My friend posted on Facebook yesterday that she didn’t really like running yet, not while she was running anyway. She liked the feeling after, but not during. Someone in my running group said the same thing a few weeks ago. I think I’ve said the same thing before, even.
But lately? I’m not sure it’s true anymore.
When I’m doing an “easy” run with my group, on our Long Run days (last week = 13 miles) I think I actually enjoy it. I’ve found a good pace and I’m in good enough shape that it just feels nice. Especially if the weather is cooperating and if I have some running buddies to chat with. I mean, I know I no longer HATE it. That’s for sure. Those runs on those days at that pace? I definitely don’t hate it.
And I think I like it.
It takes a while in the run to get to that point. Sometimes 3 miles, before my legs are loose and my stride is comfortable. Some days it only takes 1 mile. But every long run has that point where I stop thinking about the run and start thinking about the conversation with my running buddy, or the music if I’m wearing headphones, or the scenery. The run is no longer in the forefront…it’s just something going on in the background while I try to enjoy other things. At that point? I think I can easily tell you, “I like running.”
But on my speed work days…that’s another story. We did 800m repeats on Tuesday night. That means we ran 800m at full speed (Not really running a “sprint,” but as fast as you can run at a constant pace for that distance, several times.) six times, with 3-minute rest breaks between each one. I was running with a girl who’s 5K time is about 40 seconds faster than mine. She was pushing me to do my 800s in 1:35. That’s about 20 seconds faster than when I was doing them on my own.
And I thought I was going to cry or puke during each of them.
Is that hate? Probably. I think I was hating it while I was doing it. But knowing I ran 800 meters in 1 minute and 35 seconds? OH MY GOD…I loved that.
While I was dry-heaving in the grass, of course.
It’s such a weird process…this learning to be a runner thing. It’s why I really want to figure out a way to keep it up over the winter. I feel like I’ve come so far. I used to hate even the slowest, shortest of runs. Now I look forward to them…the longer the better! I would have never willingly done speed work before, now I’m doing it – wanting to die while I’m actually running – but rejoicing in my accomplishments later. While crying into my water bottle.
So…I think I do like running. As a general statement. I think that there’s more like than dislike on any given day. Which is why I keep going back. Now, there are also moments of hatred, even on the easy long runs. The last 2 miles of my 12-mile run last month nearly killed me. My 4-mile tempo run last week had me wanting to hurl and cry simultaneously. (They go hand-in-hand in my mind.) But overall? Yes. I think I’m there. I think I like running. Even while I’m doing it, on most days.
And that may the most INSANE THING I’ve ever said. EVER. And I’ve proclaimed for the show Pretty Little Liars.