Marriage is tough, no matter what year you’re in. It seems that each phase has its own unique challenges. Or so they say. My wife and I are in year one, where everything is supposed to be “unicorns and rainbows”. And there’s a lot of that, don’t get me wrong! That feeling that you’ve married your best friend is indescribable. You can only understand it when you have it. I’m one of the lucky ones.

However, a couple where both people are ambitious and very much in love with what they do can face its own challenges. In particular, spending quality time together can fall by the wayside when you’re both chasing your individual dreams. Some context: I am a startup founder and my wife is a rising star in HR for a big company. Both our jobs require lots of hours dedicated, whether it’s at the office or at home. In the span of a couple of months living together, we started seeing each other less and less during weekdays. Sometimes not all. We had to address this.

After an honest conversation, we found something that might work: We decided to tackle something together, something that would allow us shared time together, make us healthier and lead up to achieving a goal. We ended up running.

Now, neither of us are natural runners, nor did we particularly enjoy running in general. But the benefits that would spill over into our relationship were obvious: Training together, supporting each other, holding each other accountable, and achieving an ambitious goal together.

Our goal became the San Francisco half marathon. We adopted a weekly training routine, that involved running short and long distances, recovery, diet and gym sessions. It wasn’t always fun, but looking back, this common challenge brought us closer than ever.

We want to keep this going and so we’ve decided to train for at least one half marathon every year. That might not be a lot for some, but it’s enough for our team. Next up? The Austin half marathon. See y’all there!