Are runners selfish?

deliberating over new year's eve marathon..

1 to 20 of 213 messages
02/11/2010 at 17:42

Unintentionally, I think I'm pretty selfish.

I'm always picking new races and dragging my OH out of bed early on a Sunday to come cheer me along, spending far too much time on RW or talking to running friends making him feel left out.

It's got to the point where he says he doesn't want to come to races because people will be there I want to talk to and he doesn't like just standing there like the odd one out.

This has come to a head recently (well, earlier to be precise) as I've put it out there that I want to run the Liverpool Marathon on New Year's Eve. 

Now, he hadn't got anything planned for New Year's Eve and I may even go with a running friend so he can be with his family or do whatever else he wants.

I think it's pretty acceptable considering what's happened lately that I don't feel particularly festive or like singing Auld Lang Syne so a 3rd Mara this year is how I want to see the year out.

I can see it from both perspectives I guess - he wants to do something together (but hasn't mentioned it/planned anything/he's not exactly the 'surprise!' type either so I wasn't holding my breath) but I want to do this - for myself.

So how would you play it?

We've been together 3 1/2 years now so he knows that if an idea's been planted in my head, there's no stopping me but I don't want to feel bad about it or have a guilt trip just because we're not joined at the hip all over the Christmas period. 

If he had a passion that he was completely consumed by, I would go out of my way to encourage and support him. But he doesn't! Yet he understands that running is mine. So why the conflict? 


Edited: 02/11/2010 at 17:45
02/11/2010 at 18:04

I wouldn't have to "play" it either way cos that situation would not arise.

My partner races, A LOT, i.e. most weekends.  I enjoy being there, and love to support him but a) I got to know people from his club and often have people I can spectate with and b) after a race he would never just walk off and talk to other people leaving me stood there like a muppet!!

He would also not just enter a race on an important date without running it by me in a "she can like it or lump it" kind of way... it's just not how we do things.

Selfishness has little to do with running.  It's a generic trait.

02/11/2010 at 18:11
You'll never get anywhere near your running potential without being selfish.
02/11/2010 at 19:05

Leaving aside the selfishness issue,  that event is well dodgy, surely you can't be serious? 

"Flat and easy route gives as much a perfect PB opportunity for a serious runner, as a chance to complete your very first marathon while enjoying  scenic route on the beautiful Riverside Promenade.  Whichever kind of a runner you are Liverbird Marathon Double may well be a great new event in your running calendar. 

First proposed date is New Year’s Eve and New Year (31.12.2010 & 1.o1.2011). What better way can you, runner, find to celebrate New Year? Who said you have to run in straight line?"

What a load of bollocks.

02/11/2010 at 19:24

Liverpool isn't far away..   can't you do both..?    Go and run the marathon and then drive back and see the New Year in with your loved one...?

02/11/2010 at 19:44

Nothing selfish about wanting to do the marathon on that day. But it is selfish imho to expect the OH or anyone who's not into our odd pastime to traipse along in your wake. I can understand his feelings - who'd want to stand around in bloody Liverpool at any time of year, especially New Year's Eve?

Cut a deal with him - during the day you do your thing and he does his, and then as New Year draws nigh hump him senseless!

02/11/2010 at 19:59
I'd worry about getting through the Marlow half on sunday first before making any other plans
02/11/2010 at 20:09

D2D..  I just looked up the details of the Liverbird race.. are you sure about this...?   Its 26.7 miles and sounds very much like a run with a bunch of mates than a 'proper' marathon..  talk of bringing your own water and sleeping on the floor might be a laugh but its not the same thing as a big city marathon that perhaps you might think it is.   TBH, you could save yourself the drive and the domestic grief by running your own local 26.2 route...  

I note that the actual Liverpool Marathon is later in 2011...

Edited: 02/11/2010 at 20:18
seren nos    pirate
02/11/2010 at 20:27

Its a group of fetch friends just running together........its not organised so isn't official like as it it isn't officially measures..............thats fine if thats what you want but not usually your sort of thing............

Not sure why you are asking for advise as you have already confirmed that once an idea is in your head nothing will stop if your other half can't persuade you not to do it noone on the forum can............

why play it anyway with him..just tell him what you are doing and make sure you don't muck him around

we go to a rqce evry yearon new years eve and have a great time.....

Basil Brush Mk II    pirate
02/11/2010 at 20:40

This isn't really about could subsitute any hobby/sport/passion, and it would be the same situation.

