When I first began running I felt like nothing could touch me. Every run felt fresh, easy and fun. Okay, so I was only running like a mile and a half on my first routes, but I sought out with the idea running was always going to be pleasant.
All runners know that not every run is going to be super inspirational, uplifting and refreshing. Some runs are going to suck. Bad. I went on my first run in…pause…eleven days yesterday. I know. Cringe.
I went for my second run today and it was a million times better than yesterday.
The need for me to suddenly whip my butt back into gear started brewing in my head after talking to my good friend at the bar on Saturday night. My friend and I were discussing winter and the holidays coming up, and the topic of the “boyfriend layer” came up. Now for those of you who don’t know, the boyfriend layer might also be referred to as “comfort weight.” Lauren Conrad coined the boyfriend weight phenomenon in her interview and cover with Shape Magazine, more of that interview can be found here. Basically, comfort weight or the boyfriend layer is that extra couple of pounds one seems to gain while in a relationship. Once you’re dating and comfortable with your significant other, it’s easy to lose track of your running route and instead of heading to pilates class, you snuggle up on the couch with each other for a movie marathon and some good food. Suddenly you realize it has been weeks since you’ve hit the treadmill and WAM! You see five extra pounds staring back at you on the scale.
Anyways, so my friend and I are both in relationships and after discussing the idea of comfort weight, I couldn’t help but think back to all of the fast food the BF and I ate this past weekend. Don’t worry, he and I have sworn each other to secrecy about the exact intake of how much bad food we ate, but I can assure you, it was a lot. Also with the holidays and winter coming up, the idea of gaining weight is even more real.
Now I can eat whatever I want and not put on a pound — if I’m working out on a regular basis. SO, Monday rolled around and I forced myself to get back to the grind. I was out there running my 3.9 daily route and after Monday’s run I honestly felt like I was hungover. I expected to feel weak and dehydrated but COME ON! I felt like I had just woken up from a night of heavy drinking. I just stood in the shower after my run trying my best to not puke. I felt like an amateur. I didn’t even feel worthy of being out there looking like a runner because I sure as hell didn’t feel like one. Once I hit the holy grounds of my apartment parking lot, I practically collapsed. THAT SUCKED!
I woke up today expecting to be sore and to my surprise, I really wasn’t. So once again today around 5 p.m. I laced up and threw myself back out on my route hoping, no PRAYING, that today’s run would be better. And it was.
It wasn’t like one of those totally awesome, phenomenal runs where you feel invincible and unstoppable and like super woman and — oh, is that just me? Okay, well, today’s run didn’t suck nearly as bad as yesterday’s, but it still wasn’t fun either. It got me thinking about all the other runners out there who fight through those really crappy runs every now and again to get to the good ones. It made me think about all the beginner runners who must feel so discouraged after or during their first or second run where it honestly just hurts like hell and they are probably thinking “Why the heck am I out here torturing myself?!”
All I’ve got to say is it gets better. There are some runs you just have to get through, you just have to tell yourself to just keep running, even if every muscle in your body and your brain is screaming STOP YOU IDIOT!
There are certain runs that make other runs worth it though yes? That amazing run where nothing seems to touch you, you’re relaxed and feel strong and refreshed. Those kind of runs is what I run for. Sometimes you’re going to have a crappy run, just like you’re sometimes going to have a crappy day – it happens to even veteran runners. All runners have bad days. Some runs will feel good while others will feel like torture. Yes running will become easier with time, but no run will ever be effortless, just like some phases in life just seem to work out, but we can’t ever stop putting efforts into what we want to accomplish.
I guess at the end of the day it’s not about gaining a few extra pounds, it’s not about counting calories, it’s not about how pathetic you look limping down the street forcing yourself to not stop running. At the end of the day it’s about just getting out there and giving it your best shot — in love, in work, in life.