Today for my run I decided to do a route I haven’t done for a rather long time. It’s a mile long stretch downhill to our local park, then a short lap of the park and then a mile long stretch back up the hill to home. As I was running back up the long hard slog of a hill towards home I realised that this run was a run of two halves. I loved the initial half, the downhill stretch to the park. Momentum carried me and I felt like I was flying along with huge strides! I was pretty fast too and did it in under 10 minutes. Then the park was nice… it’s not very much to look at but it’s green and there were squirrels. Then it was back out of the park and up the hill and I HATED it. I hated the fact that I was now struggling to breathe. I hated that I was shuffling along instead of striding. I hated that I’d slowed down and was almost 3 minutes slower in this mile than the previous one. One man who was out walking with his dog even tried to give me words of encouragement saying ‘not much further’ and I just screamed ‘I hate hills so much’ back at him!
This run really summed up my love hate relationship with running. Sometimes I love running so much. I love being out there, feeling the wind on my face, feeling my muscles working and lost in my own thoughts. Sometimes I hate it. I hate that I’m overheating, or I hate that my muscles ache, or I hate that I look at my watch and it’s only been about 30 seconds since I started and it’s already so hard.
I love running and I hate running.
I love the feeling I get when I’ve finished a decent run and I have that runners high and feel a little bit like I could conquer the world.
I hate the feeling when I’ve finished a bad run and my whole body aches and I didn’t go as far or as fast as I should have and I feel like a failure.
I love it when it’s a nice cool spring day and I’ve put on the right layers for the temperature and there is no headwind or cold driving rain.
I hate it when it’s raining and I’m running into wind, or when I’m overheating because it’s horribly hot and humid or I’ve worn the wrong kit for the temperature.
I love it when my legs don’t ache the next day.
I hate it when I can’t walk down the stairs the next day and end up sitting on my bum and shuffling my way down.
I love it when I’ve got all the energy in the world and feel like I could run and run forever!
I hate it when I have no energy left, my legs feel like led and my stomach is all full and uncomfortable.
I love running downhill.
I hate running uphill.
I love running races where there are medals at the end.
I hate all the boring training runs I have to do so I can get to the end of the race.
But mostly, in a weird way, I love the feeling of accomplishment and pride I get when I feel like I hate running but I get out there and do it anyway. I love that I haven’t given up on something, but that I’ve persevered with it to the betterment of myself. I love the friends I’ve made through running. I love that I’ve smashed through goals that I never thought I’d achieve, doing something I never thought I’d be able to do. I never thought I would be a runner, but I AM.
And I do love it really.