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RUNNING – I’m Sorry I Ran Away: A Letter from an Adulteress Runner

2015_10_Oct_Running_Palka_Pg16

By Diana Palka

Dear Saucony Triumphs 10,

I don’t really know how to start. I have been sitting here for hours this morning, trying to figure out the best way to reach you and I have typed and re-typed this letter more times than I count. All that I can come up with – over and over again – is this:

I am so stinkin’ sorry.

I get it. I really do. We’ve been here before. We’ve had this conversation and you’ve heard the schpeal. If I were you, I wouldn’t believe me either. If I were you, I’d want to walk myself straight out the closet door – kick the Old Navy flip-flops and the Steve Madden pumps to scuff them up and then leave, never to return. But I’m begging you: please stay.

Not that any of this matters or is reason enough to neglect you the way I have, but life has just been crazy, baby. It’s been one of those seasons where a lot of change just happens at once and kind of leaves your laces in a knot, ya know?

And the whole thing was kicked off by a nagging injury.

You see, when my foot surgery started to come undone, I panicked. I was about to switch health insurance and I knew a third surgery was out of the budget. And so I took some time off and I promised you it would be temporary. And I really, really meant for it to be. You remember, don’t you?

After resting for a couple of weeks and realizing I would have to ease back into running if I ever wanted to make it to the starting line in Boston, I took you out of the closet, laced you up and me and you hit the pavement like old times. When we finally made it to our first double-digit run together, I don’t think I could’ve been more excited! We were hitting our stride again. Baby, we were back. We were going to get to Boston and we were going to get there together – just like we always said we would. And when we registered and got in and made the hotel reservations, I was pumped. Our dreams were coming true right before our eyes and in a few short months, we’d be cheering our Sam Adams in Beantown after our dream race.

And there was the dull pain that radiated from that one tender spot on the top of my foot.

I knew what it was the second I felt it. And when the doctor told me it was a stress fracture, I was more frustrated than I was sad. So I rested some more and I chugged milk, even though it made my stomach hurt. I took more time off and got into other things. You know, life stuff. I threw myself in as a distraction tactic so that I would really rest and give my foot a shot at healing in enough time to get back into training.

And then it didn’t heal in time. And then I got discouraged. And then, we withdrew from Boston. We cancelled the hotel reservations and back into the closet you went. This time, all the way to the back.

I was mad. And instead of running with you, I ran away from you.

To the promotion at work — and all the travel that came with it. You never made it into my carry on. Half of the time I didn’t even look at you when I was packing. Between the two laptops and the toiletries, I just couldn’t make you fit. Baby, I am so, so sorry. I could’ve made you fit.

To the process of buying my first house. What a fiasco! I’m sure you heard me talking about it through the walls. Goodness, I talked about it non-stop. Every night after work and every early weekend morning I would scour Charlotte from Southpark to Uptown in search of the perfect first home. I made no time for you as I looked for the next walk-in closet you’d rest in. I thought of you though. I promise you were in the very front of my mind.

I hope you know they meant nothing. The promotion? The house? Baby, they were nothing compared to you.

I cried too you know. I would hear you every now and then – but I’m not sure you ever heard me. I would cry about how bad I felt— how I knew I was neglecting you and that the next time I picked you up (if you would ever let me), my legs would throb and my lungs would burn. I knew I was letting myself get out of shape but, more than that, I knew I was letting us get of shape.

I want to make this work. I want us to be us again and I want to start now. It’s you, baby. It has always been you and it always will be you. You’re my first love and my last love. Everything in between was just a distraction and has paled in comparison to what you do to me.

I want to get back together. I want to hit the pavement and do this with you. Let’s get to Boston. Together.

Missing you and our miles,

Diana

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Diana Palka is a Charlotte-based writer; runner; lover of grace, craft beer and the well-written. She has an unbreakable rule that there are three things in life you never buy cheap: shoes, beer and toilet paper. When not working as a Marketing / Communication consultant in Corporate America, she writes for kicks and giggles at www.dianapalka.com.