First-time Marathoner Explains it All: Why Running Sucks (It Doesn’t)

Running sucks. There – I said it. It sucks because it’s hard. You’re running around either on a treadmill while staring at a wall, wishing this torture would finally end; or you’re outside, praying you don’t get run over, slip on ice/pass out from the heat, or get lost (been there, done that). You’re constantly peeing because you have to replenish all that water you’ve lost during your runs and workouts. And you’re often hangry – especially if you’re marathon training. I’ve got a filing cabinet in my office dedicated to snacks (thank God we’re mostly paperless). The worst part, though, is that so many of us keep coming back for more miles every day.

Running Sucks: I’m considering a pocket catheter

You always have to pee, so you may as well get used to your bathroom. Maybe set up a nice little lounge in the toilet so you can get some work done or watch a little Netflix. Why keep breaking your concentration to keep going to the bathroom when you can just chill in there all day? And just a heads up – if you ever decide to do a runDisney race and go to the parks, make sure you know exactly where all the bathrooms are. Lord help you if nature calls while waiting for a ride. #RIP.

Running Sucks: Get used to eating and eating and eating

I used to hate having snacks. I would try to stick to a certain amount of food each day to maintain my weight and I thought I was thriving in an okay-ish relationship with food. Then I started running and realized I had to totally switch up my fuel intake so I wouldn’t burn out, get injured, or get sick. I’m always hungry, so I snack on nuts, M&Ms, rice cakes – sometimes I’ll look at my cats and see a Thanksgiving dinner. That’s only after 15-plus mile long runs, though.

Running Sucks: Most runners are extroverts – I am not

As an introvert, I need a lot of time to recharge my social battery. I used to view running as a way to meditate and work out some stress before the world woke up. However, there are many other people who like to run here in Florida and as a people-pleaser, it’s hard for me to not feel obligated to greet everyone I meet on the trails. Depending on the day, I can lose my voice from overuse before the end of my run. It’s even worse when the bikers start greeting me.

Running Sucks: No sleeping in allowed

I’m not a morning person. I’m not a night person. I’m barely a person, yet here I am, waking up between 4:30 and 5:30 every morning to go for a run or do strength training. No more late nights for this old lady – my parents have a later bed time than me now. The six alarm clocks I have to get me up each morning are sick of the “snooze” button being tapped, yet you’ll catch me outside, getting in those stupid miles. But you better believe I’ll be complaining by 2 PM about how tired I am.

Running Sucks: But it really doesn’t at all

From the friends I’ve made while running, to the struggle to stay awake at 3 PM (no matter the caffeine intake), to having a better relationship with food, and to the early morning runs, I love it. There’s something about pushing my body to see how far it can go (literally) that helps me feel unstoppable – whether I’m on a racecourse or in the office. Running and feeling fit has helped boost my confidence and has helped turned me into a stronger person, ready to tackle anything (I will still complain, though, especially if it requires waking up early on a rest day). And the friends I’ve made so far on this journey are some of the strongest people I’ve met. While running has given me great physical fitness, discipline, and confidence, it’s given me clarity and opened the door to a whole new world in my late 20s.

So, while my lungs laugh at me during speed drills and my legs start burning at mile eight of a marathon, I’ll totally say “running sucks.” Do I mean it? Yeah. But will I be signing up for more races immediately after? Yeah.

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