The Joy of Running?

I love running, I really do, else I wouldn’t keep doing it.  But I haven’t yet gotten to the point where running is “effortless” and “fun”.  I enjoy running races, and I had a blast as my race yesterday, but the fun doesn’t start until the race is over.  I don’t know how to really explain it, so I’m hoping some other runners out there have experienced this.

I was pushing hard yesterday to make a new personal best, and I succeeded in that, so that’s fantastic.  But I felt like I was out of breath the whole time, had to walk through the water stop to get even the tiniest sip of water and then I could feel myself slowing down the whole time.  Now, even though I was huffing and puffing the first mile felt great, the second mile was OK, and then the third mile was “God are we done yet”…. I know some of it is from starting out too fast with the race day excitement.  In my training runs I either stay the same speed (treadmill) or start out slow and then speed up (outdoors). On race day it never fails that I start out fast and then slow down as the race goes on.  I had a negative split in my half marathon (mile 3 was the fastest) which was likely from dodging and weaving through traffic and getting set into my pace, but most races that doesn’t happen.

I know the training builds you up slowly, and that’s what the training is for, but every so often I think “If I can barely slog through three miles, how am I ever going to do 13 again?” Obviously, I’m running my three much faster than I ran my last 13, and much faster than I will run my next 13, and I was pushing hard for a PR.

Of course you never know what’s going on in someone’s head.  That person next to me that looks like a gazelle loping along maybe be thinking the same thing I am “God are we done yet?!?” and I’m sure other people would say that *I* make it look effortless which I would argue, but it’s all about personal perception  guess.

I’ve talked to my other running friends, and I didn’t believe it would ever get “easy” but it does get easier, and some days it feels like it is really easy.  My long slow day runs do feel pretty effortless, but I have a hard time dialing the pace back that slow unless I’m with someone slower.  But I guess as long as I keep pushing hard to improve it’s not going to be easy, it’s going to be “work”… not that there is anything wrong with that.  I’m just tossing out the ideas that are in my head at the moment.


1 Comment

  1. I’m waiting for that “fun” and “easy” thing to start too. But maybe, like you say, it’s more about the feeling that comes after the accomplishment than a description of the actual experience…

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  • About Me

    I am a recent graduate in Food Science (NC State, 2009) and I work for a major food manufacturing company. I love food, but I can no longer eat anything that crosses my path. About 24 months ago I begin a serious struggle to get my obesity under control and reduce my chances of developing Type II diabetes. Since September of '09 I have lost 50 pounds and I still have a long ways to go. I've started eating better and exercising more, including taking up running.