Make It Suck So Good

I got the song “Hurt So Good” stuck in my head yesterday but with different lyrics.  It was funny how it happened.  I was planning on doing a run all day long and I kept putting it off.  It wasn’t because I wasn’t excited to run, I actually had been looking forward to it all day.  But it was so hot and humid here in Chicago.  So I was tempted to wait and do a shady evening run after dinner.  It was only after I started walking to the grocery store that I noticed some pretty nasty storm clouds heading our way that I figured it was now or never.

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So I turned around, dropped my grocery bags, and traded them in for my Spi-belt and some headphones.  Knowing that it was 86ºF and super humid, I had already had a talk with myself and knew that it was going to be a slow sweaty run.  I was okay with that.

As I started running I had just a tiny bit of pain and just the slightest tension in my Achilles, but compared to the past few weeks, it wasn’t a big deal.  I realized then that nothing feels quite as awesome as coming back to running after an injury.  It just feels so good and so exciting.  The only other thing I could think of at the time that made running feel quite so great is when you first take up running and those first five pounds melt off of you.  On a side note, I think that is a sick trick your body plays on you making you think it will always be like that.

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It was a funny feeling because it wasn’t an easy run but in some ways it really was.  I had been yearning for a nice longish run for awhile and feeling healthy again made me so excited to be out there.  At the same time, it was so hot and humid and it was much more difficult than my normal run.  My miles were much slower than what I would consider my normal pace.

Honestly, that humidity made the run “suck” a bit.  And it reminded me of a post I did months ago when someone asked me when running stops “sucking.”  The verdict was that it doesn’t always suck.  At times it doesn’t at all, and at other times it sucks a whole lot less or in a much different way.  But there is always an element of suck just hiding in the corner of any given run.  To be perfectly honest, I think any runner who sticks with it learns to embrace that and make it work for them.  Heat and humidity, as we know, are reasons to at times not really love running.

But that feeling of glee was still there as I ran and as I dealt with the weather conditions, I realized that it just sucked so good.  That was it.  It was hard, but in a way that runners learn to deal with and at times enjoy.  I knew it was going to be hard but I also knew that I had missed that feeling.

These guys were soaked!

These guys were soaked!

A few weeks ago I read a Runner’s World  article where the writer discussed being injured and how awful it feels to be away from running.  He discussed how you never truly feel hungry like you do when you run and you never get a “true” shower where you step in so dirty and come out completely refreshed.  As I ran in those weather conditions yesterday I was soaked in my own sweat.  I’m sure most people would look at me and consider me to be absolutely disgusting.  But I looked down and grinned from ear to ear.  I couldn’t remember the last time I had sweated that hard.  It felt awesome.  I felt like my body was purging itself of a month and a half’s worth of injury and frustration and anger.

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That is what I think it means to “suck so good.”

27 thoughts on “Make It Suck So Good

  1. that’s amaaaazing and i totally agree with everything being better when you run: food and showering and your inner glow and your confidence in yourself to get out there and tackle the world — running highlights EVERYTHING after you’ve fallen in love with it, and it’s so hard to be without it. hope you start feeling stronger and stronger again and are soon entirely pain-free. 🙂

  2. I totally agree! Though these hot days of running are really tough, there isn’t a better feeling then to walk through the front door after a successful run and throw a stick with my dog.

  3. After a major battle with my chronic ITBS, I took four months off from running earlier this year. By the time the end of April rolled around and that big star on the date I was going to hit the pavement again drew closer, I thought I was going off the deep end. That first run was slow, ugly, and short, but it was the Best. Run. Ever. Simply because I COULD run. For all the runs that have sucked since -and trust me, there have been quite a few – just keeping in mind that I CAN run, is enough to keep the legs pumping. 🙂

  4. I read that article too, and while i agreed with a lot… I definitely get some deserved showers after cross training. Even if it’s not running, biking/spin is a crazy sweaty workout! But nothing feels as good as that first run back and you don’t take it for granted :). The humidity sucks for all of us! I’m glad you were able to run pain-free, though.

  5. Bhahahaahaha that face.
    On runners being gluttons for punishment:
    My husband Alex shakes his head and chuckles as I foam roll, lacrosse ball, or get him to dig into my legs. Or go to the PT. He attributes it to running.
    When I go to the PT or others and they work on me, I say don’t worry, I’m a runner, go big.
    That’s what we do–we know that the biggest hurt (without causing injury, duh) often leads to the biggest reward. We constantly push our limits, to see what we can do, and we continue to discover more about ourselves that way. It is the essence of running. To dig deep.
    Speaking of, ART anyone?

  6. Totally agree!! You wouldn’t be able to feel so awesome at the end if it didn’t “suck so good” from time to time.

  7. Congrats on recovering from your injury and getting back into running! Everything you said is so true, I can relate about how nothing feels as wonderful as a shower or good meal after an amazing run, especially right after an injury. 🙂 I am currently suffering from IT band syndrome and anxiously awaiting my return back to running!

  8. Your title cracks me up. 🙂
    I don’t even care how humid it is (humidity always makes it suck so good for me!) I really really love this post and am looking forward even more now to my first run back and getting this wonderful feeling!

  9. A shower is never as good as the shower right after a run. and nothing makes me feel more like I kicked a workout’s butt than being drenched in sweat!

  10. Every athlete probably has a version of that feeling but as runners, we see things through “run-colored glasses”. That’s ok, though. Regardless of whether others get it, we know what it feels like to “suck so good”. Loving that phrase!

  11. Pingback: Running Really Doesn’t Have To Suck. Really! | Black Dog Runs Disney

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