When I started training for my upcoming 5Ks, I admit that I was nervous but hopeful. I figured there would be some tough periods, but that if I just kept at it I’d get better. So far, that hasn’t really been the case. Granted, I haven’t been running as much as I’ve meant to – partly because of my busy schedule, but partly because it tends to go so badly when I do try it. I have yet to crack 2K and I’ve been training for months. Oh, and that’s 2K of intervals, so I’m not even running the whole time at this stage.
I know that the weather is a factor. It’s been extremely hot in Toronto this summer and the heat and humidity are not great for running. I’ve also learned that my family has a history of difficulty running – asthma and other breathing conditions are common – and my mom is convinced this is part of the problem, especially with the humidity. I’m sure those things are factoring in, but I’ve also realized something else – I hate running.
I didn’t want to hate it – in fact, I wanted to love it. I wanted to be one of those people that gets an endorphin high when they run, someone you see jogging happily by and bouncing up and down at a stop light. I wanted to get pretty running outfits and meet other people for running dates. I pictured doing races with friends, joining a Running Room club, maybe getting a dog to run with at some point. I did not picture hating it. Or loathing it. Or wanting to never, ever, ever, run again.
But that’s sort of where I’m at. I have a few cute running outfits, but I hate putting them on. I hate knowing that I will come home a hot, sweaty mess no matter how short my run. I hate dodging pedestrians and I hate that they can hear me coming up behind them because I’m panting so loudly even I can hear myself over my iPod. I hate that feeling of burning in my chest, like I can’t breathe and I hate feeling like a failure when I walk by all those other people who are actually running.
I’ve listened to the continuing support of my amazing friends and family (including a huge cheering section on Twitter), I’ve spent time at the Running Room making sure I have the right shoes and equipment, I’ve experimented with playlists and running apps and all the things that have been recommended. And I’ve run. And run. And run. And I still hate it.
Maybe there’s a corner that I’ll turn at some point and I’ll realize that running really is the sport for me. But for now I feel like once these 5Ks are done I’m going back to the things I really love. I’ll be strength-training, dancing and doing yoga again. I’ll P90X on a more consistent basis, because I really love their kempo and plyo workouts, and I’ll walk a lot more. I don’t see a lot of running in my future, but you never know.
I think what I’ve learned from this is that not every sport is for everyone. I have so many friends and family members who love to run – and I will continue to support them in that. But to paraphrase Bruce Springsteen, ‘baby, I wasn’t born to run.’