Life as the Significant Other of an Elite Runner


If the title didnt give it away, I did not write this post, it was written by Steve. I did not give him any  pointers of what to write. If you can believe it, I did not tell him to write any of this, and I have edited it minimally. My edits are in italics 🙂

Being the significant other of an elite runner does make your life a little different than most, but it is something I would not change, and I cherish the experiences I get to share with Tina that bring us closer together. I love my future wife with all that I am, and as she loves and accepts me for everything I am, including all my idiosyncrasies. I accept and love everything about her from her ‘crazy neurotic moments’ to the organic/natural food obsession, to her life as an elite runner and would not change anything about her <3.

I wear a lot of hats being the significant other of an elite runner; coach, weather man, sports psychologist, training partner, water boy, massage therapist, home repair man (sounds like a Sherpa life huh Lindsay, Tara?)……… Hopefully I can provide you a little insight of what our lives are like from my perspective.


Daily Life

As much as we try to be a ‘normal’ couple, we don’t have ‘normal’ schedules. My job as a collegiate coach is not a standard M-F 9-5, but that allows me to be there for Tina as much as possible with her training, and allows us to spend time together at non-conventional times (my random weekdays off, early mornings when I don’t have to be in early or on training runs).

A lot of our life is structured around either my work schedule or Tina’s training; making sure we can fit everything in, and also have time for ‘us’. Runner’s Connect has been great at allowing Tina to fit in everything that goes into training at the elite level, and allowing us to fit that schedule with mine on important training days so I can be there for her.

We try and sit down and plan out everything from when/where training runs and workouts will be, when massages, strength training sessions will fit in, to what we will be having for dinner (although I don’t get too much input on the food part 🙂 ).

Training Life

Without any major sponsors or support from a training group or professional marathon coach; 80-90% of Tina’s training is done alone (we have found a great running partner for her in Lexington, but Allie and her husband Thomas are moving soon 🙁 ).

I can only keep up with her on part of her easy runs any more, but I try and support her in the car or on a bike for workouts. I do try and run with her a little each week which is great for us both as athlete/coach and significant others.

We are very thankful for the sponsors that Tina has (Saucony, Enduropacks, Primal Sport Mud, Twin Lab Clean Series, Sizzlefish) and hope one day that we will be able to receive more support and assistance for Tina.

We are also very thankful for Larry, helping us navigate that professional running world and road racing circuit, and Drew Watts for helping us make the strength training gains we needed!!!

We do make a lot of sacrifices to make sure we are doing everything we can to help Tina get to the next level as a runner; paying for the healthcare she needs (massage, ART from Dr Mike Sullivan, gym), using our weekends off to go to races or to training locations we need for proper marathon training, getting enough sleep/recovery time.


Despite all the ‘sacrifices”, I would not change any of it; I get to help my best friend, future wife, love of my life and the most dedicated/toughest athlete I know reach for her dreams.

She has also made A LOT of sacrifices being the future wife of a collegiate coach (long strange hours, gone on weekends, travel, few off days), and I thank her for everything she has given up to allow me to chase my dreams as a collegiate coach.

We do not know what the future hold for us, but we do know that we can control what we do to help direct the future towards our goals, and I/we work every day to make Team Tina/Steve a success. We know there will be ups and downs, adjustments and changes (UVA speed clinic for example) to be made as we continue down that path, but as long as I have her by my side I will be happy and enjoying the journey!

-Steve Picucci
Future husband/collegiate coach/marathon coach/weather man/sports psychologist/massage therapist/water boy/home repair man/mechanic/wedding planner

Okay, I may be bias, but doesn’t he melt your heart?! I am SO lucky 🙂 

Hopefully you enjoyed the sneak peak into our lives through Steves eyes. We would love to hear your thoughts…..and maybe I can convince him to do another in the future if you enjoy 🙂

Did you enjoy seeing Steve’s side? What would you like to ask him?


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  • I definitely think Steve should write some more! And he has always melted my heart. 🙂
    Nice work Steve!

  • carla birnberg
    February 4, 2015 6:06 am

    LOVELOVELOVE THIS STEVE!!!!!! Super interesting to this nosy woman 🙂

  • Lisa@runningoutofwine
    February 4, 2015 6:07 am

    This is so sweet! I’m sure it takes alot of dedication and some sacrifices as a couple to do everything that goes along with elite training and racing, but it sounds like you guys have figured it out pretty well!

