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I want to run a marathon...and my SO is against it

I have wanted to run a marathon for a long time now (approx. 5 years) but had always been chicken or too overweight (60 pounds!). Now that I am at a healthy weight, I want to start training. My goal time is only 13 min. mile, since I'm a novice runner.
My significant other (SO, not SOB, lol) is afraid I will "cripple" myself. He has seen me start and stop some races and/or sign up for smaller races and miss a bunch. I'm ready to start anew. How can I get him to cheer me on, and not disparage my goal? He has always been really supportive of all of my goals: professional, academic, fitness, etc. Not this one though!
Any suggestions?


Wed. Dec 13, 1:56pm

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Why seek SO's approval?

First, I applaud your decision to make such an ambitious goal for yourself. Secondly, why do you need/seek his approval? If it's something you want for yourself, just get started with it. Over time, as he sees you progress without hurting yourself (I'm assuming you agree that not injuring yourself doing this is part of your goal), he's very likely to fall in and be the cheerleader you would like. If not, you are still running towards your dream for yourself! Always a good thing.

Chances are good that he's still dealing with some of the conflicted feelings that partners get when their significant others start to exceed their expectations. A conversation about how much you've changed, including the way you feel about yourself, might be a good way to open a dialogue about that. I've been in that place with my hubby and it was a great thing to get to a conscious level of thought! He likely doesn't realize how much subconscious resistance he has to you changing, even in positive ways.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006, 2:06 PM

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Meh, just do it. When he sees you gradually hitting each milestone on the way, he will get on board. If you start and stop, then no harm done to him. Honestly, it's hard to get all invested in someone else's goals and then have THEM give up on it.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006, 2:15 PM

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I ran a marathon a few years ago. My SO was fine with it when I declared my intentions .. but I had a few friends that thought I was foolish. One in particular, who is a fitness instructor, said "you just don't have the right body type .." Well, she met me at mile 23 on the day of the marathon and spontaneously started running with me, she was so excited to see me doing the thing she thought I couldn't do. I think people will worry for you but you have to do what's in your heart and trust your own judgement. They will take that much more joy at your accomplishment when you make it.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006, 9:45 PM

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I'm a "SO", the husband. Not the husband in question, but a husband nevertheless. Selfishly speaking, I would most likely discourage my wife from doing a marathon because of all the time she would spend training away from me! Before you write me off as a cad, I thought it would be useful to reveal my true feelings. After I got over my bratty self, then I would hope she would include me in some way, maybe invite me to train with her, etc. I suspect your SO would 'fess up about his concerns and you will be soon on your way.

Thursday, December 14, 2006, 10:08 AM

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10:08, I'm not the OP, but I just happened to be glancing through this thread & I wanted to commend you for your honesty & helpfulness with this topic! That was really nice of you to share your side as a fellow "SO!" :-)

Thursday, December 14, 2006, 10:21 AM

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well you know how corporations sponsor some runners? why not have your SO sponsor you? instead of for cash, maybe for time you could spend together after the marathon...like, for every mile you complete, the two of you spend an hour of "just us" time...

Thursday, December 14, 2006, 10:36 AM

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Here's a question you might not have asked yourself- Why do you really want to run a marathon? If you can answer that question for yourself with conviction, you'll be able to convince your SO.

My advice would be to start by doing "smaller" races- run a couple 5ks, 10ks, get strong, get fast, and THEN try and tackle a marathon.

Prove to your SO and to yourself that you can run without hurting yourself and that you have the drive to really run a marathon, not just finish one.

The people who hurt themselves running marathons are often the ones who "just want to finish a marathon" out of some desire to cross something difficult off their life-list. A marathon is a race, not a journey.

Thursday, December 14, 2006, 10:51 AM

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OP here

Thanks for the "fellow SO"'s insightful comments! There may be some of that kind of time selfishness there, I bet. I think he will come around, especially as I cross some smaller races off my list as marathon time approaches (next Fall)-- thank for that suggestion!
It is something I want to do to "finish" but not because it's on a to do list, per se. It's because I want to culminate all the work I've done on getting mentally and physically healthy and tough with the marathon, which requires those traits in heavy doses. The training leading up to the race will also toughen me up as I go along, and I'm looking forward to connecting to my body's abilities that way.
Thank you all for the wonderful suggestions. I think I got really high on the idea of the marathon and it prevented me from listening to his concerns. I heard them, but....they didn't sink in.
Thanks again, training starts Monday!

Thursday, December 14, 2006, 2:13 PM

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