Friday, October 16, 2009

You Were My Marathon

I've been running since I was fourteen and joined my high school's track team. 20 years later, running has taken on new meaning for me. I love it. I dream about it. Everything feels heightened when I run  - thoughts, sensations, memories. I especially love a challenge: wind, rain, difficult terrain.

Last spring, I went into a running craze. I was gradually increasing mileage, and my runs were primarily on hilly areas and on broken sidewalks. I had to dodge dogs, bikes, construction, broken glass, ambling pedestrians.

Around the time my runs deepened, I also had to extricate myself from someone I really loved. To this day, I know for certain he does not get how I was feeling. I finally figured this out recently. My devotion to running was somehow tied to my devotion to the idea of him. I know the two were connected.

Now, it's finally cool enough for running to feel right again. My body has healed from a torn muscle, a tiny muscle that connects the pelvis to the thigh, and from some distress to my pelvic bone (if it sounds painful, it was -- I could barely sit for three months).

I have a different perspective on the man I was running to and from as well. 

When I meet other runners who say they've stopped running because of an injury, I tell them I've had injuries, too, and that a break from running is like a breakup from someone you love dearly and are used to being with nearly every day. I finally realize that my relationship with running is a marriage. I plan to be running as long as I can stand and walk. There may be periods that are more intense than others, years when I run farther and faster, in more difficult locales. But I will always run.

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