve even had their flat white.

So if you read on and are nodding in agreement or perhaps sympathy then the chances are, you too are a Running Widow.  And a Running Widow knows that the support doesn’t start and end on race day, but somehow (and none of us can exactly pin point when it happened) you turned into a one woman cheer squad/ exercise nutrition expert/cook/chauffeur/masseuse and nurse.

Now don’t get me wrong, you may like running.  Indeed I am quite partial to jog along the beach on a sunny morning, and have even been known to take part in City2Surf, voluntarily. But a Running Widow knows another world of running.  It isn’t a charity fun run, or just a way of keeping fit, it’s a world with words like Hoka, Garmin, S-Labs, Kilian, Skins and Glide, and where the North Face isn’t just somewhere you shop for a ski jacket.

That’s right, I’m not just a Running Widow; I’m a NF100 widow.  Widow #474 to be precise.  

And this year I’m doing it in style and staying at the Fairmont.  I’ve resigned myself to it not being a romantic weekend break, with the inevitable “not tonight darling, I’ve got a race tomorrow”.  However there is a heated pool and a spa and randomly they have segways. So I can reward myself for all my preparation and hard work.  Yes that’s correct, me.  

Hard work, such as getting up before the sun to drive to pre race races that start at 7am miles from Sydney.  Staying up all night races with a selection of food that would out do a Coles Express, just in case the OH doesn’t fancy nutella sandwiches, but craves fish paste and cheese and onion crisps and a pot noodle at the 60km lap (no problem she says).  

Sacrifices, such as rolling over on a Sunday morning looking for a bit of love, only to be greeted with a peck on the forehead and an “I’m off running, be back in a few hours”. Where swatting up on stress fractures in the ‘Lore of Running’ becomes bed time reading.
Preparation such as checking and rechecking the mandatory gear list dozens of time.  Long discussions on whether a compression bandage for snake bites is the same as a compression bandage for sprains (it is by the way) and counting out salt tablets, pain killers and all manner of other items into plastic zip lock bags that would put a low rate drug dealer to shame.

So when that gun goes off at 6.55am, I know that’s it. I know the NF100 people understand the plight of the Running Widow, as they have a no support crew rule until check point 3, giving us all a well deserved break to enjoy the hot tub before the carnage that is check point 4.

CP4; a time when even the hardiest of Running Widows will be tested.  The point in the race where after emerging from the valley and something like the equivalent of 800 flights of stairs you are greeted by your OH, who will likely be looking slightly grey, otherworldly and possibly muttering.  Time to pull out the big guns: the salty potatoes, black coffee, rice pudding and provide some massage to tired legs, and more importantly to the ego. There is no shame at CP4. Full kit changes in the middle of the sports hall, odour that wouldn’t be out of place in a the queue of a soup kitchen, and runners asking their girlfriends to cut their to their toe nails that are digging in, as they can no longer bend to reach their feet. (Okay, that last one was just a special treat for me, but this is the kind of hard work I’m talking about).  We then send them off into the wilderness, slightly better than they came in, but still wondering if we’ll ever see them again, with hearts racing (ours not theirs).

And so it goes on.

And when they cross that finish line, it doesn’t matter what colour the buckle is, they made it.  And you know that their victory partly belongs to you. Not just for today, but for the months building up to the race – and they know it too.  Time to celebrate, you both made it! But hang on a minute.  You thought that was it, you thought the impossible had been achieved.  But no, before the first beer has even been sunk you here the immortal words....”I could beat that time next year if I ....”.

That’s it, you know you’re done for, I’m afraid you’ll be a Running Widow for many years to come. Fancy a glass of wine at the Fairmont?   :rolleyes:

Edited by nursenicky, 03 February 2012 - 01:37 PM.


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#2 SpecBGT

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 09:56 PM

Gold.

#3 ChildeRolandToTheDarkTowerCame

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 10:02 PM

Brilliant!

That's one reason I will never attempt another 100km race (Trailwalker 2006 being the sole example) - otherwise I will become a Divorced Runner  ;)

#4 Kato

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 11:24 PM

Attached File  ZombieLikeSml.jpeg   7.83K   25 downloads

#5 chops

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 04:40 AM

Saw the heading and I immediately thought it was something along the lines of 'Confessions of a window cleaner', sorry, but great anyway.

