My Wife the Humble Runner

Amanda at the 2014 Boston Marathon

When my wife and I were dating, I accidentally beat her at a board game. I could tell by the look in her eyes that was a grave mistake, and I ended up running for my life. I soon learned not to play games with my wife lest I lose (which is what normally happened), or I get beat up.

We had been married about a year when we went to Lake Murray State Park in Ardmore, Oklahoma for a day of hiking, swimming, and exploring. She suggested that we run on the trails. “Sure,” I said. “Sounds fun.”

Since I ran a little high school track and cross-country and had entered a few 5k’s, I thought myself the running expert and was prepared to let her keep up with me. Instead, after several minutes of watching her backside I was gasping for air and crying for her to slow down. She wasn’t winded the slightest and turned to laugh and taunt me. “Come on, you big baby!” she called.

Over the next few years, my wife ran a little. Usually it was on a treadmill in the living room where she could keep an eye on the babies it seemed we were always having. When there was a local 5k, she would enter and win. She’d always insist that she only won because there was no competition.

In 2012, my wife entered the Cowtown Marathon, which would be her first time to run 26.2 miles. Her goal was to run under four hours. With an injury around mile 20, she still finished at 3:55.

Runners qualify for the Boston Marathon by running a certain time based on their age. For women in her age group, the time was 3:30. When I suggested she make that a goal, she said that was absurd.

“Boston is for real runners,” she said.

A few months later, she ran her second marathon in Omaha, Nebraska, where she finished in 3:36. After that she decided to make qualifying for Boston a goal. In December of the same year, she again ran a 3:36 at the Metro PCS Dallas Marathon. She came home upset and frustrated even though she finished 16th out of 1904 ladies in her age group.

“I can’t run any faster than I did,” she told me.

After the 3:25 finish.

Two months later, again at the Cowtown Marathon, she won first in her age group with a 3:25 and qualified for the 2014 Boston Marathon. And two months after that, the bombing happened.

Amanda’s best friend also qualified for the 2014 Boston. They applied, were both accepted, and traveled to Boston a year after terrorists changed the history of the race.

Despite injuries from overtraining—her weekly mileage was close to 100 by the end—Amanda ran a 3:42 at Boston.

Ankle surgery followed the next December. Since then, Amanda has generally kept her runs below ten miles at a time.

In the last several years she has competed in triathlons and Spartan races and trail races and all manner of horrible activities “for fun,” always reporting that she didn’t do very well. I’ll look up the results and say something like, “Well, 3 out of 33,456 doesn’t sound too bad,” and she always acts surprised or like I must be mistaken. But I know the girl who can’t stand to lose at Rummy Cube; she’s probably really fuming about the two people who beat her. Especially if they were wearing matching cute costumes—that really makes her mad.

It is hard for me to live with such an athlete. When I was still trying to win my age group in road races, her advice was always, “Just run faster.”

I am a normal person with normal genetics, and it is impossible for my wife and daughters to relate to such mediocrity. I have zero talent, work hard, and kinda like to try to win, yet seldom expect to. She has talent, works harder than anyone I know, and kinda wants to hurt something if she doesn’t win.

Being married to super woman is good for me, though. I can’t get complacent. I’m probably much stronger and more fit than I would be if I were married to an average person. I’ve ran marathons (more than an hour slower than my wife) and done other things I’d never done had it not been for her. You can’t survive in this family if you don’t stay in shape.

I’ll never beat my wife in a race, and I’m too scared of her to try to beat her in anything else. Which is one of the reasons I stick to weight lifting—she hates lifting weights. And I’m thankful she does—I’d be embarrassed for my wife to bench press more than me.

About Nowhere Tribune

A husband and daddy, striving to love his neighbors and be kind to his pets. I love good food, good beer, and a few good friends. My other interests are hiking, taking walks, lifting weights, reading books by manly authors like Hemingway and Twain, and splitting fire wood with my bare hands.


