My Relationship with Running
Running has become one of my favorite things. It provides me with goals that are measurable, is 100% for me, clears my head, and provides me with an immeasurable amount of confidence and self worth. Running is an amazing thing for me.
For most of my life, I thought that I couldn’t run. I could do any machine in the gym for endless periods of time, but the treadmill seemed formidable. Elliptical for an hour? Sure! Stationary bike for half the day? No problem? But the treadmill? Completely scary. Every time I got on, I felt like I was ready to crumple into a heap within five minutes. I always felt like running was harder for me than for other people.
A few years ago, I decided to face my gym enemy. I would grudgingly get on the treadmill a couple times a week. I remember how much I hated it. How 12 minutes felt like an insufferable eternity. How I would decide before I got on the treadmill that I would run for the length of four songs on my iPod, then give up after three. It was a miserable experience and I soon returned to cardio exercise that didn’t make me want to vomit or make my body feel like melting wax. I remember reading magazine articles proclaiming that anyone could run and thinking that that statement was bull, because I couldn’t run. I really believed it was something that I could not do.
I stayed away from the treadmill for a long time. I always went to the gym regularly, but never went near the treadmill. I would scowl at it from across the gym as I lifted weights or used the arc trainers.
I didn’t consider trying to run again until I was laid off from my desk job. Suddenly I had endless hours to spend at the gym. Because my life was no longer filled with the mental challenges my job had provided me, I began to consider physical challenges.
As I would sit on the stationary bike, going nowhere, I began to eye the treadmills. Should I try to run again? Would I hate it? Was running a good idea? After much thought, I decided to try it again.
I remember how terrible it was when I started running. I would jog for a few minutes, then walk, then jog. I would make rules in my head that I was not allowed to get off the treadmill for 10 minutes, then 12 minutes, then 15. I still hated it, but was encouraged by my slight progress.
At this time, I had a boyfriend who had taken a running class when he was in college. His college had a physical education requirement that many people satisfied by taking “Run 101.” After discussing the goals of Run 101 and the requirements for passing the class, I decided that I wanted to pass Run 101. For girls, this meant running three miles in half an hour.