I hate running

I hate running.

It’s not like I haven’t tried. I want to love it. I desperately want to be one of those people who smugly sits at the dinner party or the pub on a Friday night and says “I just don’t feel like myself if I haven’t been for my daily run”. I don’t feel like myself if I don’t get my morning coffee.  I don’t feel like myself if I’ve left my phone in the car.

I really want to be the other person, the running person.

But I’m not.

Running is the persistent old boyfriend. The one who floats in to town every now and then and wants to give it one more try. You know you should stick with William Walking or Eddie Elliptical, they’re so much kinder to your knees and ankles but Ryan Running knows all the right things to say. And he looks hot.

It’ll be fast. I’m cheap. You can do me in park, you could do me straight after school, you could do me at night. I’ll be there for you first thing in the morning. You’ve seen the other girls who’ve been with Running and they’re shrinking before your eyes. Five kilometres, 10 kilometres, now they’re doing a marathon. Maybe you could do a marathon?

Your DD’s don’t help. As you strap them in to your Uni-boob bra and feel a nipple brush past your chin you wonder if maybe you’re just not built for it? But you know that can’t be true. You’ve seen the others, they’ve done it.

Why couldn’t you make it work?

It’s been an off again on again relationship for way to long. In Calgary you took classes to “Learn to run” but after week 5 you found excuses. In Kuala Lumpur you bought a running stroller. After meeting a particularly angry snake you successfully ran backwards up a hill at record speed, remember the man who had to stop his motorbike and get off because he was laughing so hard at your style. The relationship stopped there. In Houston you began the couch to 5k program not once, not twice but three times.

So you begin again, run for 60, walk for 90, run for 60, walk for 90 – you’re half way there, 1 minute left. You’ve heard it all before.

This time it will be different.

Are you a runner? Any tips or am I just kidding myself?

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  1. Oh, I wish. If I were a runner I wouldnt be moaning and groaning about the extra 10kg I carry around with me on a daily basis. Ugh.

    Couch to 5k program sounds interesting – how does it work?

  2. Lynda Otvos says

    Not a runner but I have problems keeping my yoga workout on a daily basis too. And like running it takes no special anything to do yoga. Unless we count personal motivation as a special ingredient.  LOL

  3. I love this! Sounds like me for most of my life-  until bad knees and a ruptured disc in my back ended the relationship permanently.  I started spinning (group cycling classes) about 4 years ago and it works almost as well, but we have our ups and downs, too! I wish it were different, but I’m sad to say that I’ll probably NEVER be a person who craves a workout any more than I’ll ever be a person who prefers vegetables to sweets…sigh.

  4. Murray Linda2010 says

    Oh so true. My sister is a runner, I look at her and think ‘ why do I not get this like she does?’ Then we both slouch over our morning coffee but she is hot from the post run smug effect and I’m hot from cooking every other member of the extended family a fresh breakfast……

  5. I have such good intentions too, i just really need someone to do the stop watch thing for me, as it sounds pretty full on doing the run 60 seconds, jog 45 seconds, run 90 seconds to build up.  I can picture my children riding bikes behind me/ actually in front of me, taking it in turns to say “run Mummy, RUN”.  Love Posie

  6. I never ran – ever.  I only walked.  Then one day in August, I thought – I wonder if I could run to that lamp post – and that is how it all started.  I ran to that lamp post and then the next and then I walked again.  Then we bought running shoes (don’t try to run in walking shoes and don’t walk in running shoes) and I started off with a short loop 3.3km – and I would run half a road and then walk the rest and each day I would increase the length of road that I was running. 

    Now I am running three days per week – Monday, Wednesday, Friday and I alternate between a 4.9km loop and a 3.3km loop.  And I love it – I am going to be posting about it either later today or tomorrow. 

    If you want to run, I think that the trick  is to start slowly. 

    GOOD LUCK !!!