#6 Gany

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 06:06 AM

Its a beautiful thing! I love it. Great post!

#7 Skin and Bone

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 06:33 AM

Great stuff  :im Not Worthy:  :give_rose:  BUT - if you weren't doing this what else would you be doing - Watching Home and Away, The biggest loser, MKR etc on TV. - No you made the right choice!!!!

#8 Unlikelyrunner

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 06:53 AM

If only I could get my wife to be this dedicated :).

Then again,  I did ask her where she would like to go for a relaxing break this year and I threw airlie beach,  fiji,  japan at her.

Her response,  accompanying me to south africa when I run Comrades for my back to back medal.

Seems as if all is not lost just yet....

#9 cjr

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 07:32 AM

Awesome

My wife's approach is slightly different - "Oh, you have a race tomorrow? - make sure you sleep in the spare room tonight and go out the back so you don't wake me up when you leave"

#10 theturtle

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 07:39 AM

Fantastic post, thank you!

mrsturtle could relate, in  scaled down version......

In the ultimate irony, I have a knee injury that is slowly getting better so I am on reduced running loads. Mrs T has taken up "jogging" so in the ultimate role reversal she wakes ME up at 5.45am to go "jogging" while I do the kids thing.....

I think its called "empathy".....I will have new respect for the non running role!

:give_rose:

#11 moondust

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 08:10 AM

Lovely post nursenicky, and very well written. I hope your OH knows what a very lucky man he is!

#12 whatsinthebox

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 08:20 AM

:Applause:

#13 arrtgrrl

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 08:30 AM

Ha Ha thats absolutely classic! love it

#14 walker1st

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 08:36 AM

so who is the guilty party ?

Is the runner in the story brave enough to ID himself ?

#15 AlunDavies_AAARacing

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 08:44 AM

View PostSkin and Bone, on 03 February 2012 - 06:33 AM, said:

Great stuff  :im Not Worthy:  :give_rose:  BUT - if you weren't doing this what else would you be doing - Watching Home and Away, The biggest loser, MKR etc on TV. - No you made the right choice!!!!
Dare I say, doing her own thing and having a life of her own where her bloke, on occasion, gives up his entire weekend and the days surrounding it in support of her endeavours?  :Whistle:

#16 Vilante

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 08:50 AM

Excellent post nursenicky, a great read!!

#17 Pantera

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 09:27 AM

I've just sent this to my wife.

I'm sure she can relate to the Sunday morning one  :fool:

#18 Bert

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 09:29 AM

Excellent stuff Nursenicky, very evocative. The view is very much the same from the other side of the gender street, too. Not all Ultra Runners are male.

#19 Paul Every

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 09:37 AM

View Postwalker1st, on 03 February 2012 - 08:36 AM, said:

so who is the guilty party ?

Is the runner in the story brave enough to ID himself ?

I think he has already been outed :ninja: :

View Postnursenicky, on 02 February 2012 - 09:50 PM, said:

I’m not just a Running Widow; I’m a NF100 widow.  Widow #474 to be precise.  



View Postmoondust, on 03 February 2012 - 08:10 AM, said:

I hope your OH knows what a very lucky man he is!

Apparently not, judging by the following:

View Postnursenicky, on 02 February 2012 - 09:50 PM, said:

“not tonight darling, I’ve got a race tomorrow”.

Surely that should be “Tonight darling, because I’ve got a race tomorrow!”



Great account from the other side of the dark side, Nursenicky. Or so I am led to believe.  :ninja:

Edited by Paul Every, 03 February 2012 - 09:38 AM.


#20 robertoman

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 09:57 AM

this may be the best post ever, but OUCH !! truth hurts

#21 nursenicky

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 10:03 AM

Why thank you AlunDavies, I do indeed have better things to do than watch the Biggest Loser, I'm more of a Downton girl myself.

I actually do really like race days. I love the buzz about it, people pushing themselves to the limit and the camaraderie.  I also must have been sucked in, as I'll be lining up at the start of Running Wild's Woodford Dam race (the shorter route!).  It's just to alleviate personal guilt after going back to my duvet in the car after the start of Fitzroy Falls and almost missing OH finish.

I have little to coomplain about of late.  A stress fracture has meant that races have been off the cards until recently. This is not really good thing. I may have enjoyed a few more lie ins, but a runner who can't run is a bit like a bear with a sore head.  We are getting married in Noosa later this year, the proximity to the Glass House mountains has indeed been noted.

