Ruminations on Running

As I have trucked through the last few weeks of attempting
to make myself a runner, I have been thinking frequently and
in-depth about why I hate running so much. I have had conversations
with both Dan and my father on the topic, and after my 35 minutes
trek this morning, I think I may have found the answer. Like most
weaknesses, it lies within my insecurity. When I played soccer in
high school, we did a LOT of running. Sprints, long distance, a
combination of both. I was by no means one of the top runners, no
matter what my skills on the field. Being a very competitive
person, I became increasingly embarrassed about my inability to
keep up with some of the fastest girls I’d ever run up against. I
found myself giving up frequently and making excuses for why I was
doing it. I would say that I regret this course of action, but the
reality is that it is more productive for me to look at it as a
learning experience. There were many things I didn’t give up on,
and this is one that I wish I hadn’t. I find that often, before
hopping on the treadmill, I am talking myself out of it before I
even get there. I realized today, as Dan got on the machine next to
me, I didn’t want him so close – judging me, beating me (he is a
MUCH faster runner than me). I like to find the most secluded
treadmill in the joint, so that I can run when I want to run, take
breaks to walk if I need to without judgment from neighboring
treadmills. I have designated myself as a “non-runner,” resigned to
the fact that it is one aspect of fitness I will never be good at
or embrace. The great fact about the treadmill runs I have been
forcing myself to do lately is that it has brought me to terms with
all of this. I never would have realized these feelings or my
relationship to running. Now I can evaluate it and move forward. I
have made a few running resolutions in light of these revelations:
1. No more negative talk. Running is a chance to improve, to
progress to think positively. 2. No more running goals. At least
for now. First I am going to allow myself to love running for the
sake of running, and then once I have gotten that very important
prerequisite down, I will challenge myself more with time
constraints, 5k runs and distance challenges. 3. Running is a great
opportunity. More than most things, running puts a huge strain on
your body and pushes its limits. From now on, I will view it as an
opportunity to thank my body for all that it does for me. 4.
Discipline and getting over my ghosts. I’m not the person I was in
high school and I can do this. I don’t need to opt out of it, and
while I can enjoy pursuing it, I can still discipline myself to
work at it as well. When you make fitness a part of your life, it
is all easy to become complacent. There have certainly been LARGE
portions of my fitness life that I have become comfortable with a
certain routine that I repeated many times over. I find, however,
that I am more likely to stay interested and get a better training
experience, when I evaluate constantly and re-shift my program
accordingly. Running is just another phase in that process. I will
continue to battle on.

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5 thoughts on “Ruminations on Running

  1. I respect the way you consider and evaluate your relationship with running. I used to love running (when I was YOUNG), and then I used to hate running (I associated it with pain and punishment), and then one day in 2009, I went for a run with my partner and my dogs in some homemade shoes…and it was … so fun! actually, enlivening! thrilling! relaxing! I usually take it slow though…I’m not in any rush; I intend to let my body tell me how fast and how long it wants to go. patience patience patience…
    congrats on your endeavors and ever-progressing relationship with running–

  2. You rock, Mol.
    I admire your stength, and what it took to not only come to your conclusions but to then also reveal these personal struggles on your blog. Your thought process is inspiring.

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