I’ve now officially been running for a little over 4 months — and for those who are already runners, you know that once you start, you either love it or you hate. It’s not that you love running WHILE you’re running, and especially not when you get up at 6am to go run. In fact, sometimes you actually really dread it. But if you don’t do it for a few days, you start to really look forward to your next run. And so I thought that since I’ve logged nearly 300 km (187 miles) in Endomondo and am signed up for two half-marathons, a 10k and the Berlin marathon in September, I can actually call myself a runner.
Well, that and the fact that I go out running in rain, snow, sleet, and sunshine (looking forward to there being more of the latter soon!), even when there are no other runners (or people) out on the street.
Why start running? Here’s a few random things to make you think about starting…or not.
- Run for the shower afterwards — Especially when it’s cold outside, the shower after your run is the absolutely best feeling in the world. Warming up in the hot shower, relaxing your muscles after the run. There are few better things on earth!
- Running makes you smug –and you feel just a bit better than other people because you run — I don’t really know if that’s a “good” reason to start running, but you really do feel better about yourself when you run. Especially if you’ve been out early in the morning during really gross weather, and you’re out later in the day and see runners going by. You know you’ve been out there and done it already.
- Running makes you ravenous — Seriously, about 45 minutes after I get back from running, I am starved to the point that I must shove some type of food in my mouth or I might eat off my own arm. It’s crazy. And then for the rest of the day, I have to eat about 6 times because I just keep getting hungry.
- Runners rarely greet each other on the street — I’m trying to buck this habit here in Berlin and I give a simple two finger wave to other runners I pass. Some of them never even look at you, and others give a big grin in appreciation of being greeted. But since we’re all out there pushing ourselves to new limits, why do we have to ignore each other? Throw up a quick hand and get out of your zone for a second. You know you see me running by!
- Although you may not always enjoy running, when you stop for a few days, you start to crave it — As I was saying before, running is kinda strange. If you enjoy it, your body really gets used to it and wants more. I’ve never really experienced that with other sports before but I have to say I like it. And it’s practical since if you stop running completely, you have to build yourself back up again slowly, which sucks.
- When you start running, you’ll start discovering more and more runners in your circles — It’s not that you notice more of them on the street (although you do) but you start to notice that all kind of other people you know are runners too. Like one of the teachers at Mack’s kindergarten…who apparently is actually not an active runner in the winter because it’s too cold and icky…and looked at me like I was crazy when I said I sometimes train by myself pushing Mack in her jogging stroller (talk about a killer workout!)
- After running, your skin is somehow seems looser — This is not one of the good things about running either. But somehow, when you strip those sweaty clothes off after running, your skin seems to jiggle more. What is up with that, fellow runners?
- Just by running 3-4 times a week, you can double and triple your endurance in a matter of weeks — It’s incredible how quickly you can build yourself up with running. If you start weigh lifting, you’re going to need way more time to triple your strength. But with running, your body just seems to embrace the longer, faster runs more quickly.
- Setting mini-goals is crucial for achieving long-term success — If you are thinking of starting to run, sign up for your first 5k about 4 weeks after you start. Then do a 10k about 6-8 weeks after that. It may seem like a huge goal, but you don’t have to win it…and it will give you something to work toward.
- Running is just for you — There are few sports that I have participated in that made me feel more competitive. And not against others (although sometimes against Stefan which is silly) but mostly against myself. I look forward to running certain stretches faster and faster. Some days you think you’re running slow and you end up setting a new personal best. And other days, you try hard to do well, and you just don’t pull it off. But either way, you still got out there and did it — which makes you stronger and better than everyone else who slacked off and had another bag of chips instead.
If you’re a runner, what makes you want to keep running? And if you’re not a runner, what makes you think you might want to start — or keeps you from starting?!