So, I’ve been trying to run for a long time. Or maybe a short time, but it seems long to me. The latter part of 2010 has been spent with me trying to become a runner, first with half-marathon training and then with Couch to 5K. I’ve been frustrated with my progress thus far. I’m frustrated with how slow I am, how low my endurance is, and how I still can’t freaking run 3 miles without stopping.
The truth is, running isn’t fun for me. I worry about it all day until the time rolls around for my run. (I have to be at work at 6:30am so morning runs are not an option Monday – Friday.) I dread it. I can probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve been excited for a run. (And half of those would be race days.) And running is hard. Really, really hard. And not just hard in the way it’s supposed to be. My ankles kill me almost the entire time. I get side stitches that feel like someone is stabbing me with multiple knives from inside my stomach. I spend the majority of my runs hating my life and wondering why I subject myself to this torture.
And I never, ever think these thoughts with any other form of exercise.
I follow 82 blogs currently. A good quarter of those bloggers are runners. And I would estimate 5-10 of those bloggers are hardcore runners. People who run 8-minute miles and think they had a bad run. People who are striving to become ultra marathoners, a feat I cringe at. And while I don’t exactly compare myself to them, the fact the majority of the healthy-living bloggers that I follow are runners, makes me believe I need to be a runner, too. Running is cool! It’s popular! If they can do it, I can do it! But what if I don’t like running? What about the dread I feel leading up to a run and the only part that brings me happiness is being finished?
It’s a debate I come back to again and again. Why am I running? Am I doing it because I love it? My mom loves it. She looks forward to her runs (not every run, but most of them) and absolutely enjoys herself while running. I don’t love it. Am I doing it because that’s what’s popular? All the bloggers are doing it!
I have an intense love for races, though. I love the atmosphere, the swag, the feeling of crossing the finish line. I feel like the only time I enjoy running is during a race.
Basically, I just don’t know what to do. Running has seemed to overtake my life, but it’s still coming incredibly hard for me. And I don’t really enjoy it. On the other hand, I have never felt the kind of accomplishment and happiness that I get when I complete a run. It feels awesome. But I also dread it. I don’t look forward to it and it just plain hurts. And not a good, I’m-getting-a-great-workout hurt. I also miss doing other forms of exercise because I’m trying so hard to run often and build up my endurance. I want to take Spinning classes and yoga. I want to bike more and strength-train.
What say you, blog readers? If you’re a runner, do you love it? How do you deal with these feelings, if you ever have them? Should I give up this “dream” to be a runner (I’m not even sure if it’s a dream I have, or just a way to fit in with healthy-living bloggers)? Should I scale back? WHAT DO I DO?