Nine things that have surprised me about running
I’ve been “running” for less than six weeks, so feel free to roll your eyes at one or all of these things!
1. No matter how excited I am to strap on my running shoes, the first five minutes are usually the most brutal. At least once during those first five minutes I think, “this sucks, and I hate it.”
2. As soon as those five minutes are up, I feel fantastic.
3. It’s not my stamina that gives me the most problems, but my calves/shins/feet. When I try to talk myself into stopping, it’s usually because I ache more than I’m truly exhausted.
4. There’s nothing in this world like finding a groove. Struggling while running is frustrating and can really mess with my mind but when I hit that groove, wow, no work-out tops it.
5. Regression happens. I can have a great run and feel on top of the world one day and then have the opposite experience two days later. That’s tough for me; I like steady progression with no setbacks (don’t we all?).
6. Pace doesn’t really matter to me, at least not yet. If I’m jogging/running, I’m proud of myself. I thought I’d care how fast I could go, but I really don’t. Finishing something is the point, not how long it took me to do it.
7. It can be boring. Intervals help a lot with this. Instead of staring down a daunting half hour, I can focus simply on the next few minutes, but, still, running is a solo sport and I tackle most my runs with just my thoughts and time. I’m still figuring out how to mentally conquer the boredom and silence but when I do, I think I’ll enjoy running even more.
8. By the end of the run, I feel better and less drained than at the beginning. I’ve noticed this with other work-outs (the 30 Day Shred, for one), but at the beginning, I’m sluggish, slow, tired, excuse-filled but by the end (after at least a half hour of activity), I feel less winded and more in shape. That may be a total no-brainer to regular exercisers, but it’s such a strange experience for me.
9. I LIKE IT! It’s not easy and it’s more mentally challenging than I hoped it would be, but when it’s good, it’s incredible.
What surprised you most about running?