36 thoughts on “My Wife the Humble Runner

  1. Um….she sounds just a tad competitive, but only a tad, lol. As someone with the same mediocre genetic makeup where I have to work really hard to be even somewhat good at sports, I understand how you feel. I played softball, basketball and ran track in high school, but I was always one of the alternates.

    As an adult, okay in my late 40’s, I began to really start to get serious about getting fit. Not because I wanted to but because my doctor said if I didn’t lose weight, I’d have to go through knee surgery. So health goals it was because I’ve seen how hard it is to recover from knee surgery. I began to walk, the jog, then run and I surprised myself when I kept telling my son that my treadmill was slow. For weeks I complained and then he finally looked at and said “Mom, it’s not that the treadmill is slow, it’s that you’ve gotten faster” and showed me my stats (which I didn’t know the treadmill had that opinion, lol).

    I’m by no means a marathon runner, although I’d like to run a 5K before I die. But I have to really and I do mean REALLY try hard to achieve those kinds of goals. But I don’t have Winder Woman living at home with me either, lol. Mostly I challenge myself, like right now. I’m challenging not eat the last soft pretzel with cheese, lol. Now that’s challenging 🤣😝😂.

    Your a god guy John, you encourage your wife through everything and that too is hard to find.

    Posted by thehuntress915 | August 15, 2019, 8:06 pm
  2. Dude, this sounds like a nightmare. You can’t outrun her when she gets mad at you. But men aren’t supposed to hit women, even in self-defense. Guess your only choice is to behave.

    Posted by Tippy Gnu | August 15, 2019, 8:20 pm
  3. Dang! That’s super impressive! Haha I lift…hubby freely admits I’m probably stronger than he is. And I uh…totally hate to lose and am a wee bit competitive 🤣

    Posted by Sassyfitnesschick | August 15, 2019, 8:55 pm
  4. Very impressive runs by your wife

    Posted by bigguyhiking | August 15, 2019, 9:56 pm
  5. This really made me smile. I can so relate to your wife.

    Posted by Sheree | August 16, 2019, 2:06 am
  6. Love this! Of course, I’m also glad I don’t live with her. She probably wouldn’t be on board with my program of physical fitness. Competitive reading. It can be exhausting.

    Posted by Rivergirl | August 16, 2019, 7:56 am
  7. What a nice post! She sounds like such an amazing person and great athlete!

    Posted by pkadams | August 16, 2019, 9:03 am
  8. What a star your missus is. The best I managed over the 42 was a whisker over 4 hours.

    Posted by Arkenaten | August 16, 2019, 9:37 am
  9. I need some sort of inspiration to get into better shape. I worry about running damaging the ankles and knees, so I have tried to run on the school tracks with the softer surface. I would think that the concrete/asphalt roads would be murder on the joints no matter what kind of shoes you have on.

    Posted by Jason Frels | August 16, 2019, 10:29 am
    • I agree, Jason. But honestly, unless you want to be a runner, it’s not necessary to run. Hiking will get you in shape, too. And that’s much more fun.

      Posted by Nowhere Tribune | August 18, 2019, 5:06 pm
  10. Wow, you two are a good match! I remember watching the Boston bombing on TV as it was happening. Props to your wife for not being deterred!

    Posted by Shayne | August 16, 2019, 11:31 am
  11. Wow, what an amazing woman!

    Posted by Snowbird In Training | August 18, 2019, 4:35 pm
  12. Wow, that’s awesome – I’ve run a half marathon and wouldn’t even dream of doing a full marathon or anything more. My knees were on fire for days after!

    Like you, I’ll stick to the weight lifting!

    Posted by Hannah Louise | August 21, 2019, 9:15 am
  13. You sound very wise. “Happy wife, happy life” as the saying goes….

    Posted by Middle Aged Momma | August 22, 2019, 11:33 am
  14. I’m very impressed by your wife! She’s a tough one! Good thing you’ve learned quickly how to behave! 😀 (Also, if you ever see me running, you better run too because there’s probably something really scary running right after me)

    Posted by Jay | September 3, 2019, 8:37 pm

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