  • Steve you are truly a class act, and I can say that with authority! My mom was a “horse show mom”–shes was th one walking around with ribbons on her belt, a ringside bag full of things that we might need, from stain remover to boot polish to brushes and towels and even snacks. Being the support is a full time job!

  • Totally loved this! Steve did a great job. Honestly, sounds like a great life and one that seems to be working well for you guys! xx

  • Sounds like you make a great TEAM both in running and life. Tina is very lucky to have you and you already know how lucky you are 🙂 Best of luck to you both and thanks for sharing your perspective today!!

  • Aw this is really sweet! His support and belief in you is so evident. It sounds like you two make a great team!!!!

  • Heather @fitncookies
    February 4, 2015 7:20 am

    Aww I loved reading his side! You guys are just so cute. I love that you knows the trials you deal with as well as what he does to accommodate you.

  • Cute post! He is so sweet and you 2 make such a lovely couple. I am trying to convince my hubby to write a cute little thing for Valentine’s Day but no luck yet!

  • Awwww…what a great, supportive guy! Loved reading this. And I couldn’t help but think of Lindsay from Cotter Crunch and the parallels of her support for James. You guys are a great team!

  • Lauren @ The Foodie Runner
    February 4, 2015 9:04 am

    Awwww. This is so wonderful! I just e-mailed it to my husband because I think he’ll enjoy it!! And I’m pretty sure he feels the same way about not having much input in what we have for dinner… haha 😉

  • Steve, you are the perfect husband, most perfect husband annyone could ever ask for!

  • What a sweet blog post! A Valentine’s Day treat a week early. Sounds like you’ve got a keeper Tina!

  • This is such a fun peek into how the day to day life balance works out for you too. And way to go Steve! There aren’t too many significant others that would be up for a task like this. 🙂

  • This is so AWESOME and you guys ROCK! You are one lucky lady and I wish the both of you the best of luck with conquering your dreams…I know you can do it and with a supportive husband like that, you are pretty much unstoppable. And I agree, I think he should totally do some more guest posts…He’s a good writer! XOXO

  • Erin @ The Almond Eater
    February 4, 2015 9:49 am

    Oh my gosh what a great team you two make! This was such a sweet post and I’m happy to hear he’s so supportive (not that I ever thought otherwise!)

  • fuelingforfitness
    February 4, 2015 9:59 am

    Okay… this was an amazingly sweet post. Thanks for sharing, Team Tina/Steve! You two obviously make a great team in life, love, and running!! <3

  • Awwwww! Steve you are amazing. You guys make such a fabulous pair. Tina- I’m so glad you have such great support!

  • Oh, this was so dang sweet!!! So awesome to hear his perspective and in hearing his thoughts you can see how much he loves you!!!

  • It’s great to see some of the ‘behind the scenes’ of every day life!

  • Aweee! You guys are so perfect for each other. Every relationship requires compromise, but they’ll never seem like horrible sacrifices when they mean getting to be with and support the person you love.

  • This is sooooo sweet. There are few things I love more than when a guy is so dedicated and selfless when it comes to the woman he is with!! You are both so lucky to have each other… xoxo

  • Steve sounds like such a great guy! You are both lucky to have each other. I think it’s important to recognize how much our spouses support us and the sacrifices they make for all of us to follow our running dreams, whether it’s someone like you who’s an elite runner or someone training for their first race. Plus it was a fun post with Valentine’s Day coming up!

  • I love this!!! Steve, you are a dream! I loved reading this from the guy’s perspective. The two of you make a great team and are going to do amazing things together. It is so neat to see you both make the most of every day and truly love/support each other. 🙂

  • well steve, we are one in the same. I get it all and would not change anything despite the hard times

  • love this post (:

  • I really loved hearing his perspective! And it is amazing that you both are so supportive of each other. My husband of 12 years & I are very, very different & he honestly thinks I’m crazy for loving to run….even though he was a cross country star in high school, he has always hated running. I tried to get him to run with me last summer, but that didn’t work well because he’s so much faster…and then I made him do a 1-mile race with me that about killed him & he hasn’t run since. 🙁 I would love to share running with him, but it’s just not happening, so I just have to be content with sharing my love of running with the running blogger community. 🙂 So, yes, you are both very lucky to share some of the same passions!

  • Martina Di Marco
    February 5, 2015 2:59 pm

    Awwww <3 Sweetest post ever!

  • Such a sweet post! So happy you guys have each other, it sounds like together you are an unstoppable team 🙂

    February 8, 2015 1:09 pm

    I LOVE this!!!! What a team!

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