Running has a tendency to bring us together as run brothers or sisters but every so often couples are made through running, a lifetime bond as husband and wife. Couples that train together usually carry a different mindset and feel for each other. This month’s Mid Strike Magazines run streak features Ludgina who’s been running for 23 years and Lt. Colonel Marck Dieujuste also an avid runner for 22 years and their current run streak which currently sits at 138 days.
MSM: Husband and Wife on a run streak. This isn’t something we see often. What was the discussion between the both of you on day one?
Mr&Mrs: I was running about 4-5 days a week however; my husband’s schedule wasn’t allowing him to run as much as he would have liked. I noticed that Runner’s World was starting a 40-day run streak challenge. Prior to that I had never started a run streak and I was intrigued. I asked my husband if he would join me. Marck agreed immediately. He thought it would help him increase the number of days he was running and help develop a habit. We decided to start on Sunday, May 16, 2020 and we’re still going!
MSM: When you guys run do you have a set goal as far as daily mileage or separate goals?
Mr&Mrs: For the most part we have separate training goals. That’s mainly due to our days being so different. There are days where I’m only able to get 2 miles in and he’s able to get 4 or more in and vice versa.
MSM: As runners life has a tendency to plant itself right in front of us which at times makes it troublesome for us to get our runs in. Has there been a time where you thought the streak wouldn’t continue?
Mr&Mrs: Fortunately, neither of us has felt that way yet. Since the streak started, we’re pretty much programmed to get it done. We treat it like something that has to happen during our day similar to eating and showering. There are days where we may not have time and, on those days, one mile it is! If there’s an obstacle we try to plan together to make sure we support each other so that we get it in. I mean there have been intensely packed days…. crazy days…. but we cheer each other on to get it in. I’m thankful that my husband is getting it done with me because we have the same mindset with regards to running and it’s great. He won’t let me go without getting it in and I do the same for him. We don’t always feel great getting out but we always feel fantastic coming back!
MSM: You seem to both have pretty busy schedules, how do the both of you find time to run together?
Mr&Mrs: Unfortunately, we don’t always get to run together…especially now with COVID-19. When we’re both home we usually have to take turns so that someone is home with the kids (we have three sweeties). Fortunately, we have a ½ mile track right in our backyard. So if we only have time for a mile or two we’ll have the kids play in the backyard while we run on the track together. Those times are really special. With so much loss of life happening around us…we don’t take our time together for granted.
MSM: I feel like one has to always think of the other with both on a run streak. Mentally has this bought the both of you closer together?
Mr&Mrs: You can say that. We’ve been best friends since college. We’re still talking about every and anything and cracking each other up amongst other things. This streak is another thing that tightens our bond. It’s a true blessing to feel so close to someone……anything that strengthens that is icing on the cake.
MSM: Marck (as a husband I will not let you answer this question) lol. Has there been a time where you’ve had a disagreement and wanted to get a run in without the other. Marck DO NOT answer this question!!!
Mr&Mrs: Marck is answering this one…Good question…lol! Unfortunately, in the 138 runs we’ve done thus far we’ve completed less than 10% together so I always welcome the opportunity to run together no matter what. There are no disagreements on the run…your mind ends up taking over, the adrenaline kicks in and I look forward to knocking out more miles together. Ludgina: I like that response babe…I agree!
MSM: Has there been any challenges between the both of you during this run streak when it comes to running? For example, one of you may start a run in the morning then the other says okay I need to match those miles?
Mr&Mrs: During the month of August my plan was to run 100 miles, my husband said he would complete 75 miles. When we had 10 days left, I still had a good number of miles left to finish which my schedule may not have allowed. My husband said that he didn’t think I would be able to get it all done. Those words lit a fire under me, and I made sure that I got those 100 miles in for August. Yes, I did! We both accomplished our goals in August and reached our 100th day on August 24, 2020!
MSM: Was running/fitness something that brought the both of you together?
Mr&Mrs: We were already on our running/fitness journey prior to meeting each other. It was just another thing that we had in common that we could share and do together.
MSM: Have the both of you ever ran any races together if not would the both of you want to run a race? What’s the minimal/longest distance you would both run? Any marathons?
Mr&Mrs: We’ve run two half-marathons together in Florida. We usually get to the start line together, when it’s time for the race to start we get a little peck in, wish each other the best, take off at our individual pace and celebrate when we see each other at the finish line!
MSM: Running seems to play a large role in your day to day lives, how has it helped both of you mentally?
Mr&Mrs: We give God all the glory for giving us the strength we need each day. To be able to get out on our two legs and run each day is really a blessing. As you know there are so many benefits to running. It definitely helps to clear and relax our minds, stay balanced, decreases stress that tries to sneak in and definitely helps to keep our joy levels where they need to be in order to keep a great outlook on the day to day.
MSM: How did the both of you meet?
Mr&Mrs: We met in September 1998 as sophomores at Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ), Busch Campus. We were both Electrical Engineering majors and although I could not stand my husband the first few months…lol…we soon became best friends. We started dating 2 years after we graduated from college and were married 5 years later in 2008.
MSM: You both are currently at 138 days running. Is there a solid number you’d like to get?
Mr&Mrs: We started with 40 days; at the end of that we both felt great. At that point we decided that we would keep going for as long as we could. We just want to make sure we keep stretching properly, incorporating strength and cross training (usually bike riding) to avoid injury so that we can keep going strong.
MSM: To the both of you we wish you nothing but blessings as you both continue this awesome journey through life. Any last words or any advice for couples that may want to do something similar?
Mr&Mrs: If you’re thinking about it, just do it! Set YOUR couple goals and go! It’s a good way to develop a common bond or an even stronger bond!