  7. Awelshgirl says

    Once I saw this post title I could’t wait to read! I could have written this… (well, not so well, but you know what I mean).
    I am married to a man who thinks nothing of running to work – 10km each way, or getting up on a weekend morning and running up and down a mountain before coffee time. I languish at home thinking about it and never actually getting further than the sports wear section in the shop!
    Yes, I admire other runners, yes, I wish I could do it, but alas, it’s just not in me. I have finally come to the conclusion that I cannot run.
    So I now stick to guilt free downward dogging with my yoga buddies – much gentler on the shins I think.

  8. I LOVE you for posting this. After half an hour dicking away on twitter in the gym carpark this morning, I almost just drove home. But went in, got on the dumb machine, and went for a dumb run.

    It sucked, every last bit of it. My flabby fat suit was jiggling up and down. I discovered that well may I hate running … but I love the feeling I get AFTER the run.

  9. This is so great, “old persistent boyfriend”! I giggled through the whole thing…thanks for a good laugh. Sorry I don’t have any advice…I’m starting again with Ryan Running myself, so we’ll see how long this lasts. Right now the excuse is “It’s raining..I can’t go out in the rain and run.” But the kid in my is like, “puddles, go run in the puddles and let me out and have some fun…” I think my daughter would agree with the “kid” voice in me. So, okay, I’ll go run in the puddles today…see your post just motivated me to go out and run. =)

  10. Valentinavaselli says

    im terrible at running but like all italians I dream about enroll once in life in the ny marathon 🙂

  11. I dream about running marathons and then I remember that I can’t actually run around the block without stopping. 🙂

    One day.

  12. I have fallen in love with yoga in the past month – the new plan is one day of running, one day of yoga – would so rather just do 7 days of yoga.

  13. I’m so glad you wrote this – I love hearing about people who have gone from not running to regular ENJOYABLE running. I just want to make it to 5km – fingers crossed in about 6 weeks I’ll know what that feels like.

  14. If you have an iPod/iphone you can download the Couch to 5km program which will tell you when to stop/start. The couch to 5km and I have a love/hate relationship – I’m currently loving it.

  15. My sister is also an avid runner -obviously it’s not hereditary! 

  16. I’ve also thought about the spinning thing – not there yet. I’m so with you. A good piece of chocolate will always with the competition 🙂

  17. I’m one of those runner people and maybe this will help Kirsty – I have run all my life and love the feeling I get from running … but I still find it hard to get out for a run. Thing is, running is never a ‘comfortable’ thing to do. When you’re fit, you just run faster. When you’re unfit … well … *shudder*

    So the moral of the story is: run for the feeling you get after (because it’s worth it) but know that many runners don’t enjoy the ‘during’ at all 🙂

    Walking on the other hand … well that is quite the pleasant exercise activity.

  18. I took up running when I was approaching 40.  Though I did eventually run a 3k, 5k and even a 7k it was always a struggle, though I loved the feeling aftwards. 

    Approching 50 I then took up yoga and hope to continue with it until I’m well past 80….LOL!  Seriously.  Has it all – flexibility, strength building, cardio and of course my favorite part, relaxation. 

    Gotta love something where you just get to lay down and rest at the end!

  19. sarahbraaksma says

    I love running. I did the c25k program and started from doing no exercise at all and thought I would die the first month or so.. you just have to be persistent and not give up no matter what! DO IT!

  20. Oh come on Kirsty, you’re the one who got me onto the Couch to 5K programme 6 weeks before my first triathlon, which meant that I could actually run 5k (for the first time) in said triathlon! I’d always hated running, and thought Fun Run was an oxymoron. However, still going 2 years later. 

    But truth be told, the feeling of the run being over and done with is way better than the actual run itself. Still not a natural, ‘running is my life’ type of runner, and don’t think I ever will be!

    But don’t just run, do your yoga and spinning is great too – to break up the monotony of running, and reduce the chance of injury. Go on, step on to the treadmill….!!!

  21. Claire H-L says

    Oh the DD’s – I once had a man lean out of his car window to shout ‘Look at the boobs on that’.  I stopped running until I had bought a strap-em down bra and moved somewhere I could safely run in the dark.  I’m hoping to get back to it at some point, but I’ve been saying that for a good while now….

