Today we celebrate our 10th Anniversary together. In celebration of our Anniversary we wanted to share with all of our friends, family, and the world, our accomplishments together over the past 10 years. Our biggest accomplishment is that we are the First Couple in the World to Complete a Marathon “Two-Gether “ on Every Continent! This blog is just a timeline of our accomplishments together. The blogs do not go in depth about our runs as we are in the process of writing a book and will go more in depth around how we chose the races we would run, how we trained, the struggles that we faced training together, how we supported each other prior as well as during the race and how we managed work/life balance in this 24×7 always on world.
We started running back in 2001. David was leading the Microsoft office in Cincinnati, Ohio – he created a team environment at work by recruiting his employees as well as other MSFT employees in Cincinnati to run together in 5k’s, 10k’s and half marathons. Every year he put together a Microsoft running team to support the American Heart Association in their “Heart Mini-Marathon” event as well as other running events in the area. Our passion for running grew from the beginnings at work as we did many 5k’s in the Cincinnati area and heard of other fun races. We also went to the Expo’s and saw myriad of opportunities that were available to us as runners to run throughout the world.
It all started 10 years ago when we decided to run our first International Race in Medoc France. We set this goal after taking a three month online wine course together and chose the Bordeaux Region of France as the area we wanted to learn about wine. After taking the class we searched online for a travel agency that would help us to arrange a tour of the region. Through our searches we came upon Marathon Tours and Travel. They had a trip that consisted of a wine tour of the region as well as a marathon in Medoc, France. This was a no-brainer for us as we would get to travel and taste the wines of the region and at the same time run a marathon.
One evening while in France, Thom Gilligan, Owner of Marathon Tours and Travel took us out to dinner. We had a great conversation and at that time Thom told us about the 7 Continents Club. We did not even know this existed but became rather excited when he told us the stories of runners who have completed this challenge. We were especially entranced by the thought of running a marathon in Antarctica! No one had ever done this the way that we wanted to – together, every step of the way. After a few drinks and a great dinner we were excited and set a goal to be part of the 7 Continents Club!
Three years later, we were The First Couple in the World to Complete a Marathon Two-Gether on Every Continent! We took a different approach when running the 7 continents together and that was that we would run each of the 26.2 miles together and cross the finish line holding hands in celebration of our accomplishment “two-gether”. In addition to the 7 continents, we have ran over 50 marathons/half marathons, mini marathons, 10k’s and 5k’s. Many of these we have ran with work and with family.
As you can see from our blog after the completion of the 7 Continents, the frequency of our running started to decline. We lost focus for quite a while and we also focused more on work then on “us”. We ran a few marathons here and there but ultimately our health and physical fitness started to decline. I am now 53 and David will soon be turning 50 and we both realize that in order to have many more prosperous years together we needed to make a change.
It is now on this 10th Anniversary that we are re-committing! As a gift for our Anniversary, I have signed up both up to run the Napa Valley Wine Marathon. I gave this present to David a week prior to our Anniversary as the time we have to train is limited. This will be our means to quickly have to get back in shape. The last time we ran a FULL marathon was 5 years ago. It takes a good 16 weeks to train for a marathon and we now only have 8! This commitment is going to make us focus together on our training and nutrition to accomplish this goal. We talked and to be honest we are not quite sure how we are going to do this. We have not built up to the miles we should be running at this point in time. The one thing, no matter what, that we have agreed on is that we are going to run this together. We will finish together (even if not in the allotted time) and we will get back in shape and re-start/re-energize our lives together again. We will share our journey together with you as we train for this marathon and as we continue to challenge each other reinvigorating our marriage again so that we can have a healthy and happy marriage till the end.
Although this blog is focused on our running, we have made it a priority to set other goals together on a regular basis. Some may be simple daily goals such as kayaking together across the lake, or a fishing challenge. Some of our goals were probably not so healthy goals like drinking 200 different beers (twice) so that we could have our plates displayed on the Flying Saucer’s ceiling (one of our favorite places to spend time in Nashville). We set goals to travel and live on our pontoon for 7 days and visit different restaurants and bands along the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers. Each year we also have a tradition together to go on a wine tour (Illinois and Missouri) spending time enjoying each other’s company.
We are hoping that as you read our blog and join our Two-Gether Runners Fan Page on Facebook as well as follow us on twitter @togetherrunners that you join our community and consider sharing some of your ideas and experiences with us as well. We believe that we are not the only ones out there trying to stay connected to each other and to our families. We are looking forward to hearing your stories, struggles and your victories as well as sharing our experiences and challenges as we work together to have a more fulfilling, healthy and prosperous life and career “Two-Gether”.