The way to a woman’s heart is through her running gear.

Maybe that’s an oversimplification, but it’s pretty darn close.

“I’m looking at racks and racks of running gear,” said the voice on the phone. “What do you need?”

My heart fluttered. After sixteen years of marriage, the spark is still alive.

My husband was calling from a huge, American-style shopping mall on one of the military installations a few hours from here. When you have lived in Germany for four years, you come to appreciate the very places you consider the bane of American culture.

Not only did my husband pick up three running outfits, the perfect hat, and the perfect socks; he also found the Oakleys I’ve had in my shopping cart for three weeks on Altrec.com. There was only one pair left in white–the shop clerk had to get them from the back.

I should make this clear: love cannot be purchased. Nor can it be returned with the receipt, even if in the original packaging.

Love is patient. Love is kind. But love is also a man who will buy coral-colored running shorts for his wife.

That is love in action.

I went for a six-mile run today geared up like a superstar. No doubt, the village children will soon be asking me to demonstrate my Nathan hydration pack. My landlady will nod in approval as she notes my “Supernova” running shirt (as Germans know Adidas is superior to Nike). I’ll look at all of them sweetly through my Oakley Flak Jacket XLJs and smile as I scrawl my autograph on a PowerBar Gel pack.

Or, maybe they’ll stare at me as if I should be institutionalized.

It matters not.

While the new running gear makes me feel like an elite athlete, rather than a middle-aged housewife, I am happier knowing my husband and children support this endeavor.

After all, if they weren’t behind me, I would trip over the starting line.

Stats:

Miles: Thursday 4, Friday 6

Miles forecast: 16 on Sunday, heaven help me.

Weather: rain. sun. rain. it’s still too cool to be summer.

Terrain: sometimes I do the treadmill to remind myself why I should run outside–rain or shine. Thursday t-mill inspired me to run outside today. I was rewarded with a parting of the clouds for my Roller Coaster Plus run. I even got to wear the Oakleys:)

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