How I Learned to Love Running


I used to write a lot about running on this blog, but I've sort of stopped blogging so much about it. I haven't been doing as many (or any) races, for one thing, but also running is just kind of a part of my life now so I don't feel the need to talk about it very much because there's not really anything new to say.

Last weekend I went out for a run and pushed R in the stroller. I ran just over 3 miles at around 12-min/mile pace, and as I was walking the last block home, I started thinking about my running journey and how getting out for a run wasn't always something I voluntarily chose to do. Two of my coworkers are doing the Couch to 5k Program, and one of them said they could never imagine just going out for 3 easy miles like I do. 

But the truth is, it didn't start out that way. For a long time running was something I had to talk myself into. I went because I was training for a half marathon, and although I always liked the feeling of accomplishment once a run was over, I hated running while I was doing it and I never ever thought, I want to go running today.

So what changed? 

I don't know whether this is a weird thing to know or not, but I can tell you exactly when running became for me something I legitimately loved to do rather than just something I did. I ran in college some, but I don't consider my running journey officially started until April 2010, when I signed up for my first half marathon that coming October. I had to give myself a pep talk to get out the door every single time I went running, and I mostly felt like death during every single run. It was terrible.

It wasn't until 3 years later, in January 2013, when I started my first-ever marathon training schedule for the April 2013 Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, that I fell in love with running. It became something I looked forward to, something I wanted to do, something I missed when I didn't do it for a couple of days. Somewhere along the way, I settled into those long training runs and really started to love the actual run itself and not just the "runner's high" I got when I was done. (I blogged my weekly marathon training here if you're interested!)

I ran the 2013 marathon, and I have been in love with running ever since. That's why I have to be honest: while pushing a 25-pound toddler in a jogging stroller for 3 miles at 21 weeks pregnant certainly sounds impressive to a lot of people, I don't necessarily feel like it's all that impressive. Of course I'm proud of myself for continuing to run in this stage, but running is something I enjoy doing, something I love, so I guess I don't consider it impressive. But it wasn't always like that, and it took 3 years of consistent running and a marathon training schedule to find my love for this hobby.

Now, I'm definitely not saying you have to run a marathon to fall in love with running. Running a marathon isn't for everyone. I'm just saying that that's where it happened for me. If you are just starting out and wondering how anyone can love running, I would tell you to just keep going. Maybe you haven't run enough miles yet to discover your hidden love for it!

I have an entire "Running" tab at the top of this blog if you want to read more posts about running, including links to all of my race recaps. One of my favorite things I've done on the blog is my "How to Start Running Series," I linked to Part 1, so check that out if you are new to running!

And even if you aren't a runner, you might enjoy: 10 Reasons Running a Marathon is Like Having a Baby

Do you run? Do you love it yes or no? If yes, do you remember when you really fell in love with running?
Jen said...

I didn't love running either, it wasn't until I did a mud run back in 2013 that I realize that it could be fun. My husband runs everyday (thanks to the military) and he is so happy that I enjoy it now too. We have done over 70 races in the last few years and we have the best time. I certainly love running on my own but there is something awesome about running with a huge group of people.

Tracy said...

Ha - your experience training for your first half sounds a lot like mine! I have no idea when I fell in love with running, but it took a while for me too. From the beginning I was just incredulous that I didn't die and I think that intrigued me enough to keep trying, and over time it got less and less horrible until it started to feel good and turned into something I genuinely liked doing.
Although I DO think that running while pregnant AND pushing a toddle is seriously impressive, I get what you're saying in that paragraph. I always feel so awkward when people congratulate me on my running or tell me I'm doing a good job because I'm's just something I do? But it did take a while to get to the point where every run didn't feel worthy of a medal just for getting in done, and I guess I forget that sometimes. I spent the majority of my life thinking going out and running 3 miles was a huge deal, so I understand where people are coming from.
And I have to say, seeing a running post from you was a fun surprise :)

Ashley H said...

I think doing it for exercise or when you're just getting into shape SUCKS. If I'm sick or I take a break from running, getting back to just two miles is dreadful. But I like how I feel after a run, I like being sweaty, and I like pushing myself because with running, your only competition is yourself. I ran cross country in high school and I liked it ok, but I wasn't at the point where I WANTED to run. Now it's stress relief and it's my TV time (in the winter) or my fresh air and sunshine time (when we have nicer weather). It's alone time, thinking time, or NOT thinking time. Sometimes I just feel myself itching to run because I have extra energy. Now it's something I just DO. But pushing a toddler in a stroller while pregnant, that is impressive!

