I went for a 6 mile run today as my last long training run for my 10K race next Saturday in Central Park. Now that I’m done I can say that I feel awesome. I always love that feeling of accomplishment a long run brings, especially when it’s first thing in the morning. It feels so awesome to start my day like that. Before and during a run though, now that’s another story.
I have to admit that I’m not usually enthused at the prospect of a run. I generally don’t want to get out of bed and am working every day to get just a little better at waking up quicker and/or not hitting snooze. I also can’t claim to love every step during the run. In fact, I’m the runner who is usually telling herself not to quit, that I can do it, and I’m stronger than I think. I often want to turn around and give up for the day. I am glad that my positive side wins out 90% of the time and I do finish my runs even if they are a little slower than planned sometimes.
Sometimes I feel like I’m the only runner in the world that does not love running or at least doesn’t like everything about being a runner. I do LOVE the feeling of accomplishment and I do LOVE the endorphin rush I always feel after the run is over. I just don’t like every step I take. I do occasionally have an awesome run that feels perfect and as if I could keep going forever, but those aren’t frequent. Most of the time I’m pushing myself to keep going at the pace I set out to run.
When I read all the running blogs out there it seems like every other mom on the planet loves to run. They all know every running term, every piece of gear and of course everything about training “properly”. I know much more than I did a few years ago, but I’m far from the expert runner.
Today though I did something very smart or, should I say lucky, after my run. I picked up my copy of the book Train Like a Mother and started reading it. (If you don’t know this book it’s written by two awesome mother runners who are the voices behind AnotherMotherRunner.com. Check it out if you haven’t before.) What I loved about it was right in the first chapter. Dimity McDowell, one of the authors, was describing some of her training and talking about the fact that she often has to push herself to do her training runs, especially anything involving speedwork or hill repeats. She often procrastinates between her interval repeats and does not feel like a natural runner.
Dimity’s account of how she feels about running resonated with me perfectly. What she described is exactly how I feel. I love being a runner, but I don’t love most of the work it takes to call myself a runner. It was so nice to read that someone else out there, who also has been a runner for decades, does not love everything about her runs. She loves the outcome and the accomplishment, but she does not love every step she takes. I know exactly how that feels.
I’ve only gotten through the first chapter of Train Like a Mother so far, but I have a feeling I’m going to love it!
So how do you feel when you run? Do you slip into a state of calm and ease? Do you have to talk yourself into each step? Or are you somewhere in between?