I have ran three half marathons, a few 10 and 8km races and every Run for the Cure 5km event since it started. I used to run a lot, but I never considered myself a ‘runner’. Why? Because I didn’t love it. Not one second of it! Ok, maybe there was a few moments that I felt good. But for me the good didn’t outweigh the bad!
Here’s my training experience:
I convinced myself that being a runner was the only way to be super fit. Running a half marathon needed to happen.
On a run day I would spend about ten minutes convincing myself that I need to run.
Warm up and start running.
Feel like crap for the first 20-30 minutes.
Once I made it past that time, I would settle into a pace.
Plead with myself the entire run to finish whatever distance or time I needed to do that day.
After finishing my run I would be happy…mostly because it was over.
After long runs, I usually felt sick to my stomach.
I started getting pain in my left sacroiliac joint, glute and hip area. After a while it got so bad that I would have a hard time sleeping at night. It would throb. I was not happy.
I bought expensive orthotics, which made things worse. I convinced myself my body was just getting used to them and that I needed to keep running.
Since 2010, I haven’t run more than 5km.
Why does everyone think running is the best way to be in shape and lose weight?
I agree that it burns calories and can make you feel great, but so can a lot of other forms of activity. If you get the ‘runner’s high’ and love to run then I not only admire you but am also quite jealous! I really love watching a person cross a finish line of a race and have that proud and happy look on their face! I loved when my sister would shatter her previous half marathon race time! I just didn’t love running. I don’t regret my running experience. It made me realize what I DON’T like to do and I think that’s huge.
I remember finishing my last half marathon. There was no one there to cheer me on. I didn’t beat my last finishing time by very much. I was no star at running and suddenly realized I never would be and even more refreshing…I didn’t WANT to be!
Why couldn’t I strength train like I love? Why couldn’t I learn something new like kettlebells or short hill sprints? Why was I doing something that I didn’t love and didn’t even really like?
So I stopped…that was it. Running ‘career’ over!
It’s funny that people think running gets you in the best shape. It might for some people, I can’t say for sure. But from my experience, I’m far leaner and stronger now than when I was running. I like my body a lot more now that I have more muscle definition and can do 5 pull-ups (on a good day!) unassisted and deadlift far more than my body weight.
Sometimes I still go for a short run, but it’s to get to a destination. For example, the other day I ran 2km to get to a set of stairs. I then sprinted up the stairs a bunch of times until I couldn’t any more. I then walked home. I find if I try to go for a run now, I end up just going as fast as I can. It’s almost like I just want to sprint and stop, sprint and stop. That makes me feel good. I don’t have to be a runner to be fit. Neither do you, but you can if you want!
Love to Run? Do it!
Love to Strength Train? Do it!
Love to practice Yoga? Do it!
Love to hike or walk? Do it Damnit!
Do what you love, not what you think will make you the fittest.