Why I Quit Running

IMG_8942I was telling a client that I very rarely run because I hate running. But that I used to run and really enjoy it.

She asked me what had changed.  I didn’t really know, so today I decided to lace up my running shoes and find out.

When I first started running it was to train for my first half marathon.  It was a new challenge and I really enjoyed the excitement of getting ready for something I’d never done before. I loved the race and definitely felt that runner’s high after.  And that’s why I signed up for the next half marathon right away.  9 half marathons in tho I wasn’t loving it anymore.  I actually signed up for a 10th, but never trained or ran the race. I retired from running. But why?

Today I laced up my shoes on this gorgeous, sunny fall day. I didn’t have a distance in mind and no time goal I was shooting for. I spent the time really FEELING the run.  It was hard – cardio always is for me – but it was exhilarating to push myself out of my comfort zone. It was peaceful to be out in nature – even if just in my neighborhood – to feel the sun and hear the birds and chat with neighbors as I passed by. I was actually enjoying this time to myself practicing self care by moving my body.

IMG_8947When I was training for all those half marathons my runs did not feel like this. The culture around these races is to get better, faster, every single race.  Everyone always asks “What was your time?” when you’ve done a race. For some people, this is good for them.  That competition with themselves, and sometimes others, is a driving force to keeps them going. But for me, not so much. If you know me, you now that I am not a competitive person at all, but my runs were all focused on distance and speed – to beat my time with every single run. So this culture of competition, even if it was just with myself, started to feel oppressive.  I wasn’t having fun anymore.

But today, I WAS having fun. Typically if you ask me what I do for cardio I’d say that I lift weights faster.  But I just may start a brand new love affair with running – running to move and to feel and to clear my mind and push past comfort zones – and THAT definitely gives me a runner’s high.