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Runners enjoy pain Huh????!!!!

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Saturday, October 03, 2009

Someone told me this today-Show me someone who runs and I will show you someone who likes pain. This person said this to me knowing that I run. I didn't challenge her because I just didn't want to go there but I have to say I am irked.

Okay when I didn't run I probably thought the same thing. Who is crazy enough to run when it is cold,dark,hot,raining,humid? Well I guess I am because I have run in all those situations. But do I like pain? No I really don't think so.

I had someone ask me once why I did run since at that time I ran slower than I walked. She wasn't being a jerk she honestly wanted to know what kept me running. And to be honest I didn't have an answer for her. But I think I have one now.

I am a stubborn cuss. I am descended from a long line of incredibly onery stubborn people. I put off trying to run for a long long time. I had all the glib answers for why I didn't run: I like my knees,I don't sweat in public,I only run for ice cream. But when I hit a plateau a fellow Sparker urged me to try running. To give it an honest try. (stand up and take a bow AspenJules). So I did try it and I hated it. Someone else on Sparkers pointed me towards the couch25k program and I started that. I hated it. I bought a sports bra(reread the blog about that. still makes me giggle)tried running again. I hated it.

I told Aspenjules I just wasn't able to do it. And she gave me a piece of advice that I will always remember. If you can't run for a minute than run for less. Well duh seems common sense but I totally had a light bulb moment. No one says you have to start at one minute intervals there are no running police(well actually I have run in to a couple but that is for a later blog)run what you can run. So that is what I did. It took me a month to be able to run where the couch25k started. Then I took weeks before I would advanced to the next level. Then I got stuck and couldn't seem to run for longer times. Then another rookie runner forum member gave me another piece of light bulb advice-slow down. I was like what? I am all ready going slow but everyone said go slower. So I did and I found I could run for 25 minutes.

Then they told me to run outside and I was not keen on the idea. But everyone said get outside you will like running better. At first I thought they were trying to kill me. Running outside is way harder than the treadmill. But finally after a few times I got to liking it. Now I don't want to run inside anymore. Which will make winter running very interesting since we tend to get snow here.

What my stubborness has to do with all of this was I just wasn't going to let this challenge get the best of me. I wasn't going to say the oh heck and give up. Sparkers said it could be done and I was going to prove to at least myself that it could be. And d--- if I didn't. I admit there are days when the idea of running is not at all interesting. There are other days where I am itching to get out and get going. Now when I am driving and see a fellow jogger I don't think what a moron. I think wow they run fast or they don't have very good form with their arms. I don't think well there is someone trying to get high on endorphins or is in to hurting.

I run because I can. Because someone(actually several someones)took the time and effort to teach me how to run. Because people believed I could do it. Because now I believe it too. I may never be a marathoner or win a race but every time I lace up my shoes and go for a run I have won. I have beaten that internal demon that most of us wrestle with that tells us we can't. That tries to convince us of the futility of it all so just stay home and eat. So do I run because I like pain? No!!!!! I RUN BECAUSE I AM A RUNNER!!!!!!!!!
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  • DRJJ2004
    Awesome!!! Loved your blog..I'm a slow runner too..and I don't care. I get farther that way. I read an article on the types of runners - there are 10 and I'm the sloth...the kind that barely lifts there feet enough to call it running at a very slow place. If you're interested it's on

    I can totally relate to you go girl!!!! :O)
    3041 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3078 days ago
    I'm wondering if I do all this, starting really small, but keep running (and losing weight), if it will really help ease the pain in my deformed feet and ankles and other's knees hips and backs. Any comments?
    3078 days ago
    More people need to read the book, "Born to Run" :)

    When we see kids running around, do we say, "Ah! Yeah see kids like pain!"... right? huh?
    3080 days ago
  • PAINTS5555
    Sounds likes how I started. It was hard at first but then got easier really fast.
    3082 days ago
    Loved this blogpost. This could have been me back in the day...

