My Relationship with Running

28 Mar

It runs in the family.

My grandpa ran in college, first at a small school in Michigan and then at the University of Michigan. He even made it to the Olympic trials! Running was a big part of his past.

Then there’s my mom. She ran track when she was younger, and she ran occasional races with her family when she was older, as did my dad when he started dating my mom. My great-aunt — she ran her first marathon around the age of 40. My sisters — they were both built for running – tall, with long limbs.

And then there’s me.

From an early age (thanks to elementary school P.E.), I’ve had a love/hate relationship with running. Running the mile at school was torture — fast kids sprinting past me, a P.E. teacher yelling in my ear, freshly cut grass just conveniently covering the track so that my allergies were at their worst. Oh yeah, those were the days.

Then 7th grade came, and track season began. I wanted to make friends and stay involved in school (and keep up the family tradition), so I joined. I lasted approximately three weeks. As much as I wanted to love it, I hated it. I continued to repeat this cycle in 8th and 9th grade. I guess I just thought something would change, but I ended up being a serial track quitter.

I quit for many reasons, but mainly because my lungs hurt, my shins hurts, my ankles hurt- and my ego hurt. I was not in running shape, and I hated running with kids who were. I couldn’t handle the pressure, physically or mentally.

After high school, I stopped dancing (my main source of physical activity in my younger years) and I turned to the gym for exercise. When I didn’t feel like being cooped up in the gym, my MP3 player and I would run through my college campus. It was a way for me to clear my head. I didn’t run too fast, and I didn’t run too far, but I ran. I didn’t have to compete against boys with 6-minute miles or girls who could leap hurdles taller than me. I just ran for me.

Since my freshman year of college, five years ago, I’ve completed a handful of 5Ks, one 10K and a couple of 5-milers. This May, I’ll be running two more races, each a 5K.

For years and years and years (and especially this past year, since I’ve started blogging), I’ve tried to make myself believe that I have to be a runner. “I have to run track because half of my family did. I have to run in college because all of my friends are doing it. I have to run after work because it’s what all of the bloggers do.”

But the truth is, running still isn’t my favorite. And I’m finally okay with admitting it. It doesn’t make me less of a fitness enthusiast or a blogger or a family member. It just makes me, well, me.

You might remember that one of my New Year’s resolutions is was to run a half marathon. I’ve decided not to pursue that goal. I’ve realized that the only reason I wanted to do it is because my sister is doing it, and I see a million other bloggers doing it, and well, I wanted to do it too.

I will still be running two 5Ks in May, but I will be doing it for fun. My only goal is that I finish, and I’d say that’s a pretty attainable one :).

All relationships have their ups and downs. My relationship with running is proof of that — it’s been rocky. Don’t feel bad if yours has too.

Do you like running?

If you’re a healthy living blogger, do you  feel pressured to enjoy running?





22 Responses to “My Relationship with Running”

  1. Harriet March 28, 2012 at 10:59 pm #

    Nope– I actually don’t like running at all. The only reason I ever do it is because I’m competitive. If I found something (anything!) else in which I could be competitive, I would probably be doing that.

    I’m happy for you that you realized you didn’t actually want to do a half marathon– it can be incredibly freeing to let go of a goal that you don’t have your heart set on. Good luck with the 5ks! 🙂

  2. Sara @ Nourish and Flourish March 29, 2012 at 12:58 am #

    I love and can completely relate to your running story, Emily! Like you, I didn’t enjoy running in the least bit until I let go of ” I have to” mantra and embraced “I can” mantra. Many torturous miles were logged during high school, college and afterwards—miles that I dreaded, but continued to run because the after-effect made me feel validated. Now I run *mostly* when I want to. I’d be lying if I said I don’t still force myself to hit the treadmill from time to time; however it’s becoming much more infrequent, especially as I’ve learned about the benefits of different types of exercise. Recently I’ve become interested in Cross Fit-style workouts, and I’m beginning to realize that my body is much happier doing short bouts of intense exercise rather than endurance exercise. Like you (and Harriet), I’m competitive, and for me, weight lifting is a much healthier way to release that edge. 🙂

