I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: running sucks. I do not enjoy running. I do not look forward to going on a run. I do not wake up excited for a workout involving a run. I do not like the monotony of it. I do not need the knee and shin pain that comes from a run. I do not want a constant reminder that my endurance levels are maybe not in an adequate range. Yet, I do it anyways. Because I know that it’s a great workout and because I’ve been doing it since high school, which was long enough ago for me to technically be a 10,000 hour expert at it. But it’s not a desire of mine to quickly move my legs, struggle to breathe, and give everyone I pass a mental image of me trying not to die.
It’s no secret that there have been times in my life where my decisions have been questionable. A bit of a head scratcher, if you will. Normally it’s other people who are confused by what I do. Recently, however, I shocked myself, which doesn’t happen as often as you would think. Despite some of my previous posts. In a weird twist, I agreed to run, not one, but two half marathons with some people that I care very much about. TWO?! What is wrong with me? That alone is cause for concern given how long a half marathon is, and my current struggle to complete a run that’s a mere third of that distance.
Here’s the kicker, this is not my first half marathon. No, sadly I agreed to run one a few years ago and I hated it. When I say I hated it, I was on the verge of tears near the end of it. Not because I’m an overly emotional person, but because it was a traumatizing experience. Now here we are, in the year of the vaccine and a hope for normalcy, and one of my first big decisions is to suffer through 13.1 miles of pain. Again. Twice. Why? We don’t know. Do I have regrets? More than you know, but I’m no flake so here we are. Can you get PTSD from a bad run? I certainly think so! I’m no medical expert, but let’s go through all of my emotions from half marathon numero uno to make my case:
13.1 miles is a long way in a car. On foot, you might as well be running to the moon. I was nervous about my ability to complete the race.
Ok, yes, I was a tad bit excited about earning my 13.1 sticker so all the fake ones I’d bought could be validated.
Nothing makes you question your decisions like standing at the starting line knowing you have to run 13.1 miles in the woods on a 4 mile loop. Might as well get back in the car now.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I felt some resentment for the person who convinced me to run the race at about the 5K mark.
Also at the 5K mark, I felt a giant wave of sadness knowing that I had 10 miles to go. Which is still a long way in a motorized vehicle. On foot, might as well be walking through the whole Sahara.
Somewhere on the second loop, I forgot how far I’d gone and thought I was almost done. Only to be told that I had 4 more miles. And I wasn’t 100% sure what my name was at that point.
You ever go for a run in the woods and wonder if there’s a serial killer just lurking about waiting to kidnap you? Thank you CRIMINAL MINDS for that! But also, I lost most of the other runners on loop 2 so it was just me and my confused thoughts hoping to make it out alive.
Let’s be honest, this was the underlying feeling for the whole race. Specifically, though, near the 10 mile mark I hated myself. I hated running. I hated the race organizers. I hated the people who were so happily cheering like I wasn’t trying to simply survive. I was in a mood.
You know that feeling when you are trying to just finish something and when you do, after a giant struggle, you find that other people finished it easily, in a third of the time, with seemingly little effort? What a fun time.
I did feel a lot of relief when I finished. Mostly since I promised myself that I would never, ever, ever run a half marathon again. A promise that I broke. Now I’m internally conflicted. Who even am I anymore? We don’t know.
Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!
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