My name is Perdita Charbonne, relationship advice columnist. I'm here to stand you up and sit you down about love. Not just any kind of boy meets girl, or girl meets girl kind of advice. Specifically HOW TO LOVE PEOPLE and HOW TO LOVE RUNNING at the same time.
Because let's face it, that’s a race that doesn’t run itself. Life coach, run coach, love coach, we get by with a high five and hand up from our friends. And though I'm writing this for the ladies and my homegirls at Oiselle, I want to hear from the fellas too. Send your Q’s to [email protected]. Relationships and running… bring it on!
My man thinks it is a bonding experience to run together. This is my time with sister friends, and I neither want him to join my group nor run with him instead of my ladies. How do I gently let him know this without his self-worth taking a beating?
- Love My Ladies in Chicago
God bless the sister friends who have the strength and virtue to dedicate their personal lives, their sex lives, AND their running lives to the company of their spouse. No disrespect to the menfolk, but the strange truth of intimacy is that you need space to be close. And in the long run of marriage... you need many short runs of separation to keep the flame hot!
Now let's talk about you, girl. There is a sweet, sweet joy in loving your man, but the all women’s run group is a supernova force of positivity. And there is no romantic love big enough to eclipse the lifelong healing power of your run squad. You need it, and you need to protect it.
The key here is just to ease his landing a little bit. My great Aunt Flo used to say, "be honest Perdita, but don't overdo it." And honey, that’s the deal here. The male ego is fragile, and there’s no point in bruising the banana. Tell him your girl time is sacred, but then plan your training so you can do an easy run with him once a month. Do it on a day where you have no run scheduled so that anything is gravy - run, walk, or hide and go sheets. Rawr.
My friend is in a relationship with a guy who seems great sometimes, but then gets in these low patches and she can't even talk to him at all. Very up and down. I've never been in a relationship like that, but can relate her feelings to my relationship with running. Some days I'm crushing it. Other days I feel so low in energy, it's hard to even get out the door. So my question: with the boyfriend and running, when is it best to try harder? And when is it best to quit?
- Up and Down in Seattle
Dear Up and Down,
As soon as possible, you and your friend should get in a car, or a van, or a van-gina (a van for lady road trips) and go on an adventure. Unplug, unwind, let the wind whip your hair and the Motel 6 rest your soul. Then come home and buckle up, because all good things take work.
For the roomie and the boy, what’s ailing him should guide whether she decides to “push through.” Irritability due to low blood sugar and rush hour traffic? Easy fix! Clinical depression with anger management and a criminal record? More concerning.
Either way, consider my old coach’s 30% rule: if during a workout, you’re not able to achieve your desired pace, and it’s off by 30% or more - you should bail. Stop the workout. Cut the cord. You’re only going to increase fatigue and delay recovery. Sometimes relationships are the same way. If the “low patches” turn into constant low, or how low can you go, or drop it way, way low…it might be time to bail (and not delay recovery).
I’ll leave you with the love-wise lyrics of Kenny Rogers:
Are you a runner? Are you a lover? Do those worlds sometimes collide? Then we want to hear from you! Send your inquiry to [email protected], including your anonymous name, to be published.