I have an odd relationship with running. When I first started out, I read about all the addiction that was running and that I would get head over heals to the point where I would actually miss running if I had to take a break.
I’ve never felt that. And when I’m running I really don’t feel like I’m enjoying myself. I don’t run along with a huge grin on my face. Instead I picture my sofa and the massive meal I’m going to eat when I get home because ‘I’ve earned it’. I have been regularly known to shout ‘Why am I doing this?!” to my running buddies….. motivating for them I’m sure!
On a recent shopping trip I popped into Victoria’s Secret PINK and spotted a vest which proudly stated ‘I Hate Running’. Sadly they’d run out of stock, but should I see it again, I’ll snap it up. Other than the amusement I’ll get from wearing it at the gym on a treadmill day (though, probably to no one else’s amusement), the vest bears a statement which is fairly true.
So why do you keep running, I hear you ask? Well I do get something out of it – achievement and well deserved smugness. I love the after feeling of a run, knowing I’ve just slogged it out for half an hour or more. I like the feeling of sweating more than I’ve ever sweated before and it feels like some kind of really gross detox. I enjoy the muscle aches I get after a really hard workout, and I really enjoy seeing improvements in speed, distance or general fitness no matter how long that takes. And I really REALLY like getting shiny medals.
I’m very hard on myself. I love learning new things, but I hate the learning part. I want the skill or knowledge NOW and have little patience for getting things wrong. I think this adds to the struggles I face when running. Plus the little voice in my head telling me I can’t do it is very persuasive at times.
After completing a half marathon last year, I know I wasn’t ready physically or mentally for it. It had seemed, at the time, like the natural next step from the 5k and 10k races I’d been running. But what I should have done was take off the pressure and just get better as those shorter distances. So that’s what I’m doing now. I currently complete 2 runs a week of around 5k (depending on whether the little voice throws a wobbly – I’m starting to sound like a schizophrenic….) and that’s fine with me. Incidentally, the voice is winning less often.
So do I hate running? Well, kinda. But it’s very possible I’ve done that to myself. With the Bupa 10,000 booked in for May, all I have to do is be able to run a comfortable 6 miles by then. And that’s more than achievable. By taking the pressure off and continuing loosely scheduled training I’m hoping that by the end of the summer I’ll be able to switch off, enjoy myself and just run.