Now that I’m back in the swing of things and training full speed for the Disneyland Half Marathon – which, by the way, is a mere 49 days away – I have had what some people (namely, me) would call an epiphany.
Running is hellllllllla boring.
I know some people love it. In fact, I’m sure some of you reading this are, like, “aca-scuse me? Running is awesome. It’s great!”
I’ve never been super gung-ho about running, to be honest. I started doing it because all my friends were and I’m a total sheep (I’ve talked about this before, I’m sure). This is just how my personality works: if other people are into something, I push past them in line and yell, “I WANT IT. I WANT IT. WHAT IS IT?” That’s why I have a closet full of things with the tags still on them. It’s why I have a bathroom closet overflowing with various makeup goodies. And it’s why I started running.
At first I’d just run a mile or two and call it good. I was only training for 5ks, so I didn’t have to worry about those longer distances. And that was boring enough, you know? I’d be running in my ‘hood or at Crissy Field, checking my Garmin every two minutes to see when I could stop. But now that I’m starting to run longer distances – the 5 miles I ran last weekend is the longest I’ve run at one time – I’m just…BORED. SO BORED.
I have tried various techniques to distract myself, including music, TV, story plotting, and bribery (i.e., get to five miles and you can go get yourself a latte, superstar). None of these things really work, sad to say.
Mister Jess and I were talking about this the other day when we were at the gym together, and he said that running is 90% mental. I’ve heard that before and now I know it’s completely true. My body is fully capable of clocking those miles. It’s my mind that’s my enemy: the can we stop yet, can we stop yet, can we stop yet, are we there yet mantra is constant and distracting. I’m continually trying to find ways to shut it up or tune it out.
The good news (I think) is that when it’s time for me to run the Disneyland Half Marathon, I’ll be with Meridith and Cam. I’m sure they’ll be the ultimate distraction while we’re running 13.1 miles (HOW WILL I DO THIS?!).
In the meantime, as always, I’m looking for advice. How do you keep the running boredom at bay? Is it as impossible, or am I just approaching it the wrong way? Talk to me in the comments!
Mister Jess is 100% correct, if you can get through the boredom you can do it. I struggled with this when I first started running long distances too, eventually I learned to get lost in my music or just enjoy the quiet time with myself. Recently I started running with my girlfriend and found I absolutely loved having a running partner, we would chat a bit during the run and it helped the miles fly by. When I did runs without her I found myself getting bored again…. luckily Avengers training just started so for the next 16 or so weeks my kiddo will be my running partner. So my advice, a running partner helps or find a way to embrace quiet time without yourself (for me it meant not thinking about everything I needed to get done at home or errands). Also if you’re not loving it and running isn’t your thing don’t force yourself, there are so many forms of fitness out there do what you love.
Thanks, Heather! I love the feeling of having run after it’s over. It’s just during I’m like UGHHHH. But I think I should re-evaluate after the half to make sure it’s really a good fit for me. Do I like it because I *like* it, or is the community I love? Not sure. I am a very social creature, so that could definitely be it. 🙂
I love a buddy to run with, or music. Long training runs are my favorite broken up into smaller “races” I only tell myself to get to three miles in this neighborhood, 3 there, and just vary it so I can not think of it as 10 horridly boring miles. Good lucky!
That’s such a great way to do the longer runs! Maybe I should do it that way too. Thanks for the advice!
Maybe try loading some audio books to your phone and listening the them while running? I saw that on a commercial and plan to try it one day. I’ve also heard of meditative running which sounds like a bit of multitasking awesomeness. It’s like bringing your yoga practice to your runs by focusing on breath (which I have found helps with my asthma). Runners world has a good article on their site (which I would link for you but can’t ATM). <3 Of course, Meri and Cam will be the best distractions imaginable.
I will totally look into the meditative running. I really need to get back into yoga too. I miss it so much!
I think audio books are a great idea. I listened to them for years while commuting an hour each way to work. It made a totally boring commute something I looked forward to.
With the way I’ve been eating up books lately, I think this is a great idea! THanks, Arlene! 🙂
Agree with the ladies about audio books, and podcasts are another good option! Are you running outside or on a treadmill? Because if you’re running at the gym then I have absolutely no idea how you do it – the treadmill is the most boring thing in the world.
But switch up your routes if you run outside – try some part of your city that you haven’t explored before!
Mostly on the treadmill because we got a new gym membership and it’s easier on my knees! But today I had to run 6 miles, so I did 3 at the gym (SO BORING OMG) and then 3 out on the streets. It went so much faster. I think as I keep getting higher with the mileage, I’ll have to split between the treadmill and outdoors to save my sanity. 🙂
Do you have any running groups you can join? If even one a week or so, where you can socialize, I have found that’s a great way to look forward to a run!
Oh, I’m sure there are running groups here. There have to be in a city this big. I will definitely look into it!
Trust me when I say that you will NOT be bored during the half. Or before. Or after.
I’ll probably be crying after. And before, come to think of it.
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