Ok, this headline is a little deceptive, I don’t hate running. A better title would be Reasons why I simply can’t stick to the habit of going for a run as part of a healthy lifestyle. But not quite as catchy, is it?
And that’s where my first problem lies. I’m simply not passionate about it. I grew up in a family where my dad ran (and, well in to his sixties, still runs) everyday. Anyone who has ever gone to a gym with him says the same; he will probably die on a treadmill. He runs like a man possessed, completely goal orientated. Over the years he has completed many marathons in very respectable times and, as children, we were encouraged to go and watch, join in with training and participate in the attached ‘fun’ runs. And this approach was highly successful in installing a love of physical exercise and a passion for running…in my brother. My brother is now the one to fill those enormous muddy trainers and pound the pavements, day in, day out, whatever the weather. And he’s good at it. This year he completed the London marathon in a more than respectable time that was well under three hours. How can I compete?
And there’s the second problem. Whilst I am an alright runner; a style that’s not too shocking and a pace that’s still not shameful either, I am simply not the best. And I don’t like that. Not one bit.
Add to this the outfits (trainers may have recently had a massive make-over for the female market but, at the end of the day, it’s still a trainer), the fact that, without a private gym at home, you have to leave the house to do it and (the most obvious reason of all) if you do it properly, it hurts, I simply can’t get excited about the prospect of committing to a life lived this way.
And, so, I don’t. I am, and will probably continue to be, a fair weather runner. I will take it up for a few weeks every year and enjoy it while it lasts, safe in the knowledge that the promises I make to myself each time about keeping up the the habit just won’t last. I accept that now.
But there is one reason why I love to run. One reason that gets me out there despite the rest. One reason why I am waking up this morning, leaving my house before anyone else and, yes, putting on my trainers.
Running makes your heart race. It makes your head strong. It gives you a sense of accomplishment in a short time.
this week, this morning, today, I need that.