My Love/Hate Relationship With Running.

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I’m walking here, don’t worry!

“So, wait a minute,” Mark said, clearly trying to take stock. “You don’t like running outside because it makes your legs hurt, plus it’s too cold, icy, windy, too hot, foggy, dark and there are ‘people’?”

“Right.”

“But you don’t like running at the gym because…it’s boring?”

“Correct.”

He paused. Thinking.

“I’m just wondering if running is really the sport for you?”

Yeah, I wonder that, sometimes. Ok, most times. Often just as I’m about to start and sort of…forget…how to do it. I know, it sounds daft, but it’s like my old bones and muscles go into revolt at the thought of what’s to come. They seem to send a message to my brain, which makes me unable to work out exactly how to begin.

It results in an ungainly gallomp until my body gets used to the movement again – although, even then, you’d never say that I was a natural runner.

To hear me talk about it, you would probably think I absolutely loathe it. So why do I carry on? Why have I just completed the C25K programme for what feels like the 500th time?

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It’s all about a feeling.

Oh, the weight loss and increased fitness are definitely on the pro list but the thing that keeps me going back is that sometimes for a few seconds minutes while I’m running there comes a point when my mind and body are in perfect harmony. I feel incredibly strong, euphoric, almost; like, at that moment, I could take on the world. And win. More than that I feel like an actual runner.

There’s no build up, no clue that it’s about to happen. It could be in the middle or near the end but it’s elusive. One minute I might be thinking about something Freya said earlier or what I’m going to do after I finish and then it hits me. Hold on! I go through a check list in my head.

Pain in legs – none.

Breathing – normal.

Rhythm – steady.

Mind – calm.

Feeling – invincible.

And there it is.

All that effort – and some days believe me, it is a major effort – but so worth it. It never lasts long while I’m running. I’m either distracted by something or my rhythm goes but it sets me up for the day (or at least a couple of hours afterwards until I feel like I might need a nap). I can see why they say exercise is so good for mental wellbeing.

I’m not sure if what I’m feeling is the legendary “runner’s high” they talk about because I don’t think I’m running hard enough or long enough for that but there’s no doubt that it makes me happy, even as a plodder.

I may moan about running and I may stop every now and then but that’s what keeps me coming back. Injury after injury. Illness after illness. Year after year.

Are you a runner? Do you have a love/hate relationship with it too? Why do you run?

 

 

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19 thoughts on “My Love/Hate Relationship With Running.

  1. I’m not a runner, Tara, but I have, much to my surprise, become a swimmer. I love chugging up and down the pool. It provides great thinking time – I planned a large proportion of a trilogy last autumn while swimming. And it makes me feel good too.

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    1. Maybe I need to get into swimming. I can’t seem to switch off when I run, especially on a treadmill when Im worried I’m going to fall off if I stop paying attention 🙂

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  2. Your relationship with running sounds like a challenge worthy of continuing. I love walking…last summer and fall I walked with my neighbors for two miles each time. My legs would hurt and I’d be out of breath on hills but I felt alive and healthy to a point. All winter I haven’t exercised because gym equipment bores me and I’m waiting for the snow and ice to melt. I’m looking forward to getting out again for our walks. Good luck with your running! 😄

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  3. Hi Tara, I’ve recently started running/ plodding again after a short break. I’d been getting pains in my hips that I was worried about, but the niggles were the same whether I plodded or not, but my frame of mind wasn’t. I’ve never run on a treadmill before, but one of the beauties about running outside is the sound of nature and once you get to a certain point there is no turning back… And the secret of not being seen is leaving the house before the world wakes up, it worked for me, now I don’t worry who sees me and believe me I am no natural runner either.

    xx

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    1. Good on you, Debbie. So pleased you’ve managed to get back to it. I like running into the sunrise but it’s just too stressful to get across the city to my running buddy and back in time to take Freya to school now. I can’t run on my own at that time because I don’t think it’s safe 😦 Nevermnd, the treadmill works at the moment (and it’s definitely easier on my legs).

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  4. Sometimes I wonder if I actually like running, or I’m just addicted to the feeling I get afterwards once I’ve done it. I think I have moments where I feel like you, invincible, and the rest is hard and hot and huffy and uncomfortable. But then I feel great so I forget and do it all again!!

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  5. I’ve just taken up running again and I am aiming to stick at it. And for the first couple of weeks it’s always the same. I spend half the time just thinking ‘I hate this, I hate this, I hate this.’ But then I get to the end and I feel so happy that I’ve done it. But I can never seem to keep hold of that feeling. Because that feeling is why I keep going. But the next time I run.. Again I just think I hate this.
    I did my first park run at the weekend and it was a killer. I had to do 2 laps and after the first one I just thought ‘what am I doing here!?’ But when I finished I was just so proud of myself. There was a moment about half way through the second lap that the euphoria moment kicked in. And it just felt so good! I’m always hoping that there will come a time that I will start to look forward to a run haha!

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  6. I stumbled across this post whilst looking for blogs to follow (I’ve recently started my own but it’s in the very early stages!) and this post made me giggle to myself! I’ve started running again this week after a LONG hiatus and I definitely still hate it but definitely still love it too – so I’m glad I’m not the only one!!!

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    1. It’s a funny old thing, isn’t it. I wish you good luck getting back into it. I can highly recommend the couch to 5k apps, if you need help. Best wishes for your blog too.

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