I like to run. It’s something that’s relatively new to me, as a kid, I was active, but I hated running when it wasn’t a part of doing something else. However, in the last couple of years, I’ve developed quite a fondness for running all by itself. Besides enjoying the activity itself, I like that I’m staying in shape and how it makes me feel about myself afterwards, I feel accomplished, energized, and all around much healthier. When I started, I didn’t have much of a goal other than keeping in decent shape, but in the course of the last year, I realized that I would like to try to run a half marathon. A full marathon may be a bit of a stretch for me based on the amount of time I can devote to training and the state of my knees–which actually don’t bother me when I run, only when I stand still for more than 15 minutes at a time. But a half marathon feels doable to me.
So I decided that I’d run the Rutgers Half Marathon next month and I started official training about a month ago. Since my normal run is usually about five miles and I’ve done a couple of ten mile runs for fun, I knew that my training didn’t need to be super intense. But the thing that I’m finding out, is that this half marathon is making me hate running. One of the blogs that I often read likes to mention that training for a marathon can have a huge effect of your life, both in your outlook and your attitude. The writer likes to mention how he learned a lot through the process and looks at life and situations differently because of it. But you know what? I’m just not seeing it.
Training for this half marathon is a chore. It’s taken all of the fun out of running. Instead of having fun and being able to run when I want and how far I want, I have to keep a schedule and work my life around that. I’m starting to find myself extremely stressed because of an overall lack of time in my life for a lot of the things I want and need to get done. Running can take up a lot of time and it also means you need to have time to shower afterwards before doing something else. You also need to pay more attention to what and when you eat as well. It really messes with your whole schedule.
Additionally, I need to push myself sometimes when I really don’t feel like I have it in me to run an extra couple miles or so that day. Sometimes, at the end of the run, I’m glad I was able to push myself a little more than I would have otherwise. These are the runs where I get past the block that’s holding me back. But sometimes, I feel like I had to push too hard and afterwards I’m done for the day. I’m not energized after these runs and I didn’t have fun either. These runs do not feel worth it at all.
For an actual athlete, this is what you’re supposed to go through, but for something I do just for fun, I don’t know that it’s worth it. I’m sure at the end of the half marathon I’ll feel accomplished and proud of myself for finishing 13.1 miles, but I don’t see gaining much else from this. I was hoping if this went well, I would be able to do the Disney full marathon in January, since I’ll be there that week already, but now I’m debating even doing the half marathon there. I guess we’ll see how that turns out and it’s silly to make any decisions a month before this race, but right now, I’m feeling pretty negatively towards it.
I’m sure in the end, it’ll all seem worth it, but I worry that I’m not going to find running fun anymore after the race and I’m not going to want to continue doing it.