I have a love/hate hate hate relationship with running. I wish I were a runner that consistently got the rush of endorphins or sense of accomplishment with every run. I wish I felt super jazzed every time I put on my running shoes. That, unfortunately, is not the case.
I’ve been a runner for the past four years. I use that term loosely. I’ve taken 6+ month breaks from running. I’ve shuffled along my fair share of 12 minute miles. In fact, I’ve never been a fast runner and I top out at 10:30 minute miles. Am I still a runner? I don’t know. I’ve run in six races total, from a 5K to a half-marathon. Some races went well, others went poorly.
Me before the worst race, not knowing what terrible fate (lots of early hills) awaited me:
My top three worst running experiences:
1. When a bug flew up into my nose and I couldn’t get it out
2. When my gum flew out of my mouth and it was delicious fresh gum I had just put in
3. When I spit (gross, I don’t do it often, truly) and it flew into the wind and I ended up spitting on myself.
Kris and me before the Haunted Hustle half-marathon:
I’ve run in the Haunted Hustle, held in Middleton and Halloween themed, every year since it started, which is something I’d like to keep doing. I signed up for the 10K this year. Having a fall race on the schedule is nice because I get outside way more than normal and enjoy the changing weather.
Now that I’m training again, I finally got to break in my Vibrams that I bought last fall.
My early impressions are that they kill my calves. Never in all my running have I been so sore! Traditional shoes must make it easier for my calves. I definitely feel the pain of the Veebs. So far, I’ve gotten a few blisters, and some are forming callouses. I really, really like the light weight feel of these and I do think I’m a little faster than normal in them. I have a wide toe box and most traditional shoes worn with socks result in blisters, even after breaking them in. I hope the Veebs alleviate that problem. So far, I’m not completely sold on them, but I’m going to continue using them for this race.
So why do I keep running?
I like that it makes me feel stronger and in shape in a way that no other exercise can do. If I’m running, I feel better overall. That voice my brain that insists I’m fat and out of shape gets slightly quieter. I get to explore the neighborhood. I like running in my ‘hood and discovered a little wooded park with a paved path that fits perfectly into my usual three mile runs. There are all the other benefits of running that I’m sure I don’t acknowledge: stress relief, clearing my head, getting out of the house…
Anyway, it’s enough to keep me going and signing up for another race, and even when I swear off running for good, I’m finding that I turn back to it. Who would’ve thought the girl who hated running in gym would have ever run 13 consecutive miles? Not me. Just goes to show anything can happen.