I think things move to a whole other level when children are thrown into the mix, perhaps my good humour will wear off in a few years, watch this space.

#22 undercover brother

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 10:05 AM

View Postnursenicky, on 02 February 2012 - 09:50 PM, said:

And this year I’m doing it in style and staying at the Fairmont.  I’ve resigned myself to it not being a romantic weekend break, with the inevitable “not tonight darling, I’ve got a race tomorrow"
the official rules for these things are that the night before is optional but if you can't produce the goods the day after then you have run way too hard.

#23 nursenicky

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 10:10 AM

Oh, and I wasn't joking about the glass of wine.  I'm flying solo to this race, and it would be good to make a few friends to pass the hours with at the finish.  First round on me  :)

#24 Gadfly

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 10:15 AM

Great post - loved it!
:)

#25 brownsinglet

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 11:28 AM

Priceless! great post  :im Not Worthy:

#26 slowmo

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 11:40 AM

View Postrobertoman, on 03 February 2012 - 09:57 AM, said:

this may be the best post ever, but OUCH !! truth hurts
Yes and (ouch) yes.

NurseNicky - you really should send this to TrailRun magazine.

slowmo

#27 walker1st

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 12:35 PM

View Postslowmo, on 03 February 2012 - 11:40 AM, said:


NurseNicky - you really should send this to TrailRun magazine.


or to your mother in law

and to the mag : The Bride want to be

#28 maryclaire

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 01:34 PM

awesome post - I sent it to my husband, as he is my support crew at many of these events, and I am sure he could relate with all you've said.


It is good to have a reminer now and then of the effort it can take to support us in our quests!

#29 jdunc

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 02:59 PM

View Postnursenicky, on 03 February 2012 - 10:03 AM, said:

I have little to coomplain about of late.  A stress fracture has meant that races have been off the cards until recently…

I think things move to a whole other level when children are thrown into the mix, perhaps my good humour will wear off in a few years, watch this space.


Oh dear, the injury detail has outed him just as much as the bib number!   :)


Truly awesome post, though.   :Applause:

Your dedication is impressive as well – had to send a copy to my wife under the heading, "See, I'm not really that bad".
She's in a slightly different boat though, in that I didn't have this passion at all when we met and married – so she's had to deal with the disruption of a growing obsession over the years.
Just means she has days out with the girls and I disappear into the bush some weekends.

Kids do indeed complicate things, and I know better than to even ask if she'd crew with them in tow.
Danger is that the kids eventually start to show an interest in dad's hobby, and the wife may eventually find herself dragged into the wilderness by the entire rest of the family!

#30 nursenicky

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 04:03 PM

jdunc, do you happen to be a Norther Beaches runner by chance?!



View Postjdunc, on 03 February 2012 - 02:59 PM, said:

Oh dear, the injury detail has outed him just as much as the bib number!   :)


Truly awesome post, though.   :Applause:

Your dedication is impressive as well – had to send a copy to my wife under the heading, "See, I'm not really that bad".
She's in a slightly different boat though, in that I didn't have this passion at all when we met and married – so she's had to deal with the disruption of a growing obsession over the years.
Just means she has days out with the girls and I disappear into the bush some weekends.

Kids do indeed complicate things, and I know better than to even ask if she'd crew with them in tow.
Danger is that the kids eventually start to show an interest in dad's hobby, and the wife may eventually find herself dragged into the wilderness by the entire rest of the family!


#31 jdunc

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 04:11 PM

Indeed   :)

Don't know your OH super-well, but have run with him a few times.

#32 russell2pi

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 04:14 PM

haha - very good. You should see if someone wants to publish it.

#33 ChildeRolandToTheDarkTowerCame

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 04:18 PM

View Postjdunc, on 03 February 2012 - 02:59 PM, said:

Your dedication is impressive as well – had to send a copy to my wife under the heading, "See, I'm not really that bad".
She's in a slightly different boat though, in that I didn't have this passion at all when we met and married – so she's had to deal with the disruption of a growing obsession over the years.
Just means she has days out with the girls and I disappear into the bush some weekends.

