Tuesday, November 25, 2014

I am NOT a Runner

Sal and I started running about two years ago, in 2012. We signed up for our first 5K turkey trot, and decided to train by using the C25K app on our phones. It would train us for a few weeks, and leave us ready to run the 5K on our own. Thankfully, we were able to do most of our running during the end of summer, and fall. The weather wasn't too bad, and we were able to get through our runs week after week. I struggled in the beginning, and had cramps that seemed to be so excruciating that I had to stop. I even tried wrapping up my ribs, but it didn't help. I slowed my pace down, and eventually moved past it. The running became easier and easier, so that by the time our 5K arrived, we were both ready at the start line. Sal even left me in the dust, waiting for me at the finish line. It was extremely cold on Thanksgiving day that year, and being that the race was around the lake, it made it even colder. However, we made it through, and we continued to run while we could - whether it was outside or on the treadmill inside. We are not the kind of people that would run in the rain or snow though.

When the weather was nicer again, as winter started to fade and spring came, we started running again. We didn't run every day, but we ran when we could. However, that year Sal was having terrible pain in his legs while running, and after a trip to the doctor, found out he may have been having compartment syndrome and had to stop running. The constant impact on his heels/legs/knees was not good for someone who originally had knee problems. I'm not going to lie, I loved having him as my running partner, and I loved being able to push our limits together, but I did not want him to continue and further injure himself. We would just have to find something else that worked for the two of us to do together to stay fit. Just because he stopped, didn't mean I did, I kept up with my runs, but they were few and far in between. I ran several 5Ks, and many fun runs, including the Foam Fest, Dirty Girl Mud Run, and Color Run. I also ran that very same turkey trot we had signed up for just a year before, but this time I was on my own. It was more difficult to get through, even though I knew Sal was waiting at the finish line. It was bitter cold, and I pushed myself hard to get done sooner.

That same November 2013, I had Sal try out a kickboxing class at CKO Kickboxing. He was hesitant at first, because he didn't think it was for him. It had assumptions in his head that only women did it, and that it wasn't going to be hard. Little did he know... He tired out the class, and absolutely loved it. Before I knew it we were signing both of us up for a membership. My mom had purchased a gym membership for me for Christmas, so I was still able to run on the treadmill during the winter, but I found myself running less and less. This past summer I completed 3 5Ks, again, and one in the fall, most of them without training for the run, specifically by running. I signed up for the turkey trot again, this year, but about two weeks ago, I decided I wasn't going to run it. Yes, I know I realize I already paid for it, and I will be losing out on the money, but it was as if I was hit in the head, and a thought just popped up - I'm not a runner. I repeat, I'm NOT a runner.

When I first started running, I did consider myself a runner, no matter how slow I went, I was running, so that made me a runner, at least in my head. But if I'm being completely honest with myself, now, I don't enjoy running all the time. I like getting out there breathing in the fresh air, blasting my playlist, and seeing how far I can push myself, but it's never more than 3.1 miles, and I also do not enjoy running in the cold, rain, or snow. I hate that feeling of my lungs freezing when I breathe in the cold air, and I feel as if I'm suffocating. I hate when those cramps come out of nowhere, and I just want to stop. I hate pumping myself up and forcing myself out the door when I just don't feel like running. I'd much rather go to a CKO Kickboxing class, or any group exercise class for that matter ... okay, maybe not Zumba, but any other, than go out and run. Sure, intervals are great on the treadmill, and alternating the height it also great to work that butt, but just pure straight running, nope not a huge fan. Guess what? That's OKAY in my book! I'll continue to do fun runs and obstacle course runs because I love those, and it's not straight running, as for regular runs, you won't catch me signing up for one, at least not any time soon.

You have to find an exercise you enjoy, even if that means you don't follow what everyone else likes... even if that means you have to do it on your own. If you don't enjoy a workout, don't do it. It's only going to make you hate working out, and then you'll stop, and figure that you're better off sitting on the couch watching TV. Try different things out, but don't keep taking a class, running, or lifting weights if it's not your thing.

Find your thing. 

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