If I had a relationship with running on facebook, I would definitely choose the status that says, “It’s complicated.”
I’ve participated in sports since I was a little girl…and I hated conditioning! I hated running sprints, I hated running distances, I hated running suicides, I hated running any distance for any extended period of time. When I ran track in eighth grade I was certain that I suffered from shin splints…now looking back, I’m pretty sure I had a psychological case of any illness that required me to run less…not shin splints. I hated running because it was hard. However, I also hated losing at anything I did…so I worked my little gooloo off to become the best runner I could be so that I could be the best at my sport.
After I depleted all my opportunities to play team sports in high school, I felt a little bit lost. How was I going to stay fit and active? I loved sports, but I still didn’t enjoy running. How would I make myself run if I didn’t have a coach making me run anymore?
At one time in my life, I had this crazy idea that I wanted to lose weight. I thought I would be so much happier if I was…oh, I don’t know…five pounds lighter. Did I need to lose weight? No, not at all. Then I thought I’d be happier ten pounds lighter. My ideal number for happiness kept getting smaller and smaller. I feel lucky that I can look back now with perspective on the subject. I know that weight loss does not equal happiness.
I ran. I thought it would be the best way for me to lose weight. I would weigh myself, then workout, then immediately weigh myself again in the hopes that I would have lost some weight.
I still hated running.
I hated running because it was a means of negatively judging myself. I ran because I wanted to lose weight. Running was miserable.
At the beginning of this year, I set a goal to run a half marathon, and I was completely committed to make this happen. I printed off a twelve week plan and stuck to it. I didn’t really think about whether or not I was enjoying running. After my first race in February I had an epiphany. I actually had fun running. It almost sounded like an oxymoron to me…fun and running.
I have thoroughly enjoyed running this year. I love being able to cross off another workout on my plan. I love being able to finish a new distance for my long runs. I realized that when I stopped running as a means of weight loss or weight control, and focused on my positive goals…a half marathon, to become stronger, to have a healthy heart, I began to absolutely love it!
Don’t get me wrong. My legs are tired! I feel like I have a new muscle strain everyday. And I do have bad runs…lots of them. Perfect example…this weekend. I had my last long run (11 miles) before my half marathon this Saturday. I was excited to run because the sun was out and it was the warmest day of the year so far so I didn’t have to run on the treadmill. I drove to campus and started running…after four miles I felt like I was not going to be able to finish. After five miles I stopped for water and chugged half my water bottle. I continued running, and after two more miles I needed more water. I stopped and finished my water bottle, then continued running. Two more miles later I needed more water, so I ran up to the Student Rec Center and filled up. This cycle continued until I finished all eleven miles. I felt like death. I thought to myself, how will I ever finish a half marathon when I almost died running eleven today?! I told myself after next Saturday I would never run again!
Then afterward, I felt so accomplished. I was amazed with myself. Yes, it was extremely difficult…but I finished. I really ran eleven miles.
I am definitely looking forward to tapering this week, and I am beyond excited for the race on Saturday. I know that I will complete the half marathon, and maybe I will surprise myself. I am also looking forward to taking a little break from running. I don’t know how long yet…it may only last a day or two, or maybe I will take two or three whole weeks off. I plan on listening to my body and doing what it tells me! I do plan on continuing running while I still love it. I am still playing with the idea of running a full marathon this year. We will see! 🙂
Why do you love or hate running?
What do you love to do?
What are some things you hate to do?