Not Yet a Runner.

I’ve been doing boot camp since September. One of my goals has consistently been to a) get better at running b) learn to enjoy running. It is now March and well, I still hate running as much as I did when I first started. It doesn’t feel as bad, but I still hate doing it.

In order to avoid falling on the ground and crying during our runs (which are usually 2.5 – 3 miles long) I try to find little ways to motivate myself to help get me through it. For instance, if on a particular route I usually have to stop at a certain point, I try to go past that point the next time we run that route before stopping to walk and catch my breath. I also try to find markers and pass them. I’ll tell myself “you can stop after you pass this tree coming up!” And then when I get to the tree, I try to go even a little bit farther.

I hate that I have to think so much during my runs, I wish I could just enjoy the music, the fresh air and think about happy things. But, no. I have to fight through every minute of the run. I have to tell myself “JUST GET PAST THIS TREE THAN YOU CAN WALK FOR A MINUTE” the entire run.

Today, we did a 2.5 mile run. The first mile was all uphill. I knew it was going to suck because uphill is the worst. My instructor stayed with me, which was awesome/not awesome because she would only let me stop for 10 seconds at a time. Then she’d be all “Pick it up, RUN!” I was dying, I hated every second of it. At one point, she said “just make it to this stop light, then it’s all flat or downhill.”

I told myself once we made it past that signal, I was going to run the rest of the way without stopping. I’ve told myself that before. I’ve tried doing it. But I have never quite made it without having to stop at some point to catch my breath.

When we turned the corner after passing the signal, I stopped for a few seconds. Then I told myself “Let’s DO THIS!”

I started to run. I ran for a few minutes and then everything in my body was all “STOP AND WALK. STOP AND WALK. WALK WALK WALK.”

But I pushed through. I tried tuning into the music. I tried thinking about other things.

Stop. Stop. Stop. went my brain.

Keep running. Keep running. Keep running. said my heart.

Everything inside of me wanted to stop. But I didn’t. I kept running. And just when I thought I couldn’t keep going, a fellow “Camper” jogged up next to me.

“I can’t stop now.” I thought. “Just keep up with him.”

And I did. And it felt good.

I didn’t stop until we reached the stop light.

My instructor gave me a high five.

“How did that feel?” She asked. “Didn’t it feel amazing.”

“Yes.” I replied. “It felt amazing.”

It probably sounds dumb, but I was so proud of myself for not stopping. Small victories are what keeps me going and coming back for more.

Well, that and all of crazy/fun/mostly crazy things we do.

7 thoughts on “Not Yet a Runner.

  1. Jenna

    PS: You are a runner. That whole “run to the tree and then you can walk” game you’re playing is called a fartlek and if THAT doesn’t make you laugh the next time you play that game — and run just a little bit further, well, come on. You’re a mom of boys. I KNOW YOU’VE GOT TO DEAL WITH FART JOKES.

    1. Y Post author

      What? There is a name for that? AND IT IS FARTLEK? That just might make me like running after all!

  2. Hil

    There is something about the 2-3 mile distance that killed me too. I started running two years ago with a couch to 5k program, and never thought I could survive running the 20 min, then 25 min straight. Couldn’t get it done. A friend said, “it’s mental, not physical.” I thought about that, and one day did all those tricks you talked about, and it worked. I survived. I ran a 5k. I got hooked. I found that I was so amazed at my body, I did love running. It made me feel like someone totally new.

    Then I got addicted to races. I love running with a group of people. I’m slow but I’m there. And I can get it done :). (13.1 miles is my favorite!)

    Great job, runner!

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