Saturday, March 24, 2012

Long Distance Relationships

At 4AM I was lying in bed and having a wide-awake fantasy. My heart rate was elevated. My breath got faster. I just couldn't wait for the reunion that I was anticipating. It's been a long time and never far from my mind. Oh, it may bring some challenges and there will some disappointments when the reality of the not-so-fresh relationship becomes an everyday encounter, but I am so eager to start again.

Yes. I'm talking about running.

And I decided that being away from running when it has become an integral part of your life is much like having a long distance relationship. (And I'll admit now that I am far, far too proud of the term "long distance relationship" as it refers to the space between sweethearts and the distance this mama longs to run... if you want to include it in your best selling book on running you are welcome to it. Just remember me in the acknowledgements!)

When you are in a long distance relationship (and Scott & I were for quite a long time when we were dating) there's pretty much nothing you can do about it: jobs or school or family or finances (and many times a combination of those things) make it impossible for you to be together.

When your long distance relationship is with running (and it's been a good 5-months since I've done what I would consider any serious running) there's pretty much nothing you can do about it: physical health (knock'd upped-ness in many cases) stands in your way.

When you are in a long distance relationship, you think back lovingly on the times when you were together and wonder why you didn't appreciate them more. You re-live the joys of having a simple dinner together and holding hands watching a movie. This person gave you a purpose for making an effort with how you dress and getting your hair cut. And it made you feel loved, which doesn't suck.

When your long distance relationship is with running, you think back lovingly on the easy runs and the long runs and the hard core track workouts and the peeing in the woods stories and wonder why you didn't appreciate them more. You re-live the joys of having a training schedule scratched out on a calendar next to your bed and stinky sports bras hanging from the towel rack in the bathroom. Running gave you a purpose for making an effort to eat well and get plenty of rest. And it made you feel badass, which doesn't suck.

When you are in long distance relationship, you can get angry at the person for being far away. Even if it's nobody's fault. The phone calls can become tedious. The plans for visits need to get switched around. You know the love is there, but wonder why it has to be so hard. And if a short visit has any sour patches, they seem to taint the relationship more because there's no time together to work it out.

When you are in a long distance relationship with running, you can get angry for the time away from your passion. You worked hard and put a lot of effort to get your legs and lungs in best-of-your-life shape and now... Poof! Gone gone gone. You will be starting at Square One (or Square Two at best) where an "easy 3-miler" is an oxymoron and deciding list minute to jump into a 10K or half marathon would be suicide. Can you do this again? AND have a brand new baby? AND care for those other two kids you made? AND spare some energy for that guy who lives at your house you see sometimes? AND get back to work wiping other babies' bottoms and noses and faces?

Holy crap, I'm exhausted just putting those thoughts into words. Better buckle my seat belt.

In either form of long distance relationship you've gotta wonder: is it/he/she worth it? am I worth it? am I remembering this person/running accurately? maybe they aren't so great? or maybe they are even BETTER than I give them credit for? what will it be like when we are together again?

I have no idea if this will ever be a running blog again. For those of you who came on board to read about running, I apologize for it being so NOT about running anymore. I am really, really looking forward to finding out how things will go when I hit the road again. And you can bet every footfall will be recorded here. So, I hope you'll stay tuned a few more weeks when I promise, Runner Pheeb will be back.... in some form or another!

She'll be back... Someday... With just an extra pair of hands to hold!
So. That's what happens in my head at 4AM on a Saturday when I am 37 weeks and 5 days pregnant.

What's on YOUR mind?

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