The Runner’s Wife: Mr. Crazy Legs’ Shoes of Doom


I am married to a runner.

Yes. Mourn with me now. For I must live with a man who is also married to asphalt, trails, snow-drifts, mud puddles, gu, yearly high-tech shoe purchases, running magazine subscriptions, filthy socks, sweaty embraces at finish lines, glucose tablets, protein shakes, pre-race carb-loading, terms like "the running singlet" and "the mid-run-single-nostrilled-snot-blast," bonking, fartleks, and last but utterly, woefully not least, chip time.

I am not a runner.

Suffice it to say that I hate, loathe, despise, and abominate running. Yeah, yeah, I ran a marathon once. The St. George. I had delusions of grandeur and thought I might qualify for the Boston. Hahahahahahaha! *sniff*. I tried. I didn't make it. And anyway, I did it mainly because I thought "chip time" referred to a post race partay where we would all hang out, watch movies, and eat junk food.

I don't get the whole run-until-your-tendons-fall-off aspect of distance running. Yes, I had a great, life-altering experience when I ran my big race.  And okay, I did get caught up in it all and felt a growing urge to run down Boylston street in Boston, screaming "I'm Alive! I'm Alive!" at the end of that famous marathon. That's beside the point.

Real runners, like Mr. Crazy Legs husband o' mine, live for it. Thrive on it. Talk about the last race for weeks afterward, and when that wears off, the one they're about to enter for weeks before. Their eyes glow. Their skin shines. They largely socialize with other runners, and drag their wives-who-did-I-mention-hate-loathe-despise-and-blah-blah-running, right along with them.

I can't understand it. This is not the man I married. Okay, yes it is. But I thought I could, you know, CHANGE him. Turn him into a theater-going, model-airplane-painting, garden-puttering homebody. Someone who'd play it safe and not risk death or injury by escalating his runs until he's signed up for a freaking 100-miler this Fall. That, after swearing last year's 50-miler was just to prove to himself that he still had it. He wasn't going to get any crazier than that, honestly. How could I think he'd do that? He's too busy.

I'm starting to think there is something actually wrong with runners who have to keep running longer and longer distances. I mean, I  was able to stop. And I figure it must come down to their shoes. You know, like that creepy Hans Christian Andersen tale where the little girl gets a magical pair of red shoes and once she gets them on she can't stop dancing? I think it's like that for dedicated runners. They get their special race shoes on, and that's the end of rational thought. The shoes somehow connect directly to their brain-stems, and they can't stop running.

How else do you explain this blasted 100-miler? The race my wackadoo husband plans to finish in 30 hours. The race he has contingency plans for, for when he HALLUCINATES during the night (as, apparently, all 100-mile race runners do). It's gotta be the shoes.

Well, I got news for the shoes, Crazy-Legs. They're going down. Just as soon as I can figure out how to get them off of your feet.


About Janiel 432 Articles
I have managed to keep the same husband for nearly three decades, and the same four children for almost that long - although one or two of them say it has been much longer. I have been writing since I learned to hold a pencil, and trying to make people laugh even longer. I hope to do some good in the world before I go the way of it. And if not, I'd better at least get to visit Ireland.


  1. Good luck with this. I wanna know what you’re going to do with them once you pry them off his cold dead body…..uh….I mean after he says, ‘Sure, here you go!’ takes them off, then takes you out to the theater.

  2. It was very hard to read beyond “gu.” I get this wretchy thing in my throat. And the snot blast. There are just some things we aren’t supposed to talk about in polite company. (Does this qualify?) But I suppose that’s better than the i-am-so-super-fast-i-cannot-take-a-potty-break-excuse-me-while-I-run-on-the-road-edge-for-a-minute-to-relieve-myself-in-my-shorts.

    When I ran my marathon, I used the facilities and a tissue. Thank you.

  3. You’re welcome, Alison. So did I. And ew-gross-thank-you-for-the-potty-break-visual.

    Rob – What will I do with Satan’s running shoes? Have them remade into Take-Janiel-To-Ireland shoes.

  4. hi! i stumbled on your site from googling to find out if there are any other non-runners who married runners… and wow there are so many of us! *cheers! yeys!*

    my own “wackadoo” (i love your terms btw) husband just finished a 102km race. and in two months he’s going to be doing a 100km trail race by TNF. if there’s one lesson i’ve learned being married to him… is that you.cannot.stop.a.runner.

    i will keep your blog bookmarked!

  5. Fozzy! Thanks for stopping by! You are absolutely right. There is no stopping a runner. After the hundred-miler I’m fearful of what my husband will find to run next. The Antarctic marathon, perhaps? Not looking forward to the 30 hours of not knowing how he’s doing. Bleah.

    I took a look at your blog. So interesting! The Bataan race your husband just did (the 102K?) sounds amazing. I was very moved that he ran in honor of your friend’s grandfather who survived the Bataan Death March. What a thing.

    Good luck! Hope to see you back here once in a while.

  6. the not-knowing-what-he’s-doing part is such a punishment. the TNF100 has a 30-hour cutoff – i second the motion on the BLEAH. haha!

    thanks for stopping by the blog 🙂 and good luck on your quest to steal your husband’s running shoes!

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