In a relationship you need to have shared interests and separate interests, but you also need to work together and negotiate so that's it's not always one of you indulging your own interests to the expense of the other. Mr BB is not sporty. But he always comes to support me because he likes to. He also enjoys meeting my running/tri friends and talking to them (not about running, necessarily. About anything and everything). And I'll support him in what he likes to do, cos that's what being committed to each other means. Sometimes doing stuff that you don't particularly like doing, but doing it anyway because it's giving back and putting something back into a relationship.

All relationships work differently, anyway - some couples get on better just doing their own things separately. 

The conflict's there because, I guess, yes he wants you to do what makes you happy, but also he wants to spend time with you. Running, unless you do it as a couple, inevitably means you're spending a goodly amount of time apart (especially distance running). I think you probably need to take a step back and take a wider view of the situation and try to see why this has caused problems. Although your first paragraph is pretty self-analytical. You may wish to reflect on that. And perhaps think how you might get around making him feel "left out"? 

02/11/2010 at 20:42

D2D..  you do realise that this isn't the Liverpool Marathon, don't you..?  Having now looked at the Liverbird thread (that you have also posted on) it is quite clear that is is very much a low-key event to raise some money and is being organised by another runner...

There are lots of ultra runners on here who run marathon distances every weekend just in training..  you don't need to enter an event to run the distance..  I just wonder whether this unofficial event is really for you...   if finishing the year with a marathon is important to you, why not make up your own marathon distance near your home, get a bib number and a medal made and run it on your own just for yourself..?  There are small businesses who will make you your own medal and bib for a few pounds...  perhaps you could commerate the run to your father and then start 2011 afresh with a new vision of the year ahead...?

Its just a thought...   but..  your description of 'running the Liverpool marathon' is not what this event is going to be...

An element of consideration and compromise for your boyfriends feelings and views would go a long way.  You can't treat him like crap and expect him to stay with you....  he will get the message that he is surplus to requirements and will start to question his value in your life..  and your place in his.

Edited: 02/11/2010 at 20:48
02/11/2010 at 20:55
I wouldnt say selfish. I'd say determined, motivated and stubborn
Not bad things at all.
02/11/2010 at 21:05

Personally I can think of a lot better places to be on NYE than standing in the cold watching a bunch of skinny people feed their obsession.

Its up to you to decide how far you push it, but if you push it too far don't expect to keep getting away with it. After a number of years on here and on Fetch i have divined a number of things:

1 The spouses of many runners have no interest in running (shock horror)

2 the one left home keeping the fort can get resentful about the time their partner spends on teir own pursuit - and given some runners do 40-50 miles a week this can be a lot of time out of the house

All relationships should have give and take in them. Otherwise one partner can become isolated in their pastimes/obsessions and the other becomes a mere drudge. Not a good recipe for a happy relationship in my opinion.

Some couples reach an accommodation quite amicably, and I would suggest that if you aren't, you cut the OH a bit of slack and try and modify your regime somewhat in a way that leaves both of you with a smile on your faces.

02/11/2010 at 21:45


A bit undecided on this now...

Although, I had a feeling it was all a bit unofficial - 50 max limit kind of giving it away!

A friend of mine is interested too though... so we may go just for the hell of it.

I wasn't planning on racing hard or anything, just as a bit of a spontaneous end of year thing really.

God, is it 9.45pm already??????????????

Where the bloody hell does the time go? 

Just come back to OH having developed 'man flu' - he's lying on the sofa, tissue stuffed up his nose, peeking out from beneath a blanket... doing the 'sympathy cough'. GIVE ME STRENGTH.

cougie    pirate
03/11/2010 at 00:40
Jeez - up and down the river ? Bring your thermals and windproofs cos that can be like running in a wind tunnel. Liverpool is a great place to visit - plenty of hotels round the docks - your OH can have a lie in whilst you run - you dont really need someone there to hold your hand do you ?
03/11/2010 at 07:05

Did you discuss the idea beforehand with your OH or just present him with a fait acomplis? Relationships are about communication and compromise, if I person always seems to be the compromisee* it can lead to bad feeling.

* Yes, I know that's not a real word. I also know that it is not truly compromise if it's just one person 'giving in' all the time.

03/11/2010 at 08:40

It is pretty simple really.

Tell him to offset your selfish act that you are willing to do anything for him in the bedroom. Obviously you cant get all squemish if it is something you don't want to do and you should through all your usual determination and drive into it.

Good luck with the marathon and if his fantasy requires watching you with another guy then please get him to send me a mail

03/11/2010 at 09:31
Kwality post.
03/11/2010 at 09:34
it's gonna end in tears methinks
03/11/2010 at 09:38

She might be less enthusiatic about ending runs with Scat in her ears after that though!

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