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.
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),
and the Brooklyn Bridge (once).
We made an unusual delivery for a friend’s bakery,
and, in her craziest suggestion, on a night when a bitter wind whipped off the Harbor, we ducked under the Verrazano Narrows Bridge …
… on the way to Coney Island.
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.
We had a great time, she and I. And I’m not nervous – I know she’ll come back. She always does.