The Joy (or not) of running
When I first started running in 1995, I ran to get fit and lose weight, not because I liked it. But once I got passed the “Please God somebody shoot me” feeling I actually started to enjoy it.
Actually I didn’t just enjoy it, I became hooked, I loved it. This love of running came only when running was much less about exercise and much more about mental wellness. Back when I started running I ran with my sisters, Ali and Julie, and it became our time to connect and catch up with each other. It was the time of the week where we talked about our lives and loves, “He said what??!!!” “He did what??!!!”
We solved all the worries of the world on those runs.
Fast forward 20 years and I still love running or should I say loved running.
Somewhere during these last few weeks of marathon training I have not loved a single run. In fact every run has felt hard (some harder than others when excessive poo is involved!)
Usually when I run it feels easy, I get lost in my music and my thoughts, I marvel at the sun rises and the beautiful surroundings…. but not now. Now all I think about are times, cadence, my posture, gels, hydration, how much further, how am I going to run twice this distance on marathon day?
The joy of running had kindof disappeared….
I was very anxious about my long run this week after my last disastrous run but I kept telling myself that I have had my bad run, it’s behind me, good to get it out of the way.
Saturday morning came, my running pals and I were warming up when who appears, but my sister Ali! She has had a crap week and needs a running debrief! I could have hugged her!!! Ali and one of my running pals, Jess, ran with me for 15 of my 24km. We talked the whole time about our work, our families and the situation in the Middle East. Ok, not the last bit we aren’t that clever, Ali’s only a doctor and Jess a teacher for goodness sake!
It didn’t matter what we talked about, it was FUN! 24km is the farthest I have ever run in my life but it definitely wasn’t the hardest! I realised I don’t love running because of a speed I can do or a distance I can cover. I love running for that mental release from the everyday, the connection with other runners and the friends I have made. Oh and coffee afterwards! Can’t forget that!