The problem with running is really quite simple, the mind wants to give in before the body.
My run today perfectly illustrates that problem. It also is a good example of why many people give up on running so quickly. After a good five minute walk and ten minutes into my run my shins hurt, my legs hurt, and my mind was saying over and over “Just throw this run in the trash, walk home. You can run tomorrow. You can’t complete this run.”
I had to spend about five minutes repeating over and over in my mind, “I can do this, I can finish this run.” After five minutes my runner’s high kicked in and the pain in my legs went, the pain in my shins was gone, and my mind was a perfect blank slate. But to get there I had to run through 10 miserable minutes, and 5 more horribly miserable minutes.
While this is perhaps the worst part about running, it is also perhaps the best part of running. And as someone who has run off and on for the last decade I think it can be reduced to this simple rule: It only takes one good run. What does this mean? If you can push through the first 10 or 15 minutes of your run, as agonizing* is it might be, there is a wonderful feeling on the other side. After you feel it once, you will be aching for your next run. [The preceding only applies to running on the road, treadmills are an entirely different story].
My pace was a bit slower than usually, but much of that is because I took perhaps the hilliest route I’ve ever run. Too see the varying elevations click on the picture above. I came in just shy of 4 miles (missing the mark by .09)- and believe me I am kicking myself in the butt for not running the extra .09. I am quite content with the 524 calories burned and can’t wait to see my BMI break in the 25s.
[*Note: If your agony comes from chest pain please do stop your run and consult a doctor].