Endurance Racing Magazine asked for couples who both compete in endurance distance racing to tell their story. Brady and Dr. Shawna Wentlandt came forward. ERM asked just two basic questions. Here are their answers!
ERM: How did you juggle training schedules? Talk about when it both worked for and against you.
Brady: I train while at work only. I’m an active duty Marine and travel often so family time is a priority for me while I’m home. I like to run during lunch, and am able to run 4 to 5 times per week. There are weekends when we are not racing that I would like to run to the nearest city and have the family meet me for lunch, but it is hard to get going that early in the morning and not receive a medal.
Shawna: I work online, so I am able to train while the kids are in school. Years ago we were able to train together, but distance and kids’ needs have changed that. The biggest thing we have to juggle is racing or training on the weekends. Our daughter is only 5 and obviously still requires constant adult supervision. That means we have to take turns or beg for help from our friends.
ERM: Travel-was this done together or apart? Was there a time you missed each others races or had a memorable race because your spouse was there?
Brady: Shawna and I have raced together and raced at separate locations. This May I was on temporary duty in Washington State and ran the Tacoma City Marathon, during the same weekend Shawna ran the OC Marathon in Southern California. Shawna has supported my ultra running and crewed for me through my first over 26-mile training run and a 100-mile race (Rocky Road). Shawna and I were also fortunate enough to run our first 50-mile race (Leona Divide) together.
Shawna: I really like it when we can run races together. Brady helped pace me at Leona Divide and push me when I wasn’t ready to push myself. I do think it becomes a problem at a certain point. For example, during my first 24 hour race, (Nanny Goat) I think we leaned on each other and depended on each other too much. You know where the other one’s weaknesses are and it was hard not to focus on them in the wee hours when running was tough. If we had a fresh perspective from a pacer or other runner, that may have helped pull us out of the situation. I think we worry about the other one and their needs and focus less on our own. In long races like that it becomes too difficult to focus on yourself and another person, even when they are your partner.
ERM: What your greatest running achievement was. For example, Laura may want to talk about her success at Western States (for example).
Brady: My greatest running achievement has been the culmination of the past year (when my family’s endurance running began). I got to watch my wife complete her first of many marathons, my 11 year-old son complete his first of many half marathons, and my wife and I grow within the running community. If I had to define a specific race it would be the Summer 7 which we just completed—seven races in 7 days, for Shawna that meant 7 marathons, for me 6 marathons and a half marathon. We spent anywhere from 5 – 7 hours a day running together. Misery, joy, pain, sweat, blisters, hunger, GI issues, sun burns, exhaustion, and NO REGRETS! It was awesome and quite an adventure (together)!
Shawna: I agree with Brady. The Summer 7 was the hardest thing I have done in my short running career. Having him there to understand what I was going through was very helpful. I would argue that our marriage is stronger as a result of our running. For about 6 months in 2011 I was training for my first marathon and Brady wasn’t. I think he felt left out. Once he started increasing his distances and we achieved these milestones together, it brought us together.