I know, I know, I missed my weekly Weigh In Wednesday update. Things are fine. I lost weight. Yay. Maybe I’ll get to that later some other time, but I just had to share some feelings in the moment right now.
I have been hating running a lot lately. Yes. I said that. I’m training to run my first 5K in a year, and most days, I hate running. I don’t want to do it. At. All. I keep wondering when that is going to change. When am I going to enjoy it again?
Well, to be honest, I never really could say “I love running.” It was more how I felt afterward. And I guess I am just not getting those feelings these days.
This time around, the actual physical part of running is more difficult. When I started running for the first time, I had been walking consistently for 6 months and was in pretty good shape, and I was 20 lbs lighter. I also have a previous knee injury that 20 lbs of pressure can make a big difference on.
The first time I tried, I was delighted with how far I could go. This time, I know how far and how much faster I have gone, and I feel defeated by how little I can do. I feel so weak and sore in so many places, I have a hard time getting past it.
Tonight was rather eye opening for me, so I thought I’d share the “evolution” my run. I hadn’t run since last Saturday. I’ve got a little over 2 weeks until the race, and I already had to skip a run this week. It was actually beautiful weather for a run, rather than the sweltering heat that has already engulfed the South. I was hoping it would set my mind straight, but I still had no desire to do it. I just knew I had to, so I made myself get out there.
I had been a little emotional earlier today about other things, and after what felt like only a minute or two of running, what felt like in slow motion, I just started bawling crying. I. HATE. RUNNING.
I hate it! That is all I could think. It was all I could say in my head. I wanted to stop. I wanted to give up. I had no idea why I was continuing to do this to myself. Why am I torturing myself?!? Everything hurts! This isn’t fun! Why did I sign up for the f$%ing race!?!? What am I trying to prove?! I look and feel like I’m dying! I don’t want anyone to see me look so pathetic, and I signed up for a race?!? I HATE THIS!!!
Although I managed to make the crying stop, I continued thoughts like these for a very long time. There were times I felt like I was barely running… more like flopping forward at a snail’s pace. I was dripping beads of sweat, and I was barely passing leisurely walkers. I wanted to stop.
But I didn’t.
I even dropped my phone (I just hold it in my hand) for the first time ever during a run. I was just not with it. I grunted and got angry, and stopped and walked over to it, and walked and whimpered, about to cry again, while I readjusted my music and headphones. I had thoughts of just giving up and walking, but I started running again.
Then there were moments I started saying, you are stronger than this, run faster. So I did here and there. And then there were moments that it wasn’t feeling so hard. And then eventually, I had already gone 2 miles. And because the run had been so horrible, that when I got to the requisite 2.5 miles, I decided I should go further because look how far I had already gone when I thought I couldn’t. I needed to prove to myself that I could do the whole 5K… Even when it sucks.
And I did it. I ran the whole thing… Ok, less the half-minute or so I had to stop for the phone dropping incident. And I even threw in a few “sprints” to try to make up the speed. But the truth of the matter is, I’m not trying to worry about my pace. I’m trying to just finish. And I did.
By the end of my run, it really wasn’t as hard as the first part, and I wasn’t so negative. I wasn’t hating running anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t fall in love with it, but I remembered why I enjoy it. Because it shows me that I can do more than I think I can. I didn’t think I was going to make it through the first mile, or even minute. I may not be physically or mentally as strong as I would like to be, but I have just proven that I am strong enough to persevere. I have proven to myself that I still have determination.
I was smiling when I was done with that run. It is how I feel afterward. It’s just that sometimes it is hard to remember that when my foot first hits the path. And it doesn’t truly matter how far or fast I go. I have to remember that I am not in competition with anyone else. This is for me.
I know this may sound like a foreign concept for all those out there who are true lovers of running, but maybe this will help that one person that wonders, when will I stop hating this so much? I’ve actually had people ask me that. I asked myself that tonight. For me, it is a love/hate relationship. I often hate doing it, especially at first, but then it gets better, and then when I’m done… I feel stronger. I feel accomplished. I feel proud.