    I'm not a big fan of the pain either. It takes real guts to get up and out when its cold, damp and everyone's in bed. Then the run sucks. But then you do it, and come back that little bit stronger, because, you ARE a runner.
    3084 days ago
    I like your blog.... i get people asking me the same question of why I run.... mainly because I get hurt so often. I like your answer: I run cuz I am a runner! Keep up the good work..... and keep on running!! emoticon
    3084 days ago
    Excellent blog!
    3084 days ago
    This is a great blog! Thanks so much for writing it and it mirrors my own journey with running. Your last paragraph says it all. I need to copy it and paste it to my mirror. Thanks for reminding me of why I stick with something that sometimes leaves me less than satisfied! YOU ROCK!
    3084 days ago
    Very cool! You are right - there is no running police. I started with 30 second intervals. I still only run 5 minute intervals. That's OK - I'm moving. Thanks for articulating this so well!
    3084 days ago
    Awesome blog!!!! And being someone who could have written this myself 2 years ago and is running my first marathon this Sunday...I say....don't sell yourself short!!! Once you lace up your shoes, the world is yours...the limitations you have is your own thinking!!! Enjoy!!! Jackie!!!
    3084 days ago
    nope, we don't all like pain. As a long time runner, I often wonder when I see some of the grimaces, why they keep running if it looks so painful? Sure, the first part *can* be rough (even after 30+ years, I still have some rough starts) I figure smiling keeps me going and keeps others guessing.
    3084 days ago
  • BMARIE888
    VERY well put. I started running the same way - stubborn and at less than a minute at a time - and hated it!! It's a process to learn how to run and actually enjoy it and you captured that process wonderfully.

    Keep on running!! emoticon
    3085 days ago
    Runners do NOT enjoy pain. I know this because I AM a runner and I think pain sucks. I'm glad she didn't say that to me... I'd have been signing up for court-ordered anger management courses.
    I love that you're enjoying running and that sports-bra blog is still one of my all time favourites. Never give up running. And never give up writing, either. emoticon
    3089 days ago
    Awww, Nera - I have a HUGE grin on my face after reading this! I'm really glad that I was able to help - there were times when I was afraid I was just harping and becoming annoying, LOL. And now, as you say, you are a RUNNER!!

    I love watching people run. I always feel like sticking my head out the runner and shouting "Hi Friend!!" (but I have so far resisted the urge, LOL).

    I also run because I can. I am so proud of the fact that I can run. I love it when my family says "My (mom, wife) runs" or "races" or "did a triathlon." I love what it says about us when we say we are runners - we are dedicated and committed to fitness, we are persistent in SPITE of the pain (never BECAUSE of it - SHEESH!!). I watched an ironman triathlon on the sports channel the other day (yes, isn't that sad?? LOL) and one of the pros said that Ironmen triathletes are simply willing to endure the pain, though I grinned when they asked one guy during the run whether he was enjoying himself and he said "Heck no! I just want to go HOME!" I remember feeling that way in my triathlon as well as on numerous runs.

    However, I will confess that sometimes the hope of an endorphin rush helps get me out the door... LOL. Thanks for the blog, Nera - as you can see it really got me thinking...
    3089 days ago
    I love this. I have often said to people, "I run because I can." There's something really prideful about being able to run - so many people CAN'T - and you deserve a huge pat on the back for putting in the effort! Way to go!
    3090 days ago
    I enjoyed this blog! I seen a lot of me in it. Thanks for sharing it with us!
    3090 days ago
    I once counted off laps (out loud, so he knew I was keeping track) for my 4-year-old nephew as he orbited the living room, dining room, kitchen loop at my parent's house. He got to ten before I suggested we do something else. He was giggling and laughing the whole time.

    I think most people "learn" to associate running with pain. Maybe it was the "punishment" for a lazy practice in football. Maybe it's the lack of understanding as to how to start a running program that permeates our culture.
    3090 days ago
    Nera - this is a great blog (and I clicked the little box that says "I liked this Blog"). You have put into words what many of us couldn't. I wish there was an "Add to Favorites" button for blogs, and I would keep this one close by.

    Congratulations on running in all kinds of conditions. You are a runner, and someone that all new rookies can look up to.

    Atta girl!
    3090 days ago
    Nera---you have won more races then you know---you won those that you set for have won, you are a runner!!!
    3090 days ago
    Yes, you run because you are a RUNNER! I like that!! Great blog and you're not alone, I'm sure many of us can relate. I've received the same comments from people who cannot understand and find myself wanting to provide them with a lesson in physiology and the principles of adaptation. lol I've read FAR too many books!

    I have friends who want to run but like you, are not finding it to be FUN and like your friends, I urge them to take it slow and gradual, allowing their bodies to adapt.

    Running is not for everybody, I know, but a shame for those who like you simply needed guidance and instruction in what could become an introduction to one of the greatest forms of fitness and stress relief available. WOO HOO 4 YOU & your Rookie Runner FRIENDS :) !!
    3090 days ago
    You ARE a runner! You rock!
    3090 days ago
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