    Hope you’re having a great week! xoxo

  3. notsodomesticated March 29, 2012 at 6:21 am #

    I just started running for the first time within the past year. Before that, I absolutely hated it and vowed to never do it. I don’t know why, but something changed, and now I really enjoy it … well, most days, anyways! 😉 But I don’t think you have to like anything just because other bloggers do. A lot of them eat super super healthy all the time … and that’s not necessarily for everyone. Personally, I like a cupcake or ice cream from time to time, and I think that’s OK. 😉

    • Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy March 29, 2012 at 8:39 am #

      I’m with ya on the cupcake and ice cream thing :). I don’t eat healthy all of the time, and I’m okay with that!

  4. peaceloveandoats March 29, 2012 at 7:46 am #

    Haha I always felt the same way about running growing up, that stupid
    mile in PE! But now I love running for me! I was never good at many
    sports, I’m just not the aggressive type, but running feels right to
    me. I know what you mean though about the blogging world, that’s how I
    feel about crossfit right now: I feel like I have to try it, but
    actually, I HATE bootcamp workouts! Burpees and mountain climbers? No
    thank you! Focus on what you love and be proud of those 5Ks! I mean
    really, probably a small percentage of Americans have ever even
    participated in one!

  5. Heidi Henry (@BananaBuzzbomb) March 29, 2012 at 7:54 am #

    I don’t necessarily have a love/hate relationship with running but it has always been a challenge. Bad days happen but good days totally overrule those days. Happy running =)

  6. runyogarepeat March 29, 2012 at 8:46 am #

    I love running, but I’ve had my ups and downs with it (I hated track too – hated having to run fast ALL the time, it hurt). Now the focus is on running for me, and not trying to compare times/distances to friends and bloggers, which is hard sometimes because everyone’s running marathons super fast. It sounds like you’re making a good decision – if you only wanna run a 5k, that’s great. Plus, you enjoy other fitness classes that not everyone likes, like dancing and Zumba.

    • Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy March 29, 2012 at 8:57 am #

      Yes, there was so much pressure to run fast in track — it really wasn’t the proper way to train, especially at such a young age!

  7. HollieisFueledByLOLZ March 29, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

    I have never felt pressured to love running but to eat healthy to be active all the time. I used to feel like people were judging me if I wasn’t. I resolved it quickly by just not posting what I ate every often. It seems to have worked well for, this is such a great post Emily!

  8. Erika March 29, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

    I have a love/hate relationship with running. Blogging helps to keep me accountable. I danced a bit and I loved that but running helps me to get rid of stress and just have my own time!! Since I’ve only been running for a year, I try not to get down on my time. But it is something to strive for!!

  9. This Life Is Sparkling March 29, 2012 at 5:37 pm #

    1. I look absolutely disgusting in that picture.
    2. Which great-aunt ran a marathon?!
    and 3. nice picture of my garmin 😉

  10. Bethany @ Accidental Intentions March 29, 2012 at 6:58 pm #

    A+ to you for doing what you want to do rather than what you feel pressured to do. While I definitely consider myself to be a runner and see the HLB community as a good place to support that, I run because I like it. It took an injury for me to realize how much I love running, but I can genuinely say that I love running now–I mean, there’s no way you’d see me getting out of bed at 7:15 on a Saturday morning to run a 5-miler just for funzies or because that’s what all the other bloggers were doing. It bugs me when people in the HLB community do things because that’s what you’re “supposed” to do. Doing something you’re genuinely passionate about and interested in seems like a much healthier approach to life than choking down food you don’t like and spending hours engaged in exercise you hate just because it’s what all the other bloggers are doing.

  11. bendiful April 2, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

    I want that Garmin it isn’t too big it looks perfect! Where did you get it if you don’t mine me asking!

    • Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy April 2, 2012 at 8:14 pm #

      It’s actually my sister’s. I believe she got it on Amazon, but I’ll ask her and get back to you :).

      • bendiful April 3, 2012 at 11:06 am #

        I found it on Amazon! I just love the shape of it the big square ones are HUGE on me. I like the arrow roundness of it! Thanks for posting the pic! I can’t wait to get mine!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: