This past weekend I did what I never thought possible – I ran 11 miles! Never in my life could I imagine that my body was capable of this. I despised running back in middle school and high school, and I absolutely dreaded having to run The Mile or The Pacer in gym class. You can only guess my excitement and joy when I realized how much I actually enjoyed running! It was a breakthrough and I couldn’t believe how my views on running had changed.
Upon completion of the 11 miler, I obviously felt great pride and joy at my abilities. But with the happiness came a nagging feeling that I soon pinpointed on the lack of that “I gave it my all and I’m 1000% drained” feeling. The good part? – I felt like I could’ve kept running. The bad part? – I felt like I could’ve kept running.
Yup, you read that right. My half marathon running concerns were slightly eased when I realized I was capable of completing the distance, but I was bugged by the fact that I clearly didn’t push myself out of my comfort zone. I had
nothing something left in me. Was this a good thing?
At this moment in my life the answer is yes. I do not want my mind and body to associate running with pain. I know myself well enough to realize that I will end up hating running if this occurs. I run for pleasure and never force myself to maintain a certain pace. It’s no secret that I have zero pain tolerance, which steers me away from those extremely painful energy-sucking runs that leave me immobile (let’s ignore the fact that I am still ridiculously sore from my long run, especially in my quads…damn DOMS!).
In my opinion, there are loosely two kinds of runners (and I say loosely because no one fits into one category perfectly 100% of the time) – those that enjoy pushing themselves to the edge and those that often ignore their time and pace. I’m clearly the latter…for now at least ← this may change in the future.
No pain, no gain No pain, all gain!
A half marathon is a new-to-me distance and I love the feeling of excitement and anticipation associated with it. At this point in my life my ultimate goal is to actually finish the race and continue enjoying my runs!
My final thought is this: I will never feel unsatisfied after a run even if I ran so slow I was basically crawling. Of course, not all runs are created equal, but to me a run is still a run regardless of the pace. I run my own race (thanks Janae for this quote!).
What kind of runner are you? Do you believe in the no pain, no gain mentality?