Here’s how I know Corey loves me this week.
I’m training for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon. I can’t remember if I’ve blogged about that at all on my personal blog because I write about it a lot on the other blog I work on. Anyway, I need new shoes in order to run this race.
For the past decade, when I’ve needed new sneakers, I just go to TJ Maxx and get whatever’s on clearance. I’ve never really utilized sneakers for running…the occasional 5k or sporadic jaunt around the neighborhood. Mostly, sneakers are for going to the park when it’s too cold for Crocs.
But I’m putting in a lot of miles following my training plan, and my current clearance sneakers are at least 4 years old. So, new sneakers.
I told Corey I needed to make a plan to get to TJ Maxx without the children so I could try on sneakers. My mothering experience is such that it takes me a week to plan for a half-hour outing if it means leaving the kids behind.
Corey was horrified, appalled that I would buy sneakers on clearance. When it comes to gear or equipment for an athletic endeavor, Corey is a maniac–he does research, reads articles/textbooks, scours the entire Internet. And he certainly doesn’t buy gear willy-nilly on clearance.
He located a boutique shoe store that caters to runners. An actual shoe store, with staff and foot-measurers like you may have seen in an episode of Mr. Rogers from 30 years ago. The store happened to be located en route to/from the trolley museum, so this is the plan Corey laid out:
We’d take the children to the trolley museum in the morning, maybe check out the fancy trolley barn Corey has not yet seen, look at some trolleys from Brazil even. Then, on the way home, we’d stop at this actual shoe store and I would be properly fitted for running shoes.
Once I was actually in the store, with my foot in the hands of a salesman who knew about arches and width and how they’d affect my running stride, I felt ashamed that I wanted to go to TJ Maxx for shoes. “See, Katy,” Corey whispered as he jostled Felix around the store and swatted Miles away from the expensive socks, “This is why we come to a place like this. It’s called customer service.”
This sales guy (probably the owner) made sure my shoes were laced properly to cradle my narrow heels. He had me try on two different shoes and go for a jog on his treadmill, where he also analyzed my running technique and casually, accurately hypothesized as to what hurt when I came back from a run.
He told me he, too, was running the half with a target pace of 12mph, “nothing wrong with that pace at all! A nice, safe pace that’s not too hard on the body!” He emphasized this because the store was filled with lanky people wearing spandex, the kind of people who finish half marathons in, like, an hour.
So I know Corey loves me this week because he cares about my feet and my joints and wants me to take the time to try on and learn about appropriate footwear. At retail price, even!
BUT! Then! The following day was my 10-mile run. The longest one yet. The city hadn’t turned on the water fountains at that point, so I’d been puzzling solutions to keeping myself fed and hydrated. Corey volunteered to load the boys in the bike trailer and ride along my route, delivering water and Clif Shot Bloks.
It felt wonderful to jog past him about halfway through, when he unloaded Miles and let my son ride alongside me on his balance bike (I was on a trail–no motorized vehicles!). How fun to see them again twice more, to know the whole family supported and encouraged me to finish such a long run.
I get tingly all over just thinking about these two acts of romance. I love when he reminds me how much he supports my goals, when he makes me feel so important if I’ve forgotten for a moment amidst the hard work of parenting.