  22. I can relate to this. I was one of those people who were quite overweight and unfit — to really really enjoying any kind of exercise, including running. And I’m still a DD!!! The “secret” of success, for me at least, was getting fit through something which a) I really enjoyed, and b) had a strong social aspect. For me, that was martial arts. (I was lucky to have an instructor who was very patient, but was also very “hard core” , so he built up the workouts to become extremely challenging without us even realising it.)

     The other thing is, I built very very strong friendships through this program, so it was never an option to “skip”: In addition to missing my endorphin rush, I would also miss seeing my buddies — and I think that was key. 

    In any case, after about a year of this, I started cross-training (because I I was so into it, I starred competing) and before I knew it, I was running marathon-like distances — which included monster hills, and runs up and down stadium bleachers — just for the fun of it. Again, I picked a running buddy (someone whose company I always enjoyed, but who was also at a similar fitness level as myself) and we had little (or big) running “dates.” We held each other accountable (plus we had this little competition thing going — we were both competing for the same spot on the team. But just as easily, we could have “competed” to see who will lose weight faster, or be able to run a monster run sooner, etc) so we never canceled on each other. Of course this was before kids, so… yeah, much easier back then.

    IN short, I would have never gotten in shape if I hadn’t first enjoyed the process that was getting me fit. (Getting fit was just a side-effect of a cool hobby.) And the social aspect of exercise was very key for me. Only after I got super fit did exercise become a way of life, and only then did running acquire its solitary, meditative aspect. Only then, would bad news mean that I would lace up my shoelaces and disappear into the night, rather than cuddle on the couch with Mr Haagen Dazs.

    I still exercise, but, for various reasons, I’m not super fit at the moment (I’m pregnant, for one thing.) But as the weather in Doha is getting cooler, I’m considering taking up running again. If you cannot find anyone else to join you, we can try to see if we can become exercise “buddies,” if you like…

  23. i am not running unless i am being chased ….
    so bring your heels to NYC, not your running shoes ok 😉

  24. ugh, re-reading this, it sounded terrible (things don’t come out as I intend them these days) so let me clarify: 
    From the pics etc that you’ve occasionally posted here, I would have *never* guessed that running or any sort of exercise was a challenge. Never. Your whole post was quite a surprise to me. So when I said that I could relate, I only meant the “running was a challenge” part, not the “I was overweight and unfit” part. I promise. Oy, I’ll just go back and hide now…

  25. AmericanBridget says

    Maybe run with the beagle?  I have a couple beagles myself (best pets ever, but often so naughty).  Running with my beagle always makes me laugh and that sometimes helps pass the time….

  26. Here in Canada we have the great excuse of not being able to run in snow 🙂 so it’s more of a six month hobby. Plus, if anyone asks you can just say “yeah, I switch to the treadmill in winter.” and jerk your head in the direction of the basement…

  27. Deal!

  28. We were in Calgary for 4 and half years but the snow scenario never worked as there was a monstrous gym about 5 minutes from the house (I drank a lot of lattes at that gym). I was always amazed by how bloody fit people are in Canada, they exercise in spite of the weather e.g.. riding your bike to work in -15???

    I miss my basement, but yes, I’m with you – can’t run-toooooo snowy!

  29. The beagle likes to stop roughly every 30 seconds for a sniff. And now that I type this I realize she is the perfect running companion as I like to stop every 30 seconds as well 🙂

  30. Oh Katherine. NO NO NO – I didn’t read it like that at all! 

    Congrats on the pregnancy – how much longer do you have to go? If you want an exercise partner after the birth I’d love a running partner.


  31. Let me know if you do – we can compare notes.


  32. Claire, if you knew how many times a week I tell your story. I’m not sure if there is anyone left in Doha that hasn’t heard about my friend that hated running and how we both start the C-5k and now she runs 10kms and I run 2km – in about the same amount of time.

    I’m back there again. Tonight was week 1, day 3. I’m loving the yoga and fingers crossed in about 8 weeks I’ll be telling you that I’ve finally made it. All I want is 5kms non stop. 

    Pray for me Claire!

  33. Thank you. I love hearing about people who’ve actually completed it and are still doing it. I’ll keep you posted. I start week 2 the day after tomorrow.

