She has been there for me since Halloween 2007. Our sons have been best friends since first grade. We can read each other’s movements. She always runs on the right, me on the left. I know what brand of laundry detergent she uses. I know her gait almost by heart, and I know when she’s having a rough morning. She never has to use the restroom, but always stops with me at Mile 1. Our runs are so routine, I know exactly when she will cross a street.
But, there comes a time in every relationship, where you have to call a spade a spade, and you must simply break it off. This is that time.
Kim and I were 34 and 48 when we started running. Compared to now, I seemed almost spry. (I’m 52 now) I could keep up with her. She was content to run at a 10:30 pace with me. I remember one time when I was on the ground, and she leaned over and said “That’s okay, you’re 14 years older than me”…and it was then that I realized that we were of different fitness levels due to our ages.
I have done 3 marathons. I trained with each one of them with Kim by my side. Last year, as I was training for Marine Corps Marathon, I convinced her to run the Fresno Eye-Q Marathon, because she was already trained. My joy at seeing her at mile 26 was overwhelming, and I ran with her to the finish. She finished at 4:50, the time we both wanted. (I’m still trying to be sub 5:57!)
I was surprised when the LA Marathon folk offered me a bib, because of course old readers to this blog know that the two weeks after a marathon I always say “I will never do this again”. We started training. And because I know she is after a new goal, our regular training would not do.
I’m getting slower. I will be very happy to finish strong in LA, focusing on “maybe” doing 5mph. Kim, on the other hand is getting faster…
Several weeks ago, I called it. We had to break up. It would be the only way for her to sub 4:30. Without me. She begged. “No. I like us.” I said, “I’m sorry, it’s for the best. It’s not you. It’s me.” We called my coach, who gave us a plan to where she could go out, loop around, and come back for me. It seemed to work. For the last month, Kim and I…we didn’t completely break up. We start together. She’s still at my door at 5am. We sometimes end together, but mostly when I get back to my house, her car is long gone. She texts me at night to do my CORE. We are still together, only different. I cut her loose, and she is ready to shine in LA. She has gotten so much stronger in the last month!
My greatest joy will be to see her meet her goal in LA, because she can do it. And, I know she will see me cross as well…because when you’ve been together as long as we have, you simply must see it all the way to the end.