Rekindling my romance with running

Running is a fickle lover.

You think you have a good thing going, and she distances herself. For weeks at a time, she makes you wonder what you did wrong. You give her some space; when you do call, you take it easy with her, so as not to scare her away forever.

But then, out of nowhere, she grabs you again and won’t let you go. You tumble into an affair so torrid you’ll cancel plans to maintain the high. She makes your heart pound, your lungs heave, your body ache. Being with her makes you forget the rest of the world.

The culmination of a hot streak. (Photo: Sandra Kratc)

The culmination of a stellar run, 2012. (Photo: Sandra Kratc)

In the two-plus months since the New York City Marathon, I found myself struggling with the former version. Even after my six-week recovery had ended, I couldn’t pull myself back into training for Boston. I had a lot on my mind, and running wasn’t there for me; we’d go out together, but I’d feel abandoned, left to my negative thoughts.

On Thursday, without warning – and seemingly without reason, as she is wont to do – running begged me to take her back. And I, being the romantic fool I am, accepted.

Together, over the weekend, we looked at the world with fresh eyes. We went over the Manhattan Bridge (twice),

Two views of the Brooklyn Bridge

and the Brooklyn Bridge (once).

Manhattan Bridge from Brooklyn Bridge at night

We made an unusual delivery for a friend’s bakery,

Eat your heart out, @seamless. We proudly introduce #pantsless #delivery courtesy of the #leggy @weeklynabe. #joggingshorts #cupcakesondemand

and, in her craziest suggestion, on a night when a bitter wind whipped off the Harbor, we ducked under the Verrazano Narrows Bridge …

Verrazano Narrows at night

… on the way to Coney Island.

Coney Island Parachute Jump at night

I had intended only to join her for a loop of Prospect Park. Instead, she brought me to the sea. Then, as I admired the lights of the Parachute Jump, she slipped off into the night.

I strolled by my lonesome on the boardwalk, and ate a dinner for one at Nathan’s. I sat alone with my thoughts. But this time, they were better.

The Original Nathan's Famous at night

We had a great time, she and I. And I’m not nervous – I know she’ll come back. She always does.

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2 Responses to Rekindling my romance with running

  1. Steve says:

    The latter part of your run was one that I made many times when I lived on 101st Street next to Fort Hamilton. I adopted Central Park for several months after I moved in with my betrothed on the Upper East Side, followed by a couple of years looping from Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburg through Maspeth, Sunnyside, LIC, and Greenpoint. After that housing prices forced us out our Brooklyn and we moved to the DC area.

  2. Keith, I absolutely loved this. It’s so true. Every runner struggles with lost motivation, or lands in a funk, or can’t find their groove. It’s happened to me enough that I’ve written about it twice. Then *snap* one day it’s back and it’s magical. I love that you ended up running to Coney Island! Welcome back to the fold!

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