  34. I am so with you on the “rest at the end” part of yoga. I’m loving yoga, if I could do it every day I would.

  35. Me and my DD’s know exactly what you mean. Try super speed walking, but not power walking. Power walking puts too much of a strain on your lower spine. Speed walking can get your pulse rate really high without bouncing the girls.

  36. Definitely DON’T run Kirsty.  DD???  Try running with ‘F’!  I gave up when I was 14 …. Nothing then, or since, has been invented to restrain the chest movement, which is probably why running was never intended for the female species, unless of course, you have four legs!  Stick to WALKING.  A brisk stomp when not in full view, or a graceful gait when in public!  At all costs, avoid the bounce between the chin and naval!!! 

  37. Sorry Kirsty – am another running lover here 🙂 I started the C25K back in May and fell in love with running. I love the challenge of it, I love the feeling of just being out there where no one can bother me! I love it all 🙂

    I’ve since done a few 10 km fun runs and am now trying to build up the courage to enter a half marathon and train for that. If you’d asked me 7 months ago if I would have done this, I would’ve laughed in your face! But now it’s a solid goal of mine.

    It’s also helped with my PND which was quite bad after the birth of my second child 18 months ago. Am now off the drugs and feel like I’m back to my normal self again – something I was sure would never happen.

    Good luck with the running – even if you do walk instead of run, it’s still better then sitting on the couch 🙂

  38. Wow, who knew I’d be famous in Doha??!!! And every time I pray from now on, I’ll pray for you and your running! Sorry, not going to be much help there – looks like you’ll have to do it without divine intervention! 

    Get a good podcast to listen to while running, brilliant for distraction, I listen to ‘Answer Me This’  and frequently look like the crazy woman on the Bayou laughing out loud to myself!!

    Good luck!

  39. It takes 10 runs of feeling like vomiting and hating it to get the vibe. But I think it’s worth it. I used to run 4 times a week, now I’m working full time I get out maybe twice a week, but when I do get out I feel so free, I occasionally jump with joy and have a perpetual smile on my face. This goes down really well in Paris!! (I’m an Australian trailing spouse – I love your blog, so much to relate to for me). And a good ipod running playlist really helps, I can give you my lists if you want! Thanks Kirsty.

  40. I did the Couch to 5k plan http://blog.mummybrain.com/search/label/Couch%20To%205K which was very successful. I gave it up over winter, but am starting again, as it’s heading into summer again here!

  41. I can so see myself in what you’re saying. I also really wish I was a runner but I’m not. I’ve tried and I’ve failed. I’ve watched others do it and thought I could to but no. Running just isn’t for me either.

  42. Thanks! But I still have a ways to go: I’m just over the hump now — I’m only 21 weeks along. But judging from previous pregnancies, I  could probably  run now and for a few more months — so I do mean it when I say that I could be a potential running partner if you need one. But I wouldn’t be fast, and I might potentially face the issue of umm… needing ‘pit stops’ somewhere along the way…

  43. Lol Kirsty!!  I remember the snake incident :)))

  44. LOL I used to run, all the time and I love love LOVE it.  Well I “loved ” it…

    I had to stop when pregnant with our 18 month old (actually I just wrote a post about it) and we spent 2 k on a running stroller that I was going to use when I got back into it – I never did.  🙁

    My husband on the other hand weighed in one day at 112 kilos.  he said that was it, stopped eating junk, started the couch to 5k program and within 6 months he had lost nearly 30k and ran a 78km ultra marathon through the Swiss Alps….

    ….arsy bastard! (I say that full of admiration btw…)

  45. I didn’t really get into running until a few years ago. It helps if you live somewhere, where it feels good to be outside– where the scenery is inspiring; where being inside makes you feel guilty.

  46. Very timely to read this post, Kirsty. I’ve just been talking to a friend in Doha about you on email. Thought I’d look up yr blog again, and love this post. Here’s mine. I’m in bed with aching ankles and a bad attitude! http://kathymexted.typepad.com/my_weblog/2012/04/macedon-ranges-running-group-5km-run.html

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