i’m in the last month of training for my next marathon. my long runs now are either 18 or 20 miles. this sunday, mr. mountainbike offered to bike with me and carry my fuel. usually, i’ll do a series of out and backs so that i can stage fluids at either my car or the house. this time though, with mr. mountainbike there, i decided to just do a 10 mile out, 10 mile back route.
i had been fixating on sunday for a while now, thinking that this would be the perfect opportunity to talk with him about the ‘waffling’ i had a few weeks back. i had been so fixated on it though, that i didn’t mentally and physically prepare for the run. i usually take some time to visualize the run and focus on feeling strong at the end of the run. i also hydrate very well the few days before a really long run. maybe it was the holiday that threw me off, or my pre-occupation with talking to mr. mountainbike, or the fact that i ended up working all day saturday, i’m not sure. regardless, i didn’t start fueling up properly until saturday afternoon. i did make a huge pasta feed for the two of us on saturday night though, so i did have a chance to carbo-load for sunday.
so, sunday morning comes. it’s cold and clear, perfect weather for a long run. mr. mountainbike met me at marrymoor and we started out. we chatted lightly for the first few miles, while i worked on getting the courage to bring up the topic. and then we caught mary.
mary is one of the regular distance runners that i see on the burke-gilman trail. she’s got to be in her 70’s. she’s run over 60 marathons, including boston several times, and the best thing, she’s crippled. mary has a curvature of the spine that forces her run canted to her right. she is the epitome of perseverance. people that tell me that they can’t run or exercise need to meet mary. anyway, running with mary is always a treat. so, i put aside the plans to talk with mr. mountainbike to enjoy mary’s company. she has the best sense of humor and the two of us chatted and laughed for about 6 miles of my run. when i hit the turn-around point at mile 10, we parted ways, as she was continuing on into seattle.
i don’t know if i had used mary as an excuse to avoid the conversation, but when i made the turn-around, i got one of those adrenaline rushes when you realize the immediacy of the moment. i had 10 miles left to hash all this out. 90 minutes. i figured that i’d better get started, so i blurted out a lame question, “what do you want from me?”. haha he looked at me all confused, so i tried another stab at it and said, “what do you want from us?”. he still continued to look at me quizzically and then he started chuckling. so i started again, and he stopped me and said, “i know what you mean”. i wanted to go into the detail of why i was asking, my past relationship history, how i’m not getting any younger and all that, but he trumped me by starting into a speech.
he said (and i’ll paraphrase-quote him to make it easier), “well, i know it’s only been a few short months, but i’ve learned quite a bit about you since we met. i’ve learned that you make me smile. i’ve learned that you have great compassion for people, and that people are comfortable with you. i’ve learned that you have amazing drive and dedication. i’ve learned that you have a wonderful sense of humor.” he went on with his list, all the while making me blush more and more. he had said all of those things about me. it sounded like a speech that he was giving for some noble prize winner, but he was talking about me. and then he said some things that floored me, “i’ve learned that i wake each morning longing to talk to or see you. i’ve learned that we are perfect partners. i’ve learned that i’ve completely fallen in love with you, and i’ve learned that it’s time that i don’t run away from that.”
i kept running. it was surreal. the “i’ve fallen completely in love with you” still hanging in the air, mixed with my quickening footsteps. i hadn’t said a word since my stupid questions and i was dumbstruck. i had been watching the trail, and i couldn’t help but make coy glances at him. it seemed like forever before i could say anything. and i couldn’t think of any way to respond to that. so i asked for my bottle. haha i took a couple drinks from it and handed it back to him. i felt so silly and giddy. then i realized that i was really moving. i had been picking up the pace as he talked and now i was almost a sprint. so i asked for a walk break. and then i stopped. i finally had something to say, so i looked at him, and with sweat dripping off of my face, i said, “i love you too”. i broke into a silly grin, gave him a quick kiss, said, “tag, you’re it” and took off running again. it was grossly romantic.
i spent most of the remainder of the run just looking at him grinning. i told him about how i’d been freaking out over where the relationship was going and he responded to that by saying that he was committed to me and that he’d like to see if we could develop this relationship into something lasting. a lasting partner, i like the sound of that.
so, whether it was the lack of preparation, or the emotion of the talk during the run, i’m not sure, but i came pretty close to bonking towards the end of the run. mr. mountainbike was right there to spur me on, but miles 14-17 were amazingly tough. it was perfect having him there with me to weather the rough spots though. it was very symbolic, to me anyway.
so, i’ve admitted to it. i love this man. oh boy do i ever.