On this, National Running Day, I have this to say: I am taking up swimming.
I use my training log solely as a place to track my weight.
My Garmin 405 has sat uncharged on my desk for months. Tonight I’ll finally hide its blank-faced shame in my dresser.
Running shoes are now my fashion faux pas. As in: worn with a skirt, all day long, at the office.
For half a year I’ve told myself I would heal up quickly. I refused to be resentful, complaining, impatient. I cheerfully went to PT; I swung on the elliptical and read manuscripts. I thought, time not spent running can be dedicated to other projects. I tried to see my forced benching as an opportunity to look elsewhere, not as a view from the sidelines.
In reality, I slept in, worked longer hours, and drank more red wine.
I can no loner push aside the pangs of longing I feel when friends tell me about races and training. When men and women ran by me during my two weeks in Italy, it was like a punch in the nose: it stung, and brought tears to my eyes. I was a foreigner, and the single most connecting thing I could have done in Italy was denied me. It was my only remorse while there.
I am done with eating salads and teetotaling and still being 10 pounds too big for most of my clothes.
God fucking dammit I want to fucking run. I want to run far, at a clip, without any pain. I want my heart to pound. I want to feel the wind in my face. I want to get up in the dark and run through dawn. I want to feel my lungs get bigger from use. I want my eyes to sting with sweat and sunblock. I want my pigtails to become whips from tangles and perspiration.
I certainly don’t want to be listed as “non-running captain” of my relay team–yet I am. I certainly don’t want to consider never running again–yet I am. I certainly don’t want to never again feel the buzzy, numb, wrung-out elation of the final mile of a distance race run at maximum–yet it’s been so long, I wonder if I didn’t imagine it.
On today, National Running Day, I tell you this: anyone who says they run to stay in shape is a fucking liar. Either that, or they’re not a runner.
End. Of. Story.