As everyone seemed to post about their runs yesterday in honor of National Running Day, I felt like a very naughty runner because I did not go for a run. For the second year in a row, I managed to not run on National Running Day. I can’t remember what the reason was last year, but I will guess that it had something to do with being too social or the weather being gross (it was raining yesterday morning, I’m being very social this week, AND I was confused and thought National Running Day was Thursday…).
Other running bloggers and websites posted wonderful articles and quotes about being a runner and loving running. One site in particular wrote a love letter to running. I didn’t actually read it, but I loved the idea of it, so here goes my own version…
Several years ago, you welcomed me with open arms as I began to ponder the idea of you and the idea of our beginning a relationship. I had heard stories from your other lovers – of the ways you had changed them, motivated them, inspired them. I had also heard the horror stories – of the hatred some felt for you, of the way you destroyed their knees and bloodied their toes. I entered our affair cautiously, worried that I would jump in too fast and end up hating you…
But I didn’t hate you. I could never hate you. You make me ache in a way I’ve never experienced before. My back, my knees, my blistered feet, my bloody toes… they whisper evil things, suggesting that I leave you and find a new love. But I can’t. And I won’t.
The heat of our coupling is intense. The sweat that pours out of me like a waterfall turns others away… but maybe that’s exactly what you want. It takes hours for me to recover, as your effect on me lingers throughout the day.
Your smell endures on my clothing and in my shoes. A smell so horrendous that sometimes I don’t think I could ever wash it away.
Our first few steps together have turned into miles. 13.5 miles to be exact. What was once 20 minute encounters has become more than 2 hours of pavement pounding. Our affairs are ever-increasing, and soon our weekend mornings will begin to take over an entire half a day… but there is no one else with whom I’d rather spend that time.
You helped me survive the horrid winter. With nothing but freezing temperatures, feet of snow, and black ice, we stayed together in the darkest hours before the dawn. You let me hold on to you, you kept me warm.
You’re not a jealous lover. You encourage me to try new things and socialize with others. You understand my needs to take breaks, to ride my bike, and to sleep in.
You don’t care about my questionable fashion choices. Bright green, yellow, and pink shoes? Clashing neon colors? You look beyond how ridiculous I’m dressed when we’re together.
I love how you changed me. Inspired me. Pushed me. You motivated me to become healthier. You helped me lose those excess pounds. You made me stronger. You turned me into an athlete. You sparked a sense of competition – I want to be better, run faster.
I think of you late at night, as I ponder the most appropriate clothing to lay out in anticipation of the morning.
I think of you early in the morning, as I rush silently out of bed to greet you before the sun comes up.
I think of you during the day, as I reconsider my training plans, search for the latest tips and tricks, and sign up for races.
I’m really surprised I have any friends.
I love you, running.