My Love Hate Relationship with Running

A couple months ago I signed up for one of my favorite races, the Seattle Seahawk 12k. The first time I did this race four years ago I was training six days a week for my second half marathon. I considered it an important part of my preparations. I had a blast.

Last year I was once again signed up and missed the run because two weeks before the race I got sick and couldn’t recover in time to participate. I was bummed. In the weeks leading up to the race I’d once again been running six days a week and felt pretty strong.

The thing is I’m a terrible runner. I’m slow and look awkward when I run. At my fastest a little less than four years ago I ran at a ten minute mile pace, with the occasional 9:30 mile mixed in.

Oh and another thing, I hate running. It is mentally and often physically painful. I have never once felt the “runner’s high” so many of my runner friends talk about.

You might wonder why in the world I do it. I do it to prove to myself that I can. I can make time for myself. I can do something that makes me feel stronger. I can ignore the voice in my head telling me to stop.

I also do it to show my kids physical activity is important. I do it to show them how to set and work on achieving goals. I want my kids to see me sweat. I want them to see me push myself. I want them to know that when life gets tough it’s okay to give yourself a pep talk as you struggle through.

This week as I did speed work, hill repeats and ran my first four mile run in over a year I was once again reminded how much I hate running. I remembered how much hard work it takes and how much easier it is to sit on the couch and read a book.

But when I logged my workouts into dailymile and saw my lifetime stats I smiled (1,000 miles logged to date in 301 workouts). And when my son rode his bike as I ran my four miles yesterday I loved spending time with him. These are just two examples of why I love running.

 Just think, if I hadn’t had four miles to run yesterday, I probably wouldn’t have spent 45 minutes with my son. And that time is precious and just doesn’t happen often enough.

3 thoughts on “My Love Hate Relationship with Running

  1. So inspiring! Thank you for sharing your confession of not loving running but doing it anyway. Your children are blessed to have you as an inspiration!

  2. Let’s be honest. No one *likes* to run. We do it for the challenge, for those few precious moments to be alone in my head, to burn off the frustration of a work day. In the end, ironically we d like to run……for those indescribable moments that occur because of it.

  3. Sometimes we have to do things we don’t enjoy, but I hope kiddo sees the lesson that, despite hating running, you still DO find things you enjoy in it. I’ve never been a runner either–in fact, until my late 20s, public school phys ed had created enough punitive and negative associations that I hated to exercise at all. While I’m not running now (imagine that), I’m hoping that in a few months, I will be able to re-embrace the joy I found in exercise, and, perhaps, even find some in running,
    And of course, I know how you feel…awkward and slow. But. You’re going faster and far more graceful than someone sitting at home on the couch. And great example overall for the kids–neither or my parents exercised, and however subtle that impression may have been, I want to leave our son with the knowledge that there is joy to be had in movement,

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