I might always love running, but I don’t always like it. Sometimes we just need a break from each other, but we always end up back together again. Initially our relationship felt very one-sided. I was faithful, but running let me down: injuries, burnout, perceived lack of progress. Most of the issues were my fault. I demanded more than my fair share. I expected running to reciprocate my affection in ways that just weren’t mine to claim. I wanted fast legs, shiny medals, and a body made of steel. I saw others reach these goals in their relationships with running, so why shouldn’t I? Time and time again running tried to tell me I was unique. Our situation was one-of-a-kind. I wasn’t like all the other girls. I didn’t want to hear that. I blamed my injuries and fatigue on running until one day it dawned on me. If running was treating everyone else fairly, maybe the problem was me. Maybe I needed to change. Maybe the problem was more one-sided than I thought. When it was good, it was really good. When it was bad, well, whose fault was it, really? I needed to own my part in this dysfunctional partnership. I needed to quit playing the victim and look for ways to make our bond stronger. I needed to reassess what I really wanted from running. I needed long-term perspective rather than instant gratification.
Fast forward to today and I think we’re in a good place now. I respect the recovery running demands from me. Instead of focusing on what running isn’t giving me, I appreciate what it does. I understand we need some time apart, but when I take a day off, the make-up runs are so great! Our relationship is stronger than ever now that we have mutual respect and understanding. So, to running, Happy Valentine’s Day.
Click on the link below to read all about the 14 reasons I still love running after all these years.