Guest Blogger Christina Torres

12/21/11

Dear Running,

There’s no easy way to say this. So I’m just going to be up front with you:

I…I think it’s time we took a break.

I know that’s hard to hear. That term is thrown around so often, “We’re on a break.” What does it even mean? It never really seems clear to me either.

What I know is, despite our beautiful, intimate, and immensely rewarding 3-year affair, I need some space. I need some time to BREATHE and just… be ME, you know?

As clichéd as it might sound, I promise you it really is me and not you.  Like I said, like all my friends have said, you’ve been a huge and incredible part of my life. You’ve kept me sane when I am stressed. You helped me find an inner strength I didn’t know I had. You gave me confidence. You keep me in shape (even when I don’t always do my best to help out that process). You really have changed my life for the better, and for that I am eternally grateful.

Still, as much as I love that you are part of what defines me, I have to admit it’s starting to take its toll. We went from occasionally seeing each other out on the street, to scheduling set times and goals to be with each other, until finally you were with me 7-days a week, for considerable chunks of my day. And again, I know, it’s been good for me. I’m really proud of what we built together.

But it’s starting to become… a little stifling. We’ve settled into this routine, and sometimes it feels like I’m so entrenched in “US” I don’t know what’s “ME” anymore. I’m young! I still have some of my best years ahead of me! I used to do things other than run—  I used to dance, I used to play sports, I used to take naps after work or sleep in on weekends! I’ve given up a lot of those things for you. Besides, my knees are really starting to ache, which only gets in the way of our precious time together.

And you know what else? I think spending so much time together has made me fall a little out of love with you. Finding the time to be with you is no longer an exciting new challenge– now it sometimes feels like a chore. And maybe I want to try something new. Recently, I’ve caught myself looking up Yoga schedules on-line. Don’t judge me! It doesn’t mean I love you any less! It’s just, well, sometimes a girl needs to have something new and exciting in her life!

So, I’m sorry. I know this will be hard for both of us. You have so many admirers, you probably will forget about me. I get it. I don’t want to lose you as part of my life, but I really do think this will be what’s best for us, and for me. No matter what happens though, I’m going to hold tight to the memories we made together. It isn’t the end of us, it’s just changing.

All the best,

Christina

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1/14/12

Dearest Running,

This isn’t easy to say, so I’m just going to be upfront with you:

I miss you.

I miss everything about you. I miss the joy of lacing up my running shoes before a run. I miss the easy rhythm of hours spent with you on a 16 or 18 miler. I miss the tantalizing excitement of the night before a really, really big race and the elation of finally crossing the finish line. I even miss the little things, like seeing the number next to my name creep up on DailyMile.

When we had a quick visit this morning, when my hip was pulling and my knee was aching, and my stomach hurting, I thought I knew all the reasons I had left you. I thought it validated all the reasons why we were on a break.

But then, at mile 4, when you (sneaky you) brought about that bout of runner’s high, and all my aches went away, I realized something:

Relationships are hard, and you, running, really are a high-maintenance (but worthwhile!) relationship.

Yes, it hurts sometimes. Yes, you sometimes make me feel like my knee is going to fall off or my head is going to explode. Yes, sometimes I have to do some scheduling juggling to do my job or see my loved ones AND be with you, but you know what? It’s worth it. You’re worth it. I’M worth it! With all the amazing things I get from, it is absolutely worth the hurt.

Still, I can’t say I regret our time apart. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? And it did. My body and heart repaired itself from our intense earlier affair. Being away from you has made me realize what I really need to do to make this relationship work, and that as much as I adore you, I need to take care of myself to really give you my best. I realized what I need out of this relationship, and what I’m willing to give. It forced me to find a way to balance you and the rest of my life in a way that I think will be awesome and healthy. And, as much as you may hate it, I made some new friends too (try not to be jealous, but I REALLY think you’d like my new…er… friend, Zumba!).

So, I know I tried, but the fact is, I just can’t quit you. With 2012 starting up again, I think it’s time for us to use the new year as a fresh new start to US. I hope you are ready to come back into my life. I’m here with open arms.

Love and running,

Christina

Christina Torres is an active runner, writer, and proud USC alumna. She also recently took a three week hiatus from running, and is happy to be building up her mileage for this year’s races. During her time in Teach For America, Christina got her start running three years ago with Students Run LA, where she trained for the L.A. Marathon alongside her high school students. Before then, she had never run more than a mile. She has now completed 3 marathons: L.A. 2010 and 2011, and earned her PR in The San Francisco Marathon’s 2010 event. Now out of the classroom, Christina uses running as a way to find positivity, stability, and unfettered joy in her life, as well as a way to combat the ridiculous amount of cheeseburgers she eats. She hopes she can help others do the same in the L.A. running community and beyond (but maybe with less cheeseburgers). You can follow her on Twitter at @biblio_phile, or read her blog at “What’s Next?