Us runners have a lot of funny rituals around running. Stuff that we do pre- and post run. Especially if we are doing a longer run as things have to be “just right” because the last thing you need is a niggling seam to be chafing your skin at 15km mark (Vaseline, my old friend) or the gingerbread man chasing you. And let’s face it; there is a lot of gross stuff that is normal to us. Long time spent in the toilet before we head out to avoid any incidents; blood blisters that need to be popped and toe nails that are only just about clinging on. Not sexy, not hot.
It’s one thing when you have spent almost a decade with someone; they have seen it all. They saw you basically turn your guts inside out giving birth to their child, they have been there for better for worse and for major gastric incidents. They have smelled things no person other than yourself should ever have to smell. They know you sweat like an animal and that your face will get red and blotchy when you run. That maaaaaay be why the romance and attraction went down the toilet somewhere along the line… They just saw it all.
But what about when you start dating someone new; someone you are still a sparkling, shiny mystery to? A perfect thing that always smells nice and looks good. How do you go about explaining that you need a good 30-45mins on the toilet (in privacy) before you can head out for a run? Or that you are a miserable, moody creature after a run until you have had enough to drink and a long hot shower. And another 20mins on the toilet.. And that as much as you like them and want to spend time with them; you run alone. Not sure if there is any way to retain enough mystery after they have seen you run back in with the gingerbread man barking at your heels… There is no quicker way to turn into a pumpkin in their eyes.. But hey, at least you are a pumpkin with strong, muscular legs!
I guess in the end it comes down to this; there is one reliable love in my life that I will always put first. The lover who never fails to make me feel good, the one that makes me sweat and breath faster, the one that scares me and makes me feel elated. The one that always leaves me on a high. And that’s running. It may be a relationship with it’s ups and downs but you know you always get what you give. So if my strange habits prove too much for someone then at least I will always have my big love to go back to.