I’m sure you read the title and think I am going to make some analogy about how marriages are like a marathon and not a sprint. Okay, I might mention that, but there are a few other things I came up with today that reminded me of the continued lessons I am learning through this training.

1. R-E-S-P-E-C-T – With apologies to Aretha Franklin, I have learned my share of respect for my wife over the past 6 months. It wasn’t long ago that I stood at the finish line as she finished another half marathon mildly taking a few pictures and thinking what was next up that day. I have mentioned several times that I failed to show and communicate the tremendous respect I have for her ability to complete multiple half and full marathons…AND continue on the rest of the day. I am reminded how often I take for granted the achievements of running a home, a family and still having time for me at the end of the day. She has earned and deserves my respect. More importantly, I should communicate that fact.

2. Yin and Yang – Early in our marriage we learned that “we don’t work without we”. When we have had the opportunity to share a run together, we have discovered something about our style and endurance. Due to my training, I tend to start our runs very strong. We really found this to be the case on the 5K we ran together. Heather has been running since High School. Her training is for long distance. We have discovered that it is my strength in the beginning of the run that sets our pace. As we get into the higher miles, her strength and training kicks in and carries us through. It is the same in our marriage. There are times when her strength and stability keep our family at bay in the storm. It is my hope that I provide the same at times when the storms rage.

3. Being okay with 2nd – I have been asked more than once after a race if it upset me that Heather had a better time. I usually get a good laugh out of that. Honestly. I might be one of the most competitive people I know but seriously, I’m happy for her success and glad to have finished the race myself. Heather’s been doing this for years. I never ran a mile until 6 months ago. There is not an ounce of my fiber that is jealous for her success. The same has to be true in our marriage. God has given each of us unique gifts. Thankfully they are different. I need to celebrate and be okay when the spotlight shines on my wife. I need to encourage her, support her and cheer her the same way she does for me. I need to be okay with 2nd place.

Now that I look at it, I guess I made it all the way through without the sprint vs. marathon cliche. Just remember…marriage is like a marathon, not a sprint.