A runner's break-up letter

Dear Marathon Training, 

This is one of the hardest letters I have ever had to write.

You and I have had a mutual attraction which spans decades, although it was a relationship which was consummated just five years ago. But, as hard as it may be to face the truth, we must accept that the spark is no longer so bright, if it flares at all.

The joy of those early morning long runs, accompanied only by the sounds of nature and a fanciful internal dialogue, has faded. The intense passion of the breathless interval runs has given way to mechanical repetition, and, as much is it pains my knees, the hurt I feel as I remember how it used to be is an ever sharper wound.

You see, I think I am falling for someone else – no-one new but someone from my past. Sure, nostalgia plays a part but it’s fast and easy and also intense and sociable. I don’t face the loneliness that I have when I’m with you and I feel more energised than I have in months.

We have just over one month together preparing for The Big One. I know that the temptation will be there to carry on but we must think back to this time. We must remember the darkness, the nagging doubts and insecurities, and the lower body aches which have plagued the winter months.

Let us not be sad and mourn for the past, let us be joyful in the gifts we have given each other. You have taught me much about commitment and made push myself more than I ever thought possible. You have given me a waistline that I thought lost in my teenage years.

No. We are adults you and I, and it is time to face the future. It will be a future of heady dashes around parks and fields, a future of the thunderous footfall at the start of a fast 10k, and a future without the endless exhaustion I have when we are together.

You will always have a special place in my heart and I will remember our time together with warmth.

Yours in gratitude,

Malcolm Bradbrook