Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I'm a "Have Run-er"

I had an interesting conversation with one of my coworkers over lunch the other day. He was intrigued by my sudden rabid interest in running. It turns out that he and his wife go for frequent walks in and around my neighborhood so he knows many of the routes that I often run. We were discussing interesting routes in my neighborhood and he mentioned several that are particularly scenic, or have some other nice feature, but they all had the same stinking problem - hills! I've mentioned before that I detest running hills - it just absolutely kills me. So on this particular day, I was explaining this to my coworker. He seemed to understand, but also like he wanted to ask me why I was being such a baby about the hills - he was too polite to actually ask though.

At some point in the conversation, he said something that amounted to a comment about me really enjoying running. To which I replied, "Well see, that's the funny thing about me as a runner, because I really don't enjoy the actual running all that much, its what comes after that keeps me going." I then mentioned things like the feeling of relaxation, energy, increased focus, and of course the feeling of accomplishment. He leaned back, and nodded sagely, and said "Ah, so its not that you like to run, its that you like to have run." Exactly! He then went on to add "So by avoiding hills, you're trying to keep the actual running part from being as unpleasant as possible." Once again, he was dead-on.

See, here's the truth of the thing. Running hurts. It is sweaty, your legs will hurt, things will chafe, and at times it will be just plain miserable. There will be mornings where you won't want to do it. You are going to feel self-conscious - if you're over-weight, you're going to feel like people are staring and judging you. You are going to sweat buckets. Your calves will be sore. If you have stairs, you may have trouble going down them the morning after a run because your legs are so stiff.

But you know what else? There will be days when your run is perfect. You will feel strong, and accomplished. You will feel completely empowered because YOU did this. No one else can do this for you. You will feel energized and happy. And you will feel healthy. You may even reach a point with your health or size that you haven't seen for 5, 10, 20 years - or maybe a point that you've never seen before, ever.

So yeah, at times running can suck, but that's why I'm a Have Run-er.

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