Home > Uncategorized > Running: Just Another Way to Feel Old and Jiggly

Running: Just Another Way to Feel Old and Jiggly

Last spring I decided to start running.  I quickly discovered something that runners don’t talk about.  Running sucks.  It’s much harder than it should be.  After all, toddlers can do it! People in horror movies can do it!  Thousands upon millions of people in neighborhoods across the world can do it!  I’m here to tell you, it’s all a pack of lies.  Running is ridiculous.  However, running also made me feel pretty bad about my fitness level.  When I started, I thought I was in pretty decent shape.  I had a regular workout routine, I ate pretty well, I had quit smoking and I was within striking distance of my high school weight.  Running was a challenge and I was determined to win.

I took part in some local 5Ks last year and always placed within my age bracket.  Yay, me.  As it turns out, there weren’t all that many women aged 30-35 in my races, but whatever.  A trophy is a trophy.  I woke early and ran religiously before work every morning.  I ran on weekends.  I eventually got to the point where “running” meant maintaining a steady jog the whole time, not running until I was in danger of puking, then walking until I could breathe again.  (I would refer to this as interval training, but what I was doing had only a passing resemblance to such structure.)  Truth be told, I was starting to feel pretty badass.

image via Facebook - home of all unpleasant and universal truths

Sadly, as so often happens to my best laid plans, my running routine went awry soon enough.  I missed a 5K because of a nearby hurricane.  I got distracted by more intense workouts that resulted in more weight loss.  Then I broke my thumb and apparently all my motivation leaked out through the cracks.  I am fully aware of the ridiculousness of it, but I didn’t have my thumb treated, and even the slightest jarring was nauseating, so running was out of the question. (see here for a full account of my thumb absurdity)  And so began my downward spiral that couldn’t end anywhere but on my couch.  Winter weather isn’t friendly for neighborhood runs and I despise treadmills beyond all reason, so I consoled myself with the promise that I would start running again in the light of spring.

Well, as you may have noticed, spring has arrived.  With it, I have more excuses.  This spring, I am working a different schedule.  I have to be at work an hour earlier, so there’s no daylight before work.  I have to work Saturdays, so 5Ks aren’t an option.  However, if I needed any motivation, it came on an eighty degree day when I attempted to squeeze into last year’s shorts.  The horror!

So, today, I ran.  I left the house with the intention of running my little heart out.  Well, I ran something out, for sure.  Thirty minutes after my return, I’m still kind of nauseous.  I’m also depressed and dismayed by the stats on my running app.  1.34 miles in 19 minutes, 29 seconds.  Once again, I run like a slug.  A slug who has to walk after every half mile or so to retain control of my bodily functions.  I am sweaty and shaky and hot and I burned a grand total of 180 calories.  woot.  Running is no less awful than I remember, but it’s still a challenge.  If anything it’s more so, since I feel obligated to correct my egregious backsliding immediately.  I want to go on a hundred tiny runs today until I can do it without shame.  I also want a nap.

For me, running has been a journey of my own lack of self-discipline and poor fitness level, but it’s also full of little attainable goals, pathetic though they may be.  I don’t know how much agony you have to endure to actually achieve a runner’s high, but I haven’t gotten there yet, which is kind of terrifying.  So far, running is kind of like beating your head against the wall.  It only feels good when you stop.

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  1. Martha
    April 16, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    excellent!! As you know Shel i did a bit of the same.. It was fun to achieve those goals it really felt pointless and painful.. but i never stop thinking when I see someone running “i want to try that again”.. it looks so easy.. but you quickly learn it is not!! I would love to join your slug running group!!

    • April 16, 2012 at 1:08 pm

      Slug running group: now accepting new members. The more, the merrier. 😉

  2. April 17, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Oh my gosh! We’re having the same spring including death by health improvement. I just started running again too.
    http://wp.me/p1K5pA-4B

    • April 17, 2012 at 1:07 pm

      Torturing ourselves to better health! 🙂

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