So I went running today for the first time in about three weeks. Leading up to my last race, I think running and I broke up. You know it started with the small things. The little nagging, “you should be running now instead of doing laundry” and “is this really how fast you can go?”. It was annoying but I could deal. We then started to become annoyed with each other all the time, fighting over every little things. Our time together became forced and what used to be quality time became was now a prison sentence. I used to love to run for the joy of it. It was now all about how fast, how far, tempo, speed, distance. What used to be a romance, was now all about functionality and technicality.
So, I ended it. I made the excuse that it wasn’t running. It was me. Hung my shoes up and just lived a little. Found out what it was like to not “have” to run. I actually got laundry done (and even before I had to start buying underwear for the little humans because we ran out). I got lunches made that weren’t lunchables. I caught up on my DVR. The beginning was blissfully freeing. But then the depression set in and I started to miss it. I thought about it all the time. There were even a few times that I got dressed to for a run but just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I wasn’t sure it was a relationship that was worth saving. I worried that too much damage had been done between us.
Until I did. I left the house with the intention of just running until I wanted to stop. And as relationships that are on the mend go, I started slowly. I started to feel the familiar burn in my chest, heaviness in my legs that start most run. I smiled as I realized how very much I had missed those things. It was like falling back in love with something but from a deeper place. The butterflies were there again, but also the familiar warmth of finding joy in something that you love so much. I ran 5 miles that felt like 26.2. I walked some when I needed to, I slowed down up hills. But I did it. And I actually loved it again.
Running can be like a lifelong relationship. There are ebbs and flows to any true love. There are times that you are just killing it and making gains every time. And other times that you need to step away a bit to find space and balance. But, never forget why you do it. It is for the love of what you are doing. Sometimes you have to break up with that love to remember why you are perfect for one another.