Audrey Louise said...

I really dislike running. (I was going to say "hate", but I don't quit hate it.) Some days I feel that extra energy in me that says, 'Go run! You can handle it today!' But usually I really, really dislike it and how hurt my body feels afterward.
I'd LIKE to enjoy running =/ I've tried and failed many times. Lol

Kate said...

I'm currently in the in-between stage. I'm not quite back to my I LOVE RUNNING stage, but I'm also like, "Yeah, running doesn't suck tooooo much." I just enjoy the sense of accomplishment once it's done.

I WILL say though, that training for my second half marathon has been SO much more enjoyable than my first one. The first time I trained in 2013, I felt like I had to do everything exactly as it was written in my plan. I'm supposed to run 9 miles? I don't care how miserable I am, I'm going to run every single step of that without stopping, and I'm going to feel like a failure if I need a walk break. This time, it's been a little more of, "I need to run 9 miles before I'm finished with this thing, and if I need to stop? Fine. I just need to hit 9 miles. I've done it before, I can do it again." It's really helped with my attitude! I abhorred training last time, and now it just feels normal. Granted, I've been motivating myself a lot with new shoes and a watch. But WHATEVER. Leave me alone. ;)

Cassie Lee @ Sage the Blog said...

I have a VERY similar story. I started running in high school to stay in shape for my "real" sport of soccer. I ended up quitting varsity soccer and instead becoming the cross-country captain my senior year. But honestly, even then, I still didn't love it. When I graduated high school, I gave myself a lot of grace and it just took off from there and I haven't stopped loving it since. During the times I feel burnt out or just honestly hate it, I take a break until I feel the urge again. Glad to hear you're still running!

Kayla MKOY said...

You go girl! I've always liked running, but I haven't made it a priority at all recently. Some days I feel awesome and I'm loving every step of the way, then other days I'm like "you couldn't pay me to hit the pavement right now", ha! I'm so glad you fell into a groove and love where you're at with it :) and for the record, I'm totally impressed you've kept up with it while being pregnant! You go girl!

Kristin said...

Oh man. I run all the time and I'm STILL not sure whether I like running! It's more of a need than a want. I know that some days I like it, some days I don't, and if I give it up, then I won't be able to do it and it will take FOREVER to get back into it. Cheers to you for keeping it up!

Mary said...

I can't remember the not-loving it stage now, but I know it was there once, way back!
You are definitely a superstar for getting out there with a toddler, whilst pregnant, for three miles! I'm so looking forward to my almost 5 month old being sturdy enough to push in a running buggy. It will definitely take the pressure off fitting my runs in during the evenings at least.

Julie @ Just the Joy's said...

I do have to say kudos to you for running while pregnant and pushing a stroller! That is impressive! I used to love running and did it no problem. Then I had hip surgery and it took me years to get back into it and I found I was just lazy. Since then, I've enjoyed taking small runs only because I don't have the stamina to go for long runs, but when I do go, it feels good. It seems like I get into a groove with running and then something else comes up and I put it all aside then have to start over again. I just invested in a double jogger so I'm using that as my motivation to get back on the bandwagon again!

Torrie said...

Training for a marathon was what made me love running too, though I wouldn't recommend my method to most people (I'd never run ANY race or for any distance over 4 miles before I started training for a marathon, so yeah...I was kinda crazy...). Lately, I've taken a break from running for the past 6 months since it's been so snowy here, but I'm hoping to pick it back up again in a few weeks when some of our snow starts clearing out.

I think everyone hates running at first until you get into good running shape (which most people don't bother to get into because it requires pushing through the hate for about 2 or 3 months).

Kristen @ See You In A Porridge said...

i have been running off and on for..... 7 and a half years. i still don't feel like a proper runner. i remember LOVING it in 2011/2012. KC and I had broken up, I moved to the US and I was running 4-5 times a week easy peasy and fast (for me) and really enjoying it. KC and I got back together, we moved out (I moved away from a running friend) and got married, ate lots of food etc etc, I gained weight, I stopped running as much.. and I swear, I can't get back there. I keep trying, but because I'm so much slower and bigger than I was, it's hard to love it even though I know if I kept going and got better, I'd love it again. I don't know. Someone said to me the other day that I should just stop if I don't love it anymore, but I do still kind of love it. I love it overall and don't want to give it up, even though I'm not as good as I used to be and that changes how I enjoy it or how much I want to do it. Sorry for rambling in your comment section lol.