The title should read Learning to “Love” Running Again. Ugh.
Alternative titles for this post:
Learning Not to LOATHE Running
My Love/Hate Relationship With Running
You see where I’m going with this?
Years ago, I was a “runner.” Actually- let me fast forward a little further: years ago I was very overweight, had a high percentage of body fat and would never dream of setting foot in a gym. I used to fake sick on the days that we had to run the mile in gym class. Running was torture. The idea of actually running voluntarily was completely alien to me.
This month actually marks 10 years of exercising regularly for me! Back when I was 23 I was working as a receptionist for an oxygen company during the day and going to grad school at night. My co-worker and friend Michelle convinced me to start going to the gym near our office with her during our lunch hour. We would sometimes go after work- usually just hopping on the elliptical and taking the occasional Rep Reebok class (which was similar to Bodypump). It didn’t take long for me to get hooked and all of the sudden I found myself actually enjoying exercise and hitting the gym 5 times a week.
And then I started running. For some reason, I always had it in my head that you weren’t a real athlete unless you were a runner (for the record I don’t think that anymore). I can still clearly remember going for those first few outdoor runs. I started off by walking for a minute, running the next, and so on. Then my runs got longer- I could run for one mile without stopping, then two, three and so on. In 2005, A friend and I decided to sign up for a 5k race. It was my first race ever and I was nervous! I set a goal for myself to finish in 30 minutes or less. I finished in 28:30 and felt great! I ran another 5k a few weeks later and was signing up for races left and right. I started dating Greg shortly after that and we signed up for a few races together (we didn’t run them together- he’s way faster than me!).
We ran a the same local 5k three years in a row and both placed 2nd in our age groups the second year (out of about 100 people!). That was pretty awesome.
I started increasing my mileage and started thinking about running a half marathon. It seemed like a really great challenge and realistic goal with where I was at so I took the plunge and registered for the Baltimore Half Marathon. I trained for it by running 8-10 mile runs 2-3 times a week (and shorter runs 1 other day). I felt good and strong and prepared for race day. When the day came I had a goal of finishing in 2 hours. The course was pretty tough with lots of big hills. It was also great because there were spectators along the entire 13.1 miles cheering us on. I got a sharp pain in my I.T. band around mile 7 but just kept running. I ended up finishing in 1 hour and 58 minutes.
I was really proud of myself for finishing the race, but really messed up my I.T. band. It ended up being about 3 months until I could run again.
After that, I ran a few 5k, 8k and 10k races but they became fewer and further between. Running started to seem like work and I stopped enjoying it as much. The only kind of running I still liked doing was running on trails because it was lower impact (and I just really liked being out in the woods).
In the last two years I’ve run two races (and actually signed up for three, but ended up backing out of one). One was a 5k last summer (while visiting Colorado) and the last was the Bolder Boulder 10k.
I felt like crap for most of this race- but I think that was mostly due to the high elevation (we had just moved out here a few weeks before) and the lack of cardio I had done before.
Since I’ve been teaching Spinning and Bodypump, running hasn’t been a part of my regular exercise routine. Now that I’ve moved and gotten a job at a new gym, I’ve cut back on my classes so that I can have a little more variety in my workouts. I recently decided that I want to start running again. Not a lot- just a few miles. When I was running a lot years ago I always thought that I had to run at least 6 miles for it to really mean anything. Looking back, I think that’s just dumb. I’d like to be able to go out and enjoy a 2-3 mile run. I’m not using any gadgets or tools- not running for time and calories burned or training for a race. I’m just running to run. And if I don’t like it- I’ll stop.
I’ve logged three runs this week- all about 2 miles each. Having the beautiful mountain views by my house definitely helps!
Will I love running again? Maybe. I just hope not to hate it.
Have a spectacular weekend!
What’s your relationship with running like?