I don't get a lot of sympathy -my wife complains that I wasn't a runner when when we met, so the fact that I am a passionate runner now means that I am running away from things :(

If I'm doing a race out of town, I have to produce lots of flowers and chocolates, not to mention promises of 'mental health days' to compensate.  ;)

#34 jdunc

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 05:00 PM

Yet surely better that you are away keeping fit than spending the time at the pub. This way she can look forward to your running away from things for many years to come!
;)

#35 Skin and Bone

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 06:15 PM

View Postundercover brother, on 03 February 2012 - 10:05 AM, said:

the official rules for these things are that the night before is optional but if you can't produce the goods the day after then you have run way too hard.
Is that a medical opinion Bro???

#36 robertoman

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 06:18 PM

jdunc - you goose.  "for many years to come" is not helping things.

#37 Eagle

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Posted 03 February 2012 - 07:37 PM

Great post.

I would call it bonding. :Just Kidding:

#38 walker1st

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 07:29 AM

View PostSkin and Bone, on 03 February 2012 - 06:15 PM, said:

Is that a medical opinion Bro???

get a second one

#39 Paul Every

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 09:13 AM

View Postundercover brother, on 03 February 2012 - 10:05 AM, said:

the official rules for these things are that the night before is optional but if you can't produce the goods the day after then you have run way too hard.

Well done, Bro. You have brought a whole new meaning to the phrase, "running hard"!  :o

#40 KevM

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 09:40 AM

View Postnursenicky, on 02 February 2012 - 09:50 PM, said:

Time to celebrate, you both made it! But hang on a minute.  You thought that was it, you thought the impossible had been achieved.  But no, before the first beer has even been sunk you here the immortal words....”I could beat that time next year if I ....”.

Very amusing nursenicky   :He He:
What a great read.
I'm thinking now I better go self supported at all events or buy a lot of flowers.

#41 flyingemu

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 11:43 AM

This thread has potential to be a finalist for thread of the year (the winner of which, if I'm not mistaken, is awarded a new Suunto Ambit) ;)

#42 meinmuk

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 04:20 PM

so are you predicting, Flyingemu, that the post of the year was made at COOLRUNNING AUSTRALIA at 9:50PM 02 February 2012? :Clown:

#43 maryclaire

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 04:46 PM

View Postundercover brother, on 03 February 2012 - 10:05 AM, said:

the official rules for these things are that the night before is optional but if you can't produce the goods the day after then you have run way too hard.


I've been told by a "little birdie" of one child that was conceived the night that both parents completed a 100km event competitively.

Edited by maryclaire, 04 February 2012 - 04:47 PM.


#44 undercover brother

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 05:34 PM

View Postmaryclaire, on 04 February 2012 - 04:46 PM, said:

I've been told by a "little birdie" of one child that was conceived the night that both parents completed a 100km event competitively.
nice work.

#45 nursenicky

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 06:38 PM

Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for your kind words.  I was beginning to worry that I'd embarassed OH a little too much, but the mention of the Suunto Ambit has pricked his ears up "Maybe you should send it to TrailMag" he said...ha ha ha.Posted Image

#46 AlunDavies_AAARacing

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 10:14 AM

View Postnursenicky, on 04 February 2012 - 06:38 PM, said:

Glad you enjoyed it and thanks for your kind words.  I was beginning to worry that I'd embarassed OH a little too much, but the mention of the Suunto Ambit has pricked his ears up "Maybe you should send it to TrailMag" he said...ha ha ha.Posted Image
Why stop there, R4YL would lap this up I'm sure!

#47 Skin and Bone

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 11:25 AM

View PostAlunDavies, on 05 February 2012 - 10:14 AM, said:

Why stop there, R4YL would lap this up I'm sure!
Agree with Alun + Runners World

#48 Spudley

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 01:21 PM

Surely the best post ever!  Well done NN.  I am tempted to show this to my darl, but I am afraid that she will print it off and frame it and hang it somewhere in the house so that I will never forget the sacrifices SHE makes for MY running habit.  I must remember to buy her flowers more often.

Edited by Spudley, 05 February 2012 - 01:22 PM.


#49 nursenicky

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 12:13 PM

Pleased to report that a version of the original post will appear in an upcoming Trail Run Magazine issue.  Haven't had anything published since uni magazine days - I'm pretty stoked!

#50 slowmo

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 12:26 PM

Great news.  You certainly have a talent for writing.

slowmo