Wednesday, February 1, 2012

My Husband, The Streaker

My husband is a streaker.  I love introducing him that way.  He is a streak runner.  No, he doesn't run naked.  He runs every day.  Without fail.  Rain, snow, sleet or ice.  Vacation or at home.  Injured or sick.  He runs 3 miles.  His streak is over 3 years now.  He started the current streak the day after Thanksgiving 2008.  People hear this and marvel.  I think people should be praising me.  It's not easy keeping up with his streak.  He used to run after work.  But since his office is already 80 miles away, he was getting home too late.  Remember, our kids go to bed really early.  Laci was asleep before he got home.  So now he runs early.  He is up at 5:30 every morning so he can run and be home before I leave for work at 6:25.  On the days he works at home, he could run after taking the kids to school but he runs early just in case someone is sick and he can't run that morning.  That happened one time.  On the weekend, I let him sleep in until 8 or so but we can't run errands or go to church until his run is over.  I feel like I am always waiting on him to get back from his run before we can start our day.  When we are on vacation, I usually get up, feed the kids and then try to keep them entertained until he slowly wakes up and then goes for a run on the hotel treadmill.  That doesn't sound too hard until you have tried to entertain small children in a small hotel room.  I am not very good at that.  He always runs outside unless there is an ice storm.  We have a workout room at the clubhouse of our neighborhood.  That is where I run on the weekends in the winter.  Recently the treadmill broke.  He panicked and quickly called the neighborhood association to have them get it repaired.  He needs to know there is a back up in case of an ice storm.  It is January.  Weather cannot stop the streak.  

People may wonder why he does what he does.  I don't have a clue.  I know the sacrifices I make for our family for him to continue his running streak.  Maybe it is the consistency he needs.  Maybe it is the one thing he feels like he can control.  I tried to talk him out of it years ago but have come to realize that this is our life.  He is not changing and I must adapt to it.  This is our life.  Our day does not begin until Charlie runs.  

He is not alone in this craziness.  There is an association for these crazy people.  The United States Running Streak Association.  There are Legends (40+ years), Grand Masters (35+ years), Masters (30+ years), Denominators (25+ years),  Highly Skilled (20+ years), Well Verses (15+ years), Experienced (10+ years), Proficient (5+ years), Neophytes(-5 years).  Charlie recently decided to join the list.  He is currently 236 on the list with 1160 days, just a neophyte.  He really wants to get to 2130 to complete his "Lou Gehrig" run for the number of consecutive games he played in.  He would like to make a charity run to raise money for ALS.  There are actually 3 people in the town he works with that are family members that are also members of this "club".  He recently ran into two of them at lunch.  He went over and introduced himself.  The man was so excited (he owns the restaurant) that he called over to the hostess and introduced Charlie as "another streaker".  She just smiled and groaned.  That is what I do when he talks about it.  :)  The daughter whose streak is longer than the father's is having her 10 year run next September and they invited Charlie to join them.  Those crazies need to stick together.  But it is a community.  

These people are serious about their streak.  Recently, two of the Legends streaks came to an end.  This has never happened before - two streaks ending so close together.  Both were due to injury.  Most "streakers" run through injuries so it would have to be pretty bad to stop a streak.  Charlie read an article about one of them and he said making the decision to stop due to the injury was the hardest decision he has had to make in his life.  That is hard to believe and a little sad.  Deciding not to run one day was hard?  Life is too big to make that the hardest decision.  But I understand how important this lifestyle is to the streakers.  It's part of them.  He also said something about never running again because he will never achieve what he has done.  

Running is very different to me.  Having a streak is not important.  I set goals - speed and distance.  But my goals are ever changing.  I meet the goals and move on.  I love running because it makes me feel good, helps me feel successful because I am reaching goals and it keeps me fit.  I feel good about myself when I run.  Running is for me.  I hate running because some days it just hurts and makes me tired.  :)  Streak running is very limiting to me.  Charlie would disagree because he would say his streak has no limits.  I see it has limiting because his workout is already decided for that day.  Run 3 miles.  No variation.  No days off to do something else.  I need days off.  

There will come a day when Charlie's streak needs to end.  It may be next week.  It may be in 40 years.  He will be very sad.  But he will move on and he will survive.  And I will be proud of him.  Just like I am now. 

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