Wednesday, October 13, 2010
My Love/Hate Relationship with Running
I began running in high school here and there running back and forth to my grandmother's house (which was a mile up the road, so 2 miles roundtrip). All hill. I didn't run at all through college, then all of a sudden something clicked when I ballooned up to 170lbs (running a marathon had always been on my bucket list but not something I thought I would ever actually be able to attain). That was 2004. I ran on and off for the next couple of years. Then I got serious.
I wanted to run longer, faster, and more efficiently. I started running more consistently and signed up for my first race in September of 2006. I didn't do all that well, but loved the actual racing aspect of it. I kept running semi-consistently and did a few more races (a few 5 milers, a few Turkey Trots) then in spring of 2009 I finally decided I was going to sign up for a half marathon.
I signed up for the Baystate Half Marathon (the marathon portion of this is one of the races that's known for being easiest to qualify for Boston). The race was in October. I trained all summer, running 4 or 5 days a week, getting up to a long run of 15 miles a couple of times. I started out my training being so hopeful and excited about finally being what I thought was a "serious" runner. I suffered through knee trouble, plantar fascitis, and pretty much a constant soreness. By the time the race finally came around, I was tired. So tired that I wasn't even excited anymore. I didn't love running and saw it more of something that I had to do, a chore. My long runs on the weekend were taking up most of my day including prepping, running, and recovering.
After the half, I gave up. I had become so disillusioned with running that I just stopped doing it. I probably ran a few miles once a month for the next 9 months. It was around my birthday this year that I realized that I kind of missed it. I missed the feeling I used to get finishing a really good run. I missed the ease of just being able to go outside and go rather than schlep to the gym. So I started running a little bit again. I even joined a running club. I found a path by my new apartment that was fantastic. And slowly I have gained back the stamina that I had a year ago. The running bug has bitten me again.
As I mentioned last night, I am going to sign up for a half in the spring. Boston's Run to Remember to be exact. This time I am not going to make the same burnout mistakes. I am going to take it easier on my training schedule, and I am going to enjoy every minute because being able to run is a gift. A gift that I took for granted last year and almost let slip away. A year ago I hated running. Today I realize how much I love it.