To Run or Not to Run

I hate running.

I hate it like I hate doing laundry and cooking. [I understand that this statement makes me extremely unattractive as a potential mate, but I figure you gotta know things upfront. My mother wants me to put “I hate cooking, but I’m working on it,” to temper the blow, but I’m not really working on it. The best I can do is “I hate cooking, but I WILL work on it, at some point in the future.”]

Back to running: It’s like a mental block, where all-things-running turn dark and murky and suck my joy.

Okay, I’m being a little dramatic.

I started running again this week. My cousin and I meet up at the gym at least twice a week, although we shoot for three times. We usually do the elliptical because it’s extremely conducive to talking and that’s pretty much what gets us to the gym at all.

But Monday, she said “what if we ran?” and I said “okay,” and we headed to the treadmills with trepidation and unwarranted excitement.

We ran for fifteen minutes, with some walking in between. My runner-friends will either laugh at our paltry attempts or applaud because they realize how much work goes into running. At the end, we looked at each other, sweaty and gross, and I said, “that was hard,” and she said “yeah” and I was embarrassed.

And proud.

And happy.

Three days later, I was back on the stupid thing. This time I ran six more minutes than the last time. It was easier, I sweated slightly less (yes, contrary to popular belief, women can sweat), and when I was done, I thought I did it. Ha.

I’m not sure who I was laughing at, but there you go. I was probably laughing at myself, the part that says “You stink at running so just give up and pretend that thinking about working out is as good as actually doing it.”

I’ve done this before though, started running and really loved it and then stopped. It’s a cycle. Feet smacking the ground (or the conveyer belt, depending), muscles aching, lungs working harder than I thought possible. But then things get in the way, and I forget how good it feels.

Do I run fast? No, not at all.

In fact, I was puffing away at speed 5 (don’t laugh! I’m a newbie!), when this tall lanky guy gets on the treadmill next to me. He lopes along, like it’s nothing, and I sneak a glance: 5.7. It’s like he’s barely moving. It’s his warm-up walk. And I’m dying next to him, mortified.

But whatever. So what if my running is your walking?

[I have nothing to add to the events of this week, other than this post and my prayers. I have even more reason to run and praise the Lord.]


[Because I would rather poke my own eye out than post a photo of me running, here’s an only slightly-less-disgusting photo of me hiking Mount Untersberg. Different, but in the same spirit.]

5 Replies to “To Run or Not to Run”

  1. Running is super hard but gets better once you head outdoors! And, it will get easier! Great job Catherine 🙂

  2. “So what if my running is your walking?”

    I love this quote! I think a lot of people fall into the comparison trap, especially in the gym… not feeling good enough or fast enough or fit enough. But remember- at least you are there. At least you are trying. And not only are you trying, you are doing it! Exercise really is so individual- if someone is running slow but sweating like crazy, they might be getting a better workout than the person running faster but not feeling tired at all. Be proud of what you do, Catherine!

    1. Thanks, Megan! I’ve gotten a lot better about comparing myself to others at the gym. You’re right – at least I’m there! Thanks for reading!

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