At this rate, I'll be moving backwards soon
March 30, 2012 7:51 AM Subscribe
Did you used to find running tedious and uncomfortable? Do you enjoy it now? How did you do it?
posted by Aubergine to health & fitness (25 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
I thought I was doing great with running, but I feel like I'm actually getting worse. A little background:
About a year ago I started Couch 2 5k, completed it finally this year (there were some long hiatuses), then I started the Bridge to 10K app, and I ambitiously also signed up for a 10-mile race in May (Broad St. Run- by all accounts an extremely easy one, as it's mostly downhill). I've been diligently following the schedule on the new app but to my dismay, after a period of rapid improvement, I seem to be getting worse. Both in the sense that my average run pace is slowing down (it was just south of a 10 minute mile) and in the sense that I am finding my runs much more tedious. I really feel like I'm forcing myself to keep going rather than being absorbed enough in the activity for time to pass relatively painlessly.
The most humiliating aspect is that my single most triumphant and superior run, during which I far exceeded my previous runs in time and distance, occurred when I was grievously hungover. This goes against both my common sense and cherished assumptions about the relationship between lifestyle and physical performance.
Ever since that run, despite avoiding vices like overdrinking, I've found myself really dreading my runs, and feeling like I'm torturing myself when I am actually running. For what it's worth, I feel great when I'm done, but I'd still like to feel a little more enthusiastic about actually going on a run, and I'd like to enjoy it more when I do.
I'd like to emphasize that nothing important has changed since my "good" runs and my current malaise- same shoes (which are new), same headphones, a rotating playlist that I generally enjoy, same weather (I run outside), same route (it could be that this is actually negative, but I live in the city and this happens to be just about the best place to run outside as well as the only one near me), same lifestyle (if anything I've made improvements to my already healthy diet), etc.
It's true that the app has me going on slightly longer runs each time, but the difference is neglible- for the past three weeks I've increased the running portion of my segments by about a minute each, so it's not enough to suddenly be an onerous new change. I ride my bike every day to get around so I'm staying active even when I don't run.
If you experienced anything similar when you started running, did you do anything in particular to get past it? Persistence, willpower, good old American know-how? Even if it is just a matter of keeping it up until it feels better, I'd like to hear it.