Home > Thoughts > Learning Curve: Running Sucks!

Learning Curve: Running Sucks!

Running sucks!  Oh–did you already know? The way I feel about running right now is the way my burnout exes feel about me–the more I do anything at all, the more it hurts.  If that’s not an indication, the dream I had last night where one anonymous dumpee was hunting me with a lunatic and a shotgun should. There are apparently plenty of reasons all my exes live in Texas. JAJA!

This kid literally had me on blast, shooting into a crowd to get at me in a rundown parking lot, while he blazed on his burnout joint in his dumpy pants.  Never having had a light in his future or even shades on his lamps (literally), living out of his friend’s place well into his 30s, unable to attain his own job, maintain his weight, or retain my interest, he manages to be the king of attacking anyone who tries to do anything.  Slugs shot were hot stamped to singe with his favorite commentaries on me.  “You don’t have any substance.” Puff. “You’re just like every bitch.” Puff. “You have no direction.” Puff.  “You shouldn’t even be allowed to date. ” Puff.  “You’re a vapid hole.” Puff.

EXCUSE ME YOU BUTT HURT WITTLE BABY.  This is exactly why I broke up with you;  your idea of effort is slumming it.  Shooting for the lowest levels of maturity, a dry well of productivity, with the respect of a tumbleweed, and a devastating drought of success, it’s no wonder I escaped your wild misaimed open fire, unscathed.  Thank god Ice-T and Coco came to my case quick and a lavish all you can eat Indian banquet interrupted that violent haterade, but the fact remains.

The more effort and wins I manage, the more the old exes try to induce pain; the more effort and running I manage, the more my old body tries to shut it down.  When my calves hurt and my blisters are ready to pop, I have to tell my body, “EXCUSE ME, GET TO STEPPIN’ YOU WITTLE BABY,” literally, because running sucks.  Even Nike agrees and they are famed for inspiration and motivation.  RUNNING SUCKS.  But here are a few things that helped me dodge the battering of discouragement and failure opportunities the first week or two of running blasts at you.

1) Ready, Set, Shop!  The right equipment is key.  I know everyone tells you ponying up money for something you are just starting out with is a good way to waste money, but that logic is already self-defeating, giving you the option to dropout with no consequence.  Also, rewards have never been as effective as incentives.  If you make yourself run 1 month before rewarding yourself with those new and better tennis shoes, you may just be making it harder for yourself.  On the other hand, new running outfits may incentivize you to try them on and show them off on the trail or the track, motivating you to get out there and feel good about running.  Plus there is the added benefit that you will be more comfortable in nice, properly fitting materials than you would be in those old shorts that add chaffing to the never ending list of reasons RUNNING SUCKS.

2) Tie Your Shoes! This may seem like an act you don’t have to think about anymore since you’ve been doing it since you were two, but I promise it makes a difference.  Stopping mid-treacherous run adds the challenge or starting back up again after your muscles have started to glue together, but more importantly, laces too loose near the toe can cause blisters that will remind you every time your stride pounds the pavement that RUNNING SUCKS.

3) Sprint! The best way to increase your distance and your speed is to do intervals.  You’ve heard it before, but might believe you aren’t there yet or it’s too much of a strain. No.  The sooner you introduce a few sprints into your run, the sooner you’ll get to where you are going.  Sprinting builds up the muscles you need to prevent early exhaustion and it works your cardiovascular system so you can cut time when you run at a regular pace.  It can also increase your mental discipline by training your mind to complete short bursts at a time, rather than expecting your mind to win over miles of matter right off.  It’s a lot easier to psych yourself into finishing the next 15 seconds of a sprint than it is the next 15 minutes of a mile.  Plus, it keeps your run interesting, instead of SUCKING.

4) Boost Yourself. Do whatever you have to do.  Running can change your life if you let it, so do anything and everything you have to do to get yourself there.  If music works, do it.  If it doesn’t, don’t do it.  Don’t listen to anyone, just do what you need to do.  Personally, I find music messes with my pace and though it is less appetizing, I am learning to run without music at least in the beginning because it helps me stay focused.  If groups work, do them.  If groups don’t, don’t do them.  Personally, I have found that being in a group promotes negative talk in my head because I am typically the slowest. For now, I am opting out of groups and though they would help me run regularly, I am ponying up that motivation internally for now, which may be better long term anyway.

5) Mantras. Yoking the mind during running is more than half the battle.  It is the easiest thing in the world to shoot yourself in the foot halfway through your run with ‘can’t’, ‘won’t’, ‘this sucks’, ‘I don’t feel good’, ‘this is taking forever’, ‘this is too hard’, ‘I’ll push harder tomorrow’, ‘I’m bored’.  Replace these with mantras.  Steal them from Pinterest, write them down when you think of them, get them from your friends, but literally chant and analyze and milk them mantras for all they are worth if it will help you zone out for a few minutes of your run every time.  It may feel silly, but challenging your mind to focus on anything when you are pushing your body will help you put miles underneath you.  And the more you force yourself to smile and say things to yourself like ‘you’re awesome’, ‘bomb diggity, girl’, ‘you’re running! yeah!’, ‘I only came here for my thighs’, ‘I love running’, ‘you’re better than everything you’ve ever been’, the more you’ll forget the fact that RUNNING SUCKS!

6) Take a Day Off. I don’t care if it is day 2 or day 4, but taking a day off is key for longevity.  Sure, there are some people that get into things and manage to overcome the odds by doing it everyday, but the fact is, you’ll get farther and faster if you listen to your body from the get go.  If you push yourself too hard, your positive feeling towards running will be depleted before you even make it part of your routine.  Not to mention, if you give your muscles some rest after the shell shock, they will reward you the next day with an easier, better run.  This should incentivize you to get back to your run the next day instead of abandoning post altogether.  Running is about the aggregate effect.  It’s not about being able to say I ran 3 miles today.  It’s about being able to say I’ve been running every other day for the last month and no one can take all of that away from me.

RUNNING SUCKS.  The more you do it, the more pain you are asking for, but in the end, you got this and you’ll never stop thanking yourself if you can manage to make it part of your life instead of slaughtering it with haterade.   

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