Posted by: runawaynotes | October 6, 2012

“Is your husband running the marathon with you?”

Ok, I’m going to be ranting here. Maybe I’m being overly sensitive, but over the past few months I’ve heard this question so many times that it’s driving me absolutely nuts. It sounds innocently enough. “Oh, you’re training for a marathon! Is your husband doing it with you?” Nothing sinister here, right? So, why is it REALLY rubbing me the wrong way? Well, maybe because I have NEVER heard anyone pose a similar question to any of my male friends who are runners. No one ever assumes that if a guy is training for a marathon that his wife must be doing the same thing. So, why is it that when a woman says that she’s training for something that is going to be pretty challenging, both physically and mentally, many people sort of leap to a conclusion that it must be her husband/boyfriend/significant other who is standing behind this? I mean, they phrase it as a question, but I always feel like they are already expecting to hear: “Oh yeah, my husband is a marathoner and I just thought it would be cool to tag along.” Again, I might be overly sensitive here, but if I told anybody that my hobby was needlepoint or competitive cupcake backing, I seriously doubt that their first question would have been: “Oh, that is so neat! Does your husband do that with you?” Then why should running a marathon be any different for anything else I may choose to do with my time?

So, here’s my answer to all of those people who may be curious. My husband is not a runner. He’s done a couple of 5K races and a single 5 mile race for no other reason than to humor me. He hates running and he has zero interest in running a marathon. He has other cool hobbies (some of which I share, and some of which I don’t). My decision to train for a marathon has absolutely nothing to do with him and everything to do with me. I am doing it for two reasons: 1) because I want to, and 2) because I can. And my husband will be cheering for me when I cross that finish line, as he always does 🙂



  1. Interesting. You have every right to be irritated by that question. I’ve honestly never thought about it before, but I have had that same question directed at me in the past. I never thought much of it before!

    • You know, it used to be that the question didn’t bother me at all. However, every time I would give people my answer, they would all act so surprised. And that’s when it started to bother me. It reminded me of how one of my college professors told me that she would get annoyed by the fact that almost all of the junk mail that her family received was addressed to “Dr. and Mrs. So-and-so” even though she was the one with the PhD, and not her husband.

  2. I wouldn’t say you’re being over-sensitive at all. I will say, as one runner to another, good luck in the marathon. 🙂

    • Thank you!

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