Monday, July 20, 2009

4 Mile Power Push

I am a runner. I tell myself that I like to run. I regularly run to (a) get outside, (b) have some time to myself and (c) stay in shape. But, the truth is that I don't really like running. Running is hard. It's hard to get yourself started and it's hard to stay where you are. Missing a week of running is like dropping out of school mid-semester and then sitting for the final exam - at least for me it is. When it's hot outside my head throbs with pressure and I sweat like a you-know-what in church. When it's cold outside my lungs feel like they are encased in ice, fighting for each breath. My left knee is starting to feel tender after too many consecutive days of running (perhaps a symptom of nearing the big 3-0?) Sometimes, after a particularly bad (or good, depending on your perspective) run I feel like throwing up. And, I occasionally get side cramps - although those usually are an outcome of missing a week or two of running.

So, you may be asking yourself, why do I run?!?

If my goals are to (a) get outside, (b) have time to myself and (c) stay in shape, there are other activities that satisfy those criteria without the garish side effects. Laying by the pool, getting a pedicure, taking a fun group exercise class are just a few that come to mind.

Believe it or not, I actually had an epiphany about why I run during one of my runs. I run because it is a challenge and it's not easy.

When I run I feel very powerful. My head is clear at the end of a run. My body has been put to the test and my mind feels like it has accomplished something great. Recently I drove my course to see how many miles I was actually logging. (Judgement of any type of distance is not exactly a strength of mine!) I was delighted to discover that my entire round trip run was exactly four miles!! This was much longer than I thought I was running and I was absolutely proud of myself for going the distance.

Since I've calculated the actual mileage of my run, I've found myself running extra streets and adding loops to my course to add distance and challenge myself even more. Maybe this is why running is a perfect match for me. I'm competitive - even with myself. I like to push myself, take on something new and give it a try. If my legs are running four miles comfortably, than heck, they should be able to run five, right? And when they do run five, it's a feeling of accomplishment that stays with me the entire day - no matter what obstacles that day holds in store.

In the end, to be entirely cliche, you could honestly say that I have a love/hate relationship with running. I hate actually running - but I'm in love with how it makes me feel!


  1. Wonderful post about why you run! You really hit on some points I hadn't thought of before for myself.


  2. I love it that a chick who has run a freaking Chicago marathon doesn't really like to run. You're awesome Em!

  3. Great post! I think it's so true that sometimes we don't really love to run, but each time you run further you have such a sense of accomplishment that you can't NOT run again. Keep on trucking girl!