My love/hate relationship with running. But mostly hate.

Someone once said, “Pain is temporary, pride lasts forever.”

I’m not sure who it was, but if they were alive, I’d very much like to speak with them. Yeah, unknown person, I GET that pain is temporary, but did you also know that pain is painful? Well, let me tell you, it really, really is.

Especially if you’re me. Me, who doesn’t do the exercise thing all that well. For a while, it seemed as if I was making a breakthrough (owed, in part, to a fitness fiend friend, Jason, who was on my ass about exercising almost every day) – I was running (poorly) at least twice a week, and doing various core workouts to switch things up a bit.

Unfortunately, it didn’t last as long as I would have hoped. I started running a bit more and forgot that I could still do pushups or ab exercises. And then one day, I got too busy to run. And my diabolical little brain said, “Well, if you didn’t do it today, who says you have to do it tomorrow?”

I loved this logic. And so I continued on it. I would get up in the morning, and immediately think, “You are up now, you should run,” followed by, “You are still lying down, you should sleep.” Ultimately, I got a lot of sleep.

Then yesterday came, when Jason asked me, “Hey, did you run today?”

I looked at him incredulously. “Today? Today is Sunday.”

“So?”

“So I never run on Sundays. I’ll do it tomorrow.”

“Yeah and you never run on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays…” he trailed off.

Brain said, “You know, he’s right. SLACKER.” Sigh. Way to turn on me, brain.

So this morning, I got up at 10:30am. Brain said, “Sleep?” And as much as I wanted to, I couldn’t go back to sleep. I knew I needed to get up. I knew that if I waited even 30 minutes more, I would do some Jedi-mind tricking to convince myself not to go and the next time I saw Jason I would live in this horrible spiral of shame wherein I would just kind of smile when he asked me if I ran (because, he would ask me) and we’d both know that I completely sucked when it came to health and life and love and the pursuit of happiness…

Slowly, I (begrudgingly) got dressed to go running. And then I decided to check Facebook. And my e-mail. And my Yahoo account which I haven’t checked in… a while. And the brain said, “Amanda. Get. Off. Your. Ass.” And I just kept on deleting emails from the Yahoo account (there were 287). It was absolutely necessary and super important.

When I looked at the clock again, it was 11:15. “FINE!” I said to myself. I went out, walked to the park, and started to run. My legs said, “I don’t like this.” My lungs said, “I really don’t like this.” My brain said, “You should have slept.” I said to myself, “Focus on the breaths, like you wrote about yesterday.” My brain said, “Shut up, you fucking moron.”

For 30 minutes, I did a lot of walking and some running. I cried inwardly and tried not to imagine that everyone I passed was making fun of the stupid girl who was trying to run. I only made it once around, but at least it was something.

On the walk back home, a little old lady gave me a pamphlet to a Baptist church. “God’s Simple Plan of Salvation,” it said. Huh. I think I’ll take this as a sign. I mean, if God wants me to run…

… then maybe I’ll go tomorrow.

279 Responses to “My love/hate relationship with running. But mostly hate.”

  1. DJMattB241

    I try to run every day.
    Ha.

    I run what I would call “most days.”

    Here was the key for me: I had to make it like a game. If there weren’t challenges and achievements and stuff like that, I would never bother. So I got an iPod Nano and Nike Plus. It charts my runs in a non-“you suck at running” kind of way, congratulates me when I make a new fastest time, etc.

    Also along with this, you have a lady in your headphones letting you know how you’re doing, playing music for you, etc.

    Google makes a similar thing for Android-powered phones, I can’t remember what it’s called though. It uses GPS to track your progress, whereas Nike Plus uses a little sensor that goes on your shoe.

    Anyways, I suck at running too. I think my fastest mile recorded by N+ is 11 minutes. That sucks. But I’m still working on it. I can feel myself getting better, and I have all these positive feedback loops that happen when I run, due to the software.

    Just a thought. Good blog. :)

  2. amanda

    Nike Plus? Does it come separately from the Nano, or is it something that comes on the new iPods along with the chip that goes on your foot? I’m so confused. But intrigued. I probably do have an app that would help me on my phone, but I try to carry as little as possible – keys and a bottle of water in one hand, music device in the other.

    Thanks, love. Talk soon.

  3. Posky

    I always made the assumption that the sort of people that go running are all over-active dullards. They have motivation but lack the passion and insight to be interesting.

    This post proves, once again, that prejudice is usually groundless. You runners have the same thoughts and internal struggles that the rest of us do. I may not understand running but perhaps I now understand runners a little bit better.

  4. amanda

    Here’s to hoping I never become an “over-active dullard.” That would be frightening. Even more frightening than the sight of me trying to run.

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