Please, I know it's been a long time since we've seen each other, and negative words have been spoken, but hear me out.
I know we've often been at odds-you with your inflexible and unchanging view of the world, and my desire for more curvy and attractive running routes. I grew bored with you, and your inability to meet my needs. When I had the chance to leave you, out I went to sow my wild oats. But, it seems, I truly didn't realize how little I appreciate you, and how much you give back to me.
I thought back to those great times we had together. Remember that time we spent over three hours together during a rainstorm last winter? Twenty one miles together-that was a special thing. How about the speed work we did together before the Marine Corps Marathon? I didn't think about it then, but looking back, I now understand how exciting and dangerous you can really be when you want. 5K pace intervals with your back against the wall? Wow-one wrong step and I would have been toast! And here I used to live under the misconception that we had a comfortable and boring relationship.
Comfort isn't such a bad thing, either. You're always patient with me, and let me leave any time to refill my water bottle. And you always stay faithfully parked ten feet from the bathroom. The river trail doesn't take care of me like that.
I also remembered yesterday, during what was my last outdoor evening run for awhile, how nice it can be when it's just the two of us. When we spend time together, I don't have to worry myself with others coming between us, which was starting to happen when I tried to spend quality time with the river trail.
First, there was Mister Wannabe Hollister Model with the Frosted Tips and Too Much Cologne who let his dog lunge at me in my lane not once, not twice, but THREE times as I went back and forth. Thanks for sneering at me the third time I went by when you had to stop making out with your girlfriend to pull your dog back at the last second. That was a nice touch. The river trail may seem made for a great relationship of running, but maybe things are different now.
Then there's Little Miss Texting Teenager who parked her bike in the oncoming lane (where I was) next to her mom who was just parked in her lane. She didn't like it when I did not move all the way off the trail to accomodate her position and breezed within about an inch of her, and her mom felt the need to make a snarky comment later when I was finishing my run (and on the very edge of the trail so just about anyone could get by). It might have been easier if I'd just jumped totally off the trail to allow her to have the trail all to herself, but I've been making lots of concessions like that recently as the weather has warmed, and it was time to put my foot down-literally-on the trail, and not off in the brush.
If the river trail is going to let these people into our relationship, then it definitely makes it easier to just go ahead and make a clean break now. You and I have some people involved in our relationship, but it's the ones who are important-that tired daddy and those four little monkeys. For all of its beauty, I was failing to see what a good thing I also had right in front of me.
So, I ask you with great sincerity, Treadmill, to please take me back. Let's try to make it work for a few months and see where things go. I know I've said some lousy things about you and disrespected you in the presence of other runners. Forgive me. I was wrong about you. Can we start spending some nice evenings together-nice music playing from your speakers, my hair blowing in the fan breeze?
Maybe it won't last forever, but I think we owe it to each other to give things another shot. What do you say we meet for a nice, easy, get re-aquainted session later this evening?
Love, Your Long Lost Running Partner.