Oh how I’ve missed you these past few weeks. Three weeks and two days to be exact.
552 hours. 33,120 minutes. 1,987,200 seconds.
Not that I’m counting.
I knew a temporary separation was best. After 26.2 grueling miles, I needed a break.
Time to lick my wounds. To let the cuts scab and heal, eventually leaving only faint scars as reminders of what you put me through.
Rest to mend the microscopic damage left in your wake. Muscles, tendons, and joints pushed to the extreme.
Space to dull the undeniable heartache of missed opportunities and unfulfilled dreams.
Yes, I’m strong enough to admit it now. You broke my heart.
Slowly, I’ve picked up the pieces. Reminded myself it’s ok to grieve, to step back for a bit.
The first week was the easiest. I was exhausted, both physically and mentally. I kept myself busy with work. I enjoyed late mornings and lazy evenings.
I told myself I didn’t even miss you.
The second week I tried, unsuccessfully, to hook up with you. But the effort was strained. My body was still tired, my wounds still healing.
You gave me a brief glimpse of what we once had. An early morning on the trails. The sun filtering down through the trees. The pine needles soft and forgiving on my legs.
But the next day, the euphoria was nowhere to be found. My legs felt heavy, and my feet stumbled over the rocks and roots. It was still too soon.
And last week, as I fought a cold, I wondered, why even bother? What should have been an easy four miles felt unbelievably difficult. My legs were dead weight. My hips ached with the effort.
How could this be? How could I lose you in such a short time?
I looked at my shoes, abandoned by the front door, their loneliness almost palpable. The bloodstains on the right heel a stark reminder of our last rendezvous.
I replayed the harsh words spoken at mile 21. I wish I could take them back. I was hurting. Not thinking straight. I could never really hate you.
I tried to fill the void, swimming lap after lap. But I quickly lost count, my mind wandering to thoughts of you.
There’s just no substitute. No other sport makes me feel the way you do.
They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. It’s true. The longer I stayed away, the more I wanted you back.
Try as I might, I just can’t quit you.
Who am I kidding? I never really wanted to. This was never meant to be a permanent split.
You turned me into an adrenaline junkie, and I’m going out of my mind waiting for the next fix.
It’s the way you jack up my heart rate, leaving me breathless and shaking after a blistering session at the track. It’s how you push me out of my comfort zone to achieve new tempos and paces. It’s the beautiful rhythm we find together, eating up the pavement and single track.
But it’s more than that, really.
You reshaped me, head to toe, inside and out. Not only did you whittle away the excess, tightening and toning, but you also revealed inner strength, beauty, and confidence.
They were always there, but you helped me embrace them. To own the swagger in my step.
It’s the sum of all those parts I can’t live without. No matter how many times you break my heart, I’m willing to forgive and forget.
I’m in this for the long haul.
Some will say I’m crazy, just opening the door to more pain.
But many more will understand. They know this kind of love changes a person. Once you experience it, you can never go back.
Yes, you’ll still let me down, disappoint me even. But those times are few and far between. The exception; not the rule. More often, you lift me up and help me believe. In myself.
That’s the thing about love. If we open our hearts, allow ourselves to be vunerable, and give more than we expect to gain, we’ll be constantly surprised at the love we receive in return.
So, what do you say? After this time apart, can we start over again?
Runners, do you get lovesick when you’re not running? Non-runners, do you have a passion that drives you to overly dramatic extremes?