Why I ‘Hate’ Running — and Love It At the Same Time


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I had a lovely weekend with my brother and sister-in-law.

Sure, our babies had their fussy moments, and God knows my toddler gave some very passionate demonstrations of the terrible twos, but all in all, we had a blast. There’s nothing like a houseful of kids to keep the grownups happily busy.

My brother and I took a few hours one morning to do a long run, and I’ll admit that I’ve missed having a running buddy (my hubby was my partner for marathon training a few years ago, my most recent race before my latest half marathon — and before my babies).

The conversation, although a little breathy, sure made the time fly by. I came back from our run feeling tired but invigorated. Sore, but inspired.

My sister-in-law and I chatted about running. In fact, we had a similar conversation to one I have with so many people. “I hate running,” is the common theme. The treadmill is especially the subject of loathing.

In fact, my husband and I even had a brief “discussion” about the subject of running. “You love it!” he claimed one day. “It’s your hobby.”

‘I hate running’

Here’s the thing. Yes, I do love it. I guess you could call it a hobby, because it is something I choose to do in my free time. However, to say that I enjoy it each time I run wouldn’t be quite true.

Running is hard work. It’s not always fun, and it’s certainly not easy. It takes mental and physical discipline. At the ten-mile mark, sometimes it even takes emotional discipline. There are days, more often than not, that toes bleed and knees ache.

Now, couple all that with fitting a training run into a busy, grueling schedule — which most everyone has these days — and training for a race becomes quite the mountain to climb.

So why would a runner like me express love for the sport?

Because running packs the most workout punch for the least amount of time. Because when I run ten miles, I feel powerful and strong. Because I fit into the same clothes year after year, even after two pregnancies.

Love isn’t easy

Because running releases endorphins that fight things like depression and lethargy. Because it makes me healthy. Because I get to share it with people a lot like me — motivated, strong, and energetic.

I’ve mentioned how I fell in love with running. As I described, it wasn’t an instant process. But my experience makes me certain that everyone has an equal shot at learning to love and enjoy this most wonderful sport, where a short-legged plodder like myself can find fulfillment in just finishing a thirteen-mile race.

Because love isn’t easy, but it’s worth it!

This is a guest post by Megan Cox, an Oklahoma City-based novelist, writer and contributing blogger for HalfMarathons.Net. Learn more about Megan at her website.

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