"Grueling, grimy, muddy, bloody, lonely trail-running equals moonlight and champagne. But yeah, Ann insisted, running was romantic; and no of course her friends didn't get it because they'd never broken through. For them, running was a miserable tow miles motivated solely by size 6 jeans: get on the scale, get depressed, get your headphones on, and get it over with."
Ouch. Clearly, Liv + I have quite frequently fallen into the category of Ann's friends. But every so often, the romance finds its way into running, and the two work in harmony to create the ultimate "runner's high."
"You have to be in tune with your body, and know when you can push it and when to back off... You have to listen closely to the sound of your own breathing; be aware of how much sweat is beading on your back; make sure to treat yourself to cool water and a salty snack and ask yourself, honestly and often, exactly how you feel. What could be more sensual than paying exquisite attention to your own body? Sensual counted as romantic, right?"
Through the bang-ups and hang-ups of injury and training pitfalls, I've certainly realized our mistake of committing to a marathon before we learned to truly love running. We no doubt would be in a better situation now if we were more seasoned runners with years of experience under our belts. But for Liv + I, we needed a goal to work toward to make us stick with running - otherwise, we both would've quickly gotten sidetracked by whatever fitness craze seemed exciting and new. So while our approach has been a little unconventional and
slightly extremely alarming to our bodies, it has mostly worked for us.
But I find myself jealous of Ann's love affair with running and her full understanding of her body's needs and limitations (if she actually has limitations, that is). The good news is that the marathon is only the beginning of a lifetime of running for us - and our love affair with running will continue to grow.