I live this theory in all my fitness activities...except running. After two and a half years I STILL don't love running. I have yet to experience the "runner's high" that people talk about. Once in a while, around the 40 minute mark, I do find that it's all a bit easier and I forget JUST how much I hate it, but there has to be more to this illusive "high" than that, right? However, I DO love the feeling of finishing a run - the stretching, the exhaustion, the sore muscles, the warm shower and even the agony of the foam rolling.
The one part of running that I do enjoy (apart from when it ends) is participating in races. The running pretty much still sucks, but I love the energy of the crowd, the cheering supporters and of course - the bling. I have no delusions that I will ever place, and I don't necessarily even compete against myself to continually better my time. I register to get out there, and to give myself motivation to keep training. Yes, it is nice when I beat my previous time, but it's not a necessity.
There are 4 key things that keep me going, or at least play a big part in it. Without these elements included I don't know that I would ever get out there.
- Music. Without my playlist pumping through my earbuds with a delicate volume balance somewhere between drowning out my steps and breathing and allowing me to hear traffic and other noises, I would be in hell. Mr Awesome is a DJ and he has mixed my playlist and made every single song the same bpm (beats per minute) as my running cadence so it's seamless between songs and I keep the same pace the whole time.
- Race registrations. I always have a race in the future, registered and committed to, to give me added accountability. My next race is the January 1 Resolution Run 5k in Vancouver, and then two weeks later Mr Awesome and I are off to Anaheim for the runDisney Star Wars Half Marathon. 2015 marks my 40th birthday and the plan is to run this one in January in California and then the Wine & Dine half in Orlando in November for my birthday. That qualifies you for an extra medal for what they call the Coast to Coast challenge. That brings me to my next motivator...
- Bling and swag. I have to admit, it there's not good swag or a medal, I'm not likely to participate. I have a medal hanger in our bedroom and proudly display all my race medals. The Resolution Run actually comes with a free running jacket!
- My family. Whether Mr Awesome is in the race with me or waiting with the kids at the finish line, having that support means everything. The kids come running with me sometimes, and are pretty stoked at the plan to run in the family 5k at the runDisney Wine & Dine Half Marathon weekend in November 2015.
The weird thing is that even thought I don't like it, I find myself craving it. I see people out running and wish I was out there too. A beautiful cool sunny day has me thinking about how great it would be to go for a run. Clearly I have lost my mind.
I will keep running. And perhaps one day I will learn to love it.