Understandably, running and I have taken a little break. It’s not only necessary for my physical and mental recovery, it’s necessary for our long-term relationship. My love affair with running has been my most stable adult commitment and obviously last year we took it to an intense new level. Now, I’m backing off.

This isn’t without a struggle. I’m frustrated when I have to walk during a three-mile jog. I’m worried about how bad my feet hurt after walking – just walking – around DC for a week. Moreover, I’m concerned that races don’t interest me or that the idea of knocking out a long run on a Saturday morning is completely foreign. I sometimes joke that I may never run again, but we all know that’s not true. And I’m ok with that, because that’s what a committed relationship is.

I’m ok stepping back because I know it’s just a break, not a break-up. I’m ok watching that number on the scale creep back up and the once defined lines in my quads recede – because it is temporary. Because I know that forcing the miles will do more to hurt me, and my love of running, than giving us some space will. I also know that as much as I love running, as much as it has colored how I view the world and myself, it can’t have all of me. I have to have a life off the road. I refuse to be that girl who can only talk about one thing.

It’s time for some counter-balance.

It is time to concentrate on some other things – reflect and process the miles in a rational way (because nothing about me or that run was rational), write more, and finish that ultramarathon of a dissertation. It’s time to focus on the relationships that were strained on the trek and see how I can apply the lessons learned on that white line to making things better.

I know I’ll always love running, so I’m ok taking sometime for other things. I don’t know what our future relationship will be like, but I know it will be.