14 Oct

A Wife's Tale

I'll be honest with you I don't really understand why my husband runs. Writes Kim Broadbent (wife of regular contributor Chris Broadbent).

I don't understand why he goes on about tendonitis, why he obsesses over trainers ...sorry, running shoes and why he puts himself through the pain of races.
 
Of course I realise it's important to have a hobby, everyone should have a hobby. But my husband takes it more seriously than that. He says it's a way of life and I say - when he doesn't reach his target time or is injured - it's just running. Isn't it?
 
My husband won't mind me saying it, but he's not a morning person and yet he is prepared to set his alarm forty minutes early to haul himself out of bed to run. To run in all weathers. 
 
To run when he has other things to do. To run when he has a window of time. He says it brings him clarity. It brings me more washing. Then there comes the races. I call them races but I know they should be called 10ks or marathons. I have watched my fair share and I can tell you all runners look the same after a while.
 
Keep your eyes peeled or you'll miss him. I have waited and watched in huge crowds in the centre of London. I have stood amongst the throng and cheered strangers and then struggled across the city (virtually impossible I have to tell you) to be at the finish line. 
 
I have loitered on the edges of quarries and beaches. Sometimes the atmosphere is electric - sometimes it's a damp squib, but I always know that the joy on my husband’s face when he sees the kids and me is worth the wait. And I know that the first words he pants will be "that was hard!" As if he expected it to be a gentle Sunday stroll.
 
So I will endure the smelly socks and trainers...running shoes that live in the garage (unbearable odour). I will tolerate the discussions on the merits of running clubs and running events. I will buy protein shakes and energy gels. I will encourage family and friends to shop for running paraphernalia at Christmas and for birthdays.
 
I will give up my Sundays to watch other people run a marathon. I may not get why my husband runs, but it makes him happy and for that I am prepared to make sacrifices.