“When does it stop sucking?” a friend asked me at a holiday party. She had recently picked up running and was getting over that phase of dreading just about every run. I reassured her that eventually, it just becomes a normal part of your day and you will begin to enjoy it.
Today I was chatting with a running partner about this and about another friend of ours who runs on occasion. I remarked that I thought they would have a much easier time with it if they made it more of a consistent part of their routine. Our friend signs up for races and commits to training for them and does well, but then post race or event goes back to a running hiatus.
I mentioned that if our friend would make it more a part of their daily life, it would be so much easier for them to run in general. By stopping and starting back up I think that you have to get back over that mental (and physical) hump each and every time. Even if they simply ran 3 miles a day several times per week, it would keep them prepared to run on both a mental and physical level.
For all of us running is difficult in some form or another but it does get easier as you make it a part of your life. For at least a year (who am I kidding, it was longer than that) I dreaded my daily 3 mile runs. Once I got over that mental hurdle and settled into my pace I found that I was able to go for 10 miles or even at times 18-20 miles on my own.
My running partner and I discussed the fact that once you get over the I “have” to go get my run in (said in the negative, dreaded tone) and start thinking “I’m going to go and get my run in,” life gets so much easier. Once I stopped thinking of it as an activity I had to do as a punishment and started thinking of it simply as part of my day and something I could even look forward to, it became so much easier.
If you are finding running to be a struggle, or you a dreading it during this time of year as many of us do, stop thinking of it as a part of your day that you “have” to do. My running partner said it should be a treat to you and something you look forward to. I couldn’t agree more with this. Look at it as a way to make you feel good and something you are doing for yourself.
After thinking about today’s discussion I really do believe that those of us who exercise or run consistently do so by simply deciding to make it a part of our daily life. Instead of complaining that you need to go to the gym, just go there because that is part of your plan for the day. Get rid of the mental noise that makes it sound so awful. Remind yourself that you are doing this to make you and your life better. Do it to set an example for others, including your family, that you respect yourself enough to get out the door and take care of yourself.