Confessions of a Conflicted Runner

I run 3 times a week. I completed a 5k with a respectable fair time. I have shoes I wear just for running. I read about running, I research running, I’ve even dreamed about running.

But I don’t know if I can really call myself a runner in the “live to run” sense of the word. Here’s the thing: I kind of hate running while I’m doing it. I LOVE how I feel after a challenging run, and I love how many calories I burn from running, but during the actual process I often find myself thinking, “When will this be OVER??” Running is HARD. I still find completing 2 miles to be difficult, and I’ve only managed 3 miles a handful of times. Shouldn’t such a small distance be a piece of cake now? Others write of going on long and “easy” runs, and I don’t even know what that feels like. I don’t have “easy” runs. I have hot, sweaty, interminable runs. I would love to be able to run longer distances because I feel like I am not progressing, and I would love to do a half marathon, but I just don’t know if I am cut out for that kind of running.

Maybe I am just a wimp and need to push myself more. Maybe I just need to be in better shape and keep working on my endurance. Maybe I need to sign up for another race because the most fun I had while running was doing the 5k back in May. Maybe I need to content myself with my 2 mile runs and walking.

I love the idea of running. I love the feeling of pride and accomplishment that comes with running. I guess what it comes down to is that I feel like an impostor when I’m running, like I’m just a pretender among a group of legitimate pavement pounders.

Are there any others who feel this way about running? Am I being silly? Any advice?

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7 thoughts on “Confessions of a Conflicted Runner

  1. Erin, You're not being silly. I think running is hard and I'm not a runner. Never have and can't say I will ever be a runner. I might try one of these days. When I see people run, I wonder how they do it, what makes them run and keep running?
    Be happy with 2-3 miles. You will reach more. It might be a good time to repeat those Bible Verses.
    Kim

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  2. Hey there Erin, I know exactly what you are feeling. I have yet to complete a 5 K but I am very close. I love the high I have after the run but during it, I find it so hard to get through it. Now I must remind myself that in the beginning, I hurt in every part of my being, and now I don't. In the beginning, I could not hold a conversation and now I can talk but still out of breath. In the beginning, I could not see how I could run longer than 3 minutes at a time, now I'm up to running total of 21 minutes.

    Today it is much easier to jog (but still difficult) and I'm 100% confident that it will just continue to get better. I too read how easy it is for some folks (or see they running by me with such fluidity and ease) and I do truly believe that one day I (we) will get there too!

    Just keep up the good work and it will get easier/better.
    My 2c 🙂
    S

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  3. Running is hard. I've had times in my life where I got to a point where it felt good, but for me that runner's joy never kicks in until I've been running for about 30 minutes. And it's hard to get that far! So basically it was hell until I could push myself past 30 minutes and then I loved it.

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  4. Running is hard my friend and it takes courage to even try it! There are no running “impostors”!! Your passion for running, not the distance you can complete, makes you a runner. I used to not be able to run a mile in under 15 minutes. I used to HATE running and scoff at people who did it for fun (I thought they were crazy). Many years later, and many runs where all I thought of was “how much more til I'm done” have now turned into me *adoring* running and running at least 18 miles a week. You will get there! Doing a 5k is such an accomplishment! Give yourself the credit you deserve!

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  5. Running is hard! I just started run/walking again after a ( ahem) nine year hiatus, and it is tough. Even at my top physical shape, it was tough and I never found it easy. Just keep focusing and working – and remember that feeling you get when you are DONE with a great workout!

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  6. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog today. I'm so inspired by your weight loss journey! Isn't Annie great to connect her readers like this! Praying for as well…..

    Have a great weekend!

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  7. Girl–you are doing GREAT! I found your blog as the blogmie friend of Annie… But I LOVE that you are running, and I love to hear about people who have just started running.

    I've been running for years… although I've suffered some injuries that have been obstacles recently. I'm back to running without pain… But I've noticed that I need to focus on how it makes me feel after I run, and the concept that I'm taking good care of my body… not speed, or keeping up with others (then you get hurt), etc.

    I commented some place else, but try the run/walk ratio. Maybe run 3 minutes and walk a minute. See if that doesn't help with the “hardness” and if you don't feel better at the end. The point is to keep running… if it feels too hard, it probably is.

    Hang in there and email me at unc_runner_girl@yahoo.com if you want to chat more.

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