Dear running couples of the world,
I wonder if I might intrude upon your inner sanctum of Hallmark-esque living to provide a little piece of insight: I, as a single female runner, am good.
Honestly, I don’t need you to set me up with that guy from work who “jogs on occasion,” and I don’t need to take that self-defense course you heard about at the gym. I carry mace and I have plenty of girlfriends to run with when I desire. I’m actually quite capable of staying safe while running.
No, what I really envy is that you have a built-in masseuse for your post-long runs. While I have to knead my own sore muscles, you have someone to work on that knot in your calf or rub Icy Hot on your IT band. It must be incredible.
It must also be lovely to collapse after a run and be able to summon food just by uttering, “I ran 10 miles.” I say that because, in my fantasies, that simple phrase will ignite the kitchen prowess of a considerate life partner. While you take a warm shower, they’re crafting the perfect stack of pancakes for you to inhale. It must be incredible.
Okay, maybe that’s not what marriage is like. I don’t really know. Here’s what I do know: There are some definite realities of singleness that runners know to be true. And those, my friend, are just some of them.
You know what’s hard about singleness? I have to walk into running stores and only buy clothes for me—and there are just so many options to choose from! And, since I don’t have to budget or plan for two, I’m thinking about registering for that half marathon in the tropics. I’m sure I’ll have to mingle with plenty of good-looking male runners while I’m there. But being polite is important, so it’s a burden I’m willing to bear.
There are other burdens too—like deciding what I want for dinner and figuring out what to do with the free time that I don’t spend cooking when I don’t want to cook. I also have to choose between friends’ homes: Do I want to go to Bridget’s for stuffed lobster or swing by Carrie’s for homemade lasagna? Or do I want to slip on my compression socks, grab my favorite book and order pizza in my pajamas (often the winner, for me)? See how difficult it is!
So yes, I guess there are some perks to being a single runner, but whenever I see you and your significant other jogging down the trail, I’m reminded: That’s the good life. You have someone who will make pancakes for you, add lots of events to your calendar, fawn over the food you laboriously cook and massage your back each night.
Come to think of it…maybe you should pass my number along to that guy at work. It’s about time I find myself a built-in running buddy.