Thursday, July 13, 2006


Running wants to break up with me.

That's how I feel. Rejected. Like I'm in a relationship that has become old and stagnant and the days are numbered. As much as I try to get it back, it doesn't want me and that feels so strange. You know one another so well and yet, there is an uncomfortable distance between the two of you. You know it's there, but you can't figure out why. We have a couple good days and then, wham!, back to the bad days. We don't even look each other in the eye anymore. We just coexist and put up with each other. I want to talk about it but Running doesn't want to listen to what I have to say.

In the beginning, it was never this way. Running never made me moody, never irritated me. If there were bad times, I didn't notice. I was too caught up in the newness of each run. Each new distance brought us closer and more aligned with one another and the world. Each new challenge was taken on with the eager enthusiasm that only a new love can bring. There were memories made almost daily. Together in the sun, the snow, the rain. On a West coast beach, on humid Kentucky pavement, even on a trail at thirteen thousand feet, we felt at home together. It was simple, yet exciting. New, yet comfortable. We were clearly M.F.E.O. Made for each other.

Over the last week, I have had four wonderful outings with Running. The knee injury didn't bother me at all. There were sunny skies and cooler temperatures, things were perfect. I had begun to see all the miles ahead again. It was almost too good to last.

Today, as I walked down the hall at work beside a coworker, I got the feeling in the back of my knee that someone had sneaked around the corner of a cubicle wall and thrown an axe that had been sitting in hot coals at the back of my leg. I buckled, grabbed my coworker with one hand, the wall with the other and thought I might completely collapse. It was like Running called me and said "oh sorry, I can't make it to dinner tonight after all. Or tomorrow night. And I don't know about the night after that, either." Stabbing pain. The miles I could see so clearly yesterday all seemed to be slipping away in that moment.

How can this be happening? Things have been great for two weeks. TWO WEEKS!

Running just doesn't want me anymore. It's acting strange and unpredictable. It's like that thing some people do when they want to break things off but don't have the nerve to do it so they just become distant and mean until you go ahead and do the dirty work.

But I don't care. I'm ignoring it. I don't accept the break up. Even if I am spending time with a handsome, svelte Elliptical and a shiny, desperate-for-attention Hardtail. Even if I see running giving attention to countless others on the streets, as if it loves them more than me. I don't care. Sure, we may go our separate ways for a while and the pain I have to endure as I heal and grow will be difficult, but that's okay. We can work through the hardships and pain, like we have in the past. In the end, I know we will find each other again.

We're meant to be.


backofpack said...

Oh my. I popped over here from Craig's blog and your first post was hysterical! Now, don't get me wrong, I understand how you feel and I feel bad for you, but the way you wrote it up was perfect!

Hang in there, read Craig's post a thousand times, and it will get better.

justacoolcat said...

Times are tough, not to be the devil on your shoulder but . . . I have a feeling Hardtail will treat you right. Then again, what do I know, I think Pee Wee's Big Adventure is one of the most romantic movies of all time.

justrun said...

I used to watch that movie like it was my job.
The same mother and, possibly, a few brain cells.

Runner Girl FL said...

Well as I start to run again tomorrow I will remember you. Don't gain the hundred lbs in a week. :) Never accept the breakup!! It will turn around. It has to.

Ginger Breadman said...

Damn, you're such a great writer. I'm serious. Knee pain aside, I can't believe how well you write! Make sure the knee pain isn't something more serious though - should a normal injury do that to you in the hallway? I think coolcat's right, though - Hardtail will do you good whether or not you go through the break-up.

justrun said...

RGF- I think the 100 lbs. are already starting. Seriously.

Ginger- Awww, thanks for saying that. I'm a little emotional about the whole thing so that may be why it seems so angsty.

Celina said...

What a way with words!
Breaking up is hard to do! Maybe your 2 rebound "guys" can play a few rounds while you and Running take a little break? Sorry about your knee! I have (hereditary) knee problems, which is another reason I find it hard to get into running.
Sure hope you can get your groove back!

Sizzle said...

say it isn't so!

i say deny the break up signs and forge ahead. keep your chin up.

jk said...

i feel the same way at nearly 8 mo pregnant, and heavy...when oh when will i run again.

Neil said...

First Brad and Jen, and now this!

Josh said...

Very witty post. Running is often like a dysfunctional relationship for me too!

"If you truly love something, set it free..." HA! What load of bunk that is!

But do take care of your knee.