Ran today. Hated it.

Today was my second attempt at running since the last attempt, which was roughly two weeks ago. That last run’s discomfort was largely obscured by the oh my god I’m actually running novelty. It’s been over three months since I’ve run, after all. But I knew based on that experience that today’s run wouldn’t be a good run. I figured it would be mediocre. I didn’t expect to actually hate the experience.

I understand now why most people who take up recreational running don’t get beyond January 7th. Being a new runner sucks. That’s essentially what I am now: a new runner. I can imagine someone thinking, “People do this for fun? They find it gives them pleasure? But how?”

I know that my aerobic system is in great shape, but when it comes to running I’m like a jet engine attached to a Radio Flyer. My body is not used to running and everything else I’ve been doing does not translate, at least at this point in time. I feel like I weigh a thousand pounds and it’s like running on stilts. (Plus my legs, which have been permanently browned since 2007, have gone all Johnny Winter on me in just three months of sunless existence. Thank goodness tights season is on the way.)

I ran around a baseball field again. Nice, soft grass. Jonathan and I went together and he was eager to run with me, despite my foul mood. I’m shocked he hasn’t left me, since I complain basically all the time. He told me his second run back (I think he’s on his fourth or fifth) was the worst one. It will get better. Jeez, I hope so.

I had to remind myself that I’d already done two hours of hard exercise just a few hours before, on top of hard work in the pool yesterday, on top of whaling on my legs with 90 minutes of weight work on Tuesday.

I managed 25 minutes. I’ll try 30 next time. Probably on Sunday or Monday.

We did see a man who appeared to be drunk chasing some Canadian geese around at the edge of the field. That was funny.

8 Responses

  1. What’s amazing is that you’ve made it this far without ever having to re-start, until now.

  2. Hahaha. The jet engine on a radio flyer metaphor is so accurate I wish I had thought of it. Anyway… since I’ve done what you’re doing now like 8 or 9 times, I am confident in predicting that in two or three weeks you will start finding running at least vaguely enjoyable. Personally I don’t feel like I’m getting fitter for the first month or so (even though adaptation is obviously happening), but then, 6-8 weeks in, about once I start feeling good enough to throw in some fartleks, times start dropping rapidly. I think last fall I took 45 s – 1 min off my 5K time in a two week period. THAT’s when you’ll be glad you cross trained.

  3. Yes, I agree with Kristin. After 3 weeks it starts to feel like your legs can move without having to will them every step. Then 8-10 weeks later a friend calls you up to run and you don’t have to think about or negotiate the distance or the speed, you just meet them and go. That is when it really feels good.

  4. A couple of years ago I had an injury that kept me from running for months. All I could think about was how wonderful it was gonna be the day I started running again. I was going to skim lightly over the ground, floating and free, and oh, it would be grand! Of course, it sucked for a good long while. It was fully months before I felt like I had my legs under me. But it did happen.

  5. You make a good point with this post. I struggled after having two weeks off in September. Only two weeks! Starting up again does give one an appreciation of how hard running is for beginners. It also gives one a new appreciation of how good it is to be on top of the running fitness wave.

  6. FWIW, I’ve taken a month off of running twice, and it took about 2 weeks for running not to feel “odd” each time (though a return to previous fitness took longer). It really does come back.

    Of course, I have no idea how long it will take me this time when I finally get to run again :)

    • I’m happier with “two weeks.” Another runner I was talking to yesterday, one who has been more injured than not since 2002, said two weeks too.

      I am lucky that I am able to remember what a really good race or workout feels like, a feeling that another runner friend described as “transcendent.”

      Those memories are the only things keeping me motivated at this point.

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