Should Running and I Break Up?

I cannot decide how I feel about running. I have never felt so fickle towards anything as I feel towards running. One day I love it, the next day I hate it. I loved it for almost the whole month of August, and then all of a sudden, the pleasure was gone. Every run I’ve done this month has just been something to suffer through, not something I’ve enjoyed. So why do I keep doing it? I have no idea. It hasn’t helped me lose weight, so it’s not as though I’m doing it for that reason. I do know that on the days when I have good runs, I have really really good runs–runs that leave me feeling exhausted but exhilarated and alive. When I have a bad run, I am left feeling discouraged and spent. I think in the past running was something I never really thought I could do, and the old me–the lazy, grossly obese me–definitely wouldn’t have been able to do it, but now? Now I can do it, and so I feel like I need to take advantage of my ability to do it, but is it worth it?

I have tried to figure out what was different about August, to find some clues as to why running was so enjoyable then and not now, but I can’t figure it out. In August, I had a goal of running 100 minutes every week, and I ran distances of 5 and 6 miles a few times. My longest run was about 72 minutes, and while it was difficult, I really enjoyed it. This month, I increased my goal to 120 minutes a week, but I can’t believe that has made the difference in my not wanting to do it anymore. I didn’t even meet that goal the first two weeks, but I didn’t really try, either, and last week I ran 140 minutes, so I’m kind of all over the place in terms of my time spent running.

Perhaps I am thinking about it all too much. Perhaps I need to stop worrying about whether or not I can do a half marathon and when I should do it. Perhaps I need to stop setting minute goals for myself and just run when I feel like it. Perhaps I need a break from running altogether for a while. I don’t want to be in a place where I hate running all the time.

I’m not sure I’m ready to break up with running just yet, but something needs to change. Any ideas?

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8 thoughts on “Should Running and I Break Up?

  1. I totally understand where you're coming from, Erin! Seriously! Perhaps you should stop increasing the time and maybe even decrease for a couple of weeks?

    I took a self-imposed week off for shin splints and because I knew I'd be busy all week and would struggle to get any runs in. This week I'm supposed to start back up, but a busy schedule every day is making it a huge challenge. It hasn't happened yet. 😦

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  2. I have a love/hate relationship with running. I hate it – really, I do. Yet when I'm not running, it's all I dream about. I try to just take it slow, meaning ONLY 2 or 3 times a week. And even then, only about 30 minutes. That way, I get my running and don't overdo it.

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  3. When I first started running it was about working harder at cardio(walking wasn't hard enough anymore). I was thrilled to do it, I never thought I could at 190 pounds. Then it wasn't cardio anymore, it took on a life of it's own. It became about time and miles and races. I felt down if I wasn't getting faster or going further. I didn't want to do it if I couldn't do it right that day. I realized that this was actually hindering my weight loss progress, so now, running is cardio again. I do not log miles, and the only time I log is a total amount that I have allocated to cardio. I feel better about it. now.

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  4. oh, hon you aren't alone! I always have had a love/hate relationship with running too. More love than hate, but why is it always so hard to motivate myself to do it when I know how good I feel during and after a nice run? The things that have helped me love it more than hate it (in the past) have been: having a running partner (hard to come by, but it's a motivator and a nice way to relax with a friend), training with a goal in mind (once I did a marathon relay with four other girls), and cross-training. With the cross-training, you're boosting your all-over strength and power by not running, and then you're more ready to go out and run the next day. I used to do some personal training and I advised my clients to only run once or twice a week if they absolutely hated it, and to supplement it with cross-training. Walking steps and jumping rope are great ways to increase power, yet get in some cardio. Steps burn great amounts of calories, too. Are there any nice parks around you with steps to go up and down?
    look at me, i've written a book! These are the things that have helped me stick with it in the past.

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  5. Erin, I have no advice for you on this subject…but I want you to know that after reading your post, I now have the “Breaking Up is Hard To Do” song it my head…not sure how I feel about that…

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  6. Well I def don't think ya'll need to break up because that would just get messy…:)

    Okay my thoughts. When you run to lose weight it is important that you run in intervals. I know this is hard when you run outside…not on a treadmill…because on the treadmill you can really control the speed and the incline. A lot of times when you run distance at a constant speed it does not get your heart rate up like when you push yourself with intervals. I say try to run a couple runs a week that are less about distance and more about getting your heart rate up…bringing it down…then back up…continued for 20-30 minutes. I have an interval workout I can tell you about if you have a treadmill to run on! Are you doing strength training?

    You are doing so good!!! I am so proud of you!!

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  7. Sign up for a half marathon and find a training group to join. When I had the accountability and a final goal in mind, plus a bunch of running partners to train with, it made ALL the difference!

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