I’m going to let you in on a terribly kept little secret.
Sometimes, more often than I care to admit, I don’t like running. In fact, I don’t use the H word often but I might have said that I’ve *hated* running once or twice.
I’m sorry, I’m sorry; Please don’t shun me from the runner’s club!
I say it’s terribly kept because I’ve got no qualms telling anyone who asks what I truly think about running. My relationship with running has always been tumultuous. In fact, the “it’s complicated” status would be what I’d use to describe us (you know, if Facebook wanted to know the nitty gritty details of me and running).
It’s just that, well, there are some days that I’m quite reluctant to run. Once I’m moving, the reluctantly usually subsides, but the motivation to get going is a challenge. I always wind up doing it because I’m fairly driven, but I understand and sympathize with people who say to me “I don’t know how you do it.” Because, honestly, there are days when I’m not sure myself how I do it.
I just do.
I run on the treadmill more than I run on the road, because that’s what currently fits in my life. And also because I feel like when I run outside, people are judging me. The rational part of me knows otherwise but the scared girl who walked around the track in high school instead of running the mile doesn’t want to look foolish.
For years I said those four words that so many people say: I’m not a runner. I had a million reasons why I wasn’t a runner. My knees. My body type. My genetics. It’s Thursday. I don’t run unless I’m being chased.
But the real reason I wasn’t a runner?
Because it’s HARD. Running is a challenge, physically demanding and it occasionally hurts. I remember asking Vic if it gets easier and I think she told me that it does. Or at least that’s what I want to believe she told me because I’m still waiting for that to happen.
Maybe one day?
I sign up for races because I know that it will encourage me to train consistently. I have moments of greatness with running. They usually happen while I’m running alone with my ear buds in and I lose myself in the run. Like I said, it doesn’t happen often but I’m constantly searching for those moments of greatness because I know they exist, the almost mythical creature that shows up just when you start thinking that maybe you imagined the entire thing.
I get a great sense of accomplishment that I’m running. It’s mine, and I don’t have to be the fastest or the best. I’m a non-competitive person by natural, at least where athletics is concerned. So when it comes to running, it’s enough for me that I’m actually doing it, after 34 years of not doing it. I don’t beat myself up (too much) if I don’t hit a PR goal or get upset if I’m 62 out of 67 in my age group. I’ll take it because the fact that I’m participating is what matters most of all.
Let’s get back to those moments of greatness. Lately, they’ve been showing up more, little glimmers that remind me why I do this (other than the health benefits). Maybe I’m actually figuring out this running stuff a bit more. Maybe I’m improving as a runner and therefore I’m seeing them more and it’s all related.
Maybe I actually like running. A little bit.
Okay, fine. A lot.
I can and I will.
Do you find yourself falling more and more in love with running every day? Or is your relationship status “it’s complicated” too? Do you run to race or to say you’ve done it?