The Romance of Running Shoes

Sometimes romance doesn't come in the form of dinners or flowers or chores done or the perfect date.  Sometimes it comes in the form of a new pair of running shoes and hours away from the one you love.  This morning the man I married was fifteen or so miles away doing the most romantic thing he's ever done.  He was running.

I don't think I've ever been as proud of him as I was today.

You guys, my husband ran a marathon.

I know, I never even mentioned that he was training, did I?  I guess I didn't want him to feel pressured and didn't want to set him up in case something happened and it didn't work out.  But today he really did it.  I knew he could.

Way back when on Valentine's Day, he gave me a card that said he was going to run in the Buffalo Marathon in 99 days and training would begin that week.  Have you ever gotten a gift that you didn't even know you wanted but that spoke to your heart more than anything before?  That was this.  The tears began to flow when I read those words, surprising even myself.  I've never wished that he would run a marathon or ever even thought to ask him to.  (Only crazy people would actually consider running 26.2 miles, right??)  And yet this gift spoke to my heart more than anything he's ever given me.  It spoke to me of sacrifice and goals, of living life intentionally, of wanting to be here for the long haul no matter what the cost.  It spoke to me of dedication and a commitment to love us and do what it takes to be here for us.  It wasn't an easy run at the last minute to the department store gift but one that required him giving all of himself and becoming more fully who God created him to be in the process.  It was such an answer to an unspoken prayer to see him come alive and to see that desire in himself to be healthy.  The health thing has always sort of been my thing and he just sort of went with it, you know?  For the first few weeks when I told people (or even thought about it!), I could only get a few words out before the tears would start flowing again.  

So for the last few months he and our friend Ben have been training together to run.  They've been hurt and sore and powered through the cold and wind and pain for hours of runs.  Brian has even lost twenty pounds while training. 

He did it for me and for our family.  But he also did it in memory of and for the soul of his dad who passed away unexpectedly less than two weeks after Brian decided to do this.  

Today God blessed us with the most absolutely perfect weather you could ask for and our guys rocked it getting in under their goal time and still smiling at the end.  I'm not sure I could get any prouder without my heart just bursting.

Cheering on the other runners while we waited to see our guys...

This one gave the runners a good laugh :)

Waiting for Papa to make his appearance...

The boys came up with their own signs and thwarted my efforts for anything more funny or creative...

Ben's sweet girl wins for the best marathon slogan :)

26.2 miles DONE.

(Look at John Paul's hand on Brian...he was so proud of his dad!)

God is so good.  So so good.  This man I married is pretty darn good, too.  

(Aaaand there they go again.  Off to grab another tissue...)

In case you're super interested and want to see them book it across the finish line you can go to 1:56:45.
They clocked in at 4:55:54.  Because they're awesome.


  1. I'm stealing "worst parade ever" for future marathon signs. =D

    1. Go for it...I stole it from Pinterest so I can't even take credit :)

  2. cannot believe those maniacs were able to sprint across the finish line! so awesome you guys :)

  3. WOO HOO BRIAN!!! This is amazing. I am so proud of you. And that you dedicated it to Dad :). I am impressed with your finish and how great you look afterwards. Mary, the signs are great and I did like Luke's the best.

    Brian's Very Proud Mom

  4. This is just wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

  5. That's incredible!! Well done Brian (and Ben)

  6. Wow. that is simply beautiful! And the best part, he doesn't even look tired at the finish line :)

  7. Yay, Brian and Ben!! Can't wait to hear ore about it!

  8. How awesome! What a guy you have! Daniel and I were just talking last week about starting the training for the Houston Half Marathon and he's actually out training right now! So neat that I saw this post this morning. Love your blog, Mary, you're such an inspiration for being an amazing and supportive wife!
    - Hannah

    1. Oh cool! Good luck to him! It's definitely a sacrifice for the wife, too, but well worth it :)

  9. Wow! I'm impressed! Well done Brian.

  10. Great job, Brian (and Ben)!

  11. That is amazing! And the signs are pretty darned good, too. :-)

  12. So proud of you Brian! What an amazing accomplishment! Awesome feat and awesome example to your sons. I think they're pretty proud of their papa! Best memories ever!

  13. So Aweome!! As someone who has run two marathons, I give YOU so much credit too! I know the sacrifices that you made too so that Brian could train and log all those miles over the last several months. This story is so beautiful!! Congrats to Brian on the 26.2!!

  14. This is great! I love the "Worst Parade Ever" sign. When you are running a long distance the signs give you a chuckle which in turn give you a boost. I ran a half (can't imagine running a full marathon!!!) and some of the signs that made me laugh were "Run like you stole something" and "I though they said rum" So fun. Congratulations to your husband and to you because the training is time consuming.
    God Bless,


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