Around 5.5 years later after I wrote my first post about running here. By now somehow I got a reputation of being a runner, most likely because I realized I kept posting the pictures on facebook. Honestly I feel much like an impostor. So for the sake of being authentic, I’m going to let you know about my struggles and who I am as a runner.
When I started running, I know I said I couldn’t run fast. But deep inside my heart, I still want to be the middle pack runner (like running the marathon without the fear of getting scooped up by the bus), after all, it’s not easy to be the last one to finish. Or to feel like you sucked at the sport you’ve been doing for quite some time. So I would improve, or so I thought. I trained for the half marathon, finished my first, as you can read the pre-half marathon thought here and post half-marathon thought here.
The year after that, I run the half marathon again, training better (or so I thought) and gearing for a better time. Nope. My time was worse than the year before (true, that I ran half of it in pain due to toe pain), but still, I feel like crap. And all throughout 2015, I’ve turned to despise running because it reminded me of how crappy this sport made me feel (the hell with runner’s high, really).
My time was just a little under 3 hours for the half marathon. Imagine the elite runner could run 3x half marathon for the speed I need to finish mine. And to put salt to the wound, when I tell this to a “friend”, he actually laughed at me and said that’s such an embarrassing time! I’d love to punch that guy in the face, but at that time, I was just laughing nervously. Gah.
So, tragically, at that point, running makes me feel like a failure. A reminder that maybe I will just never make it, no matter how long I persist. I must be kidding myself if most people who run talked about running the marathon in under 3-4 hours. I can’t even run a 5K under 35 minutes.
Sure, I might be able to do it if I train more. Then again there’s only so much hours in a day, and I’m not prioritizing 1 hour training workout everyday. Also I’m not keen in being a workout group where people are yelling to each other (And happy to know that it’s a normal trait in an introvert).
Finding Peace in Running
Funnily enough I did go back to running this spring. One part because it’s the quickest sport I could do (put on running gear, go out of apartment, run to a park). One part because I seemed to have a masochistic tendency and I like to struggle with my demons. But the most important part is I missed what regular running actually makes me feel: healthier, stronger, and I can eat whatever I want.
The demons kept reminding me of how much I sucked. Also facebook doesn’t help because everyone seemed to improve way more easier than I ever could.
Then, I tried to remind myself of why I want to run:
Being able to eat whatever I want
Feel healthy and strong in the body, which helps me handle stress in the mind
Getting some fresh air and looking at the greenery around me (which is why I don’t run on treadmills)
I don’t want to let my speed of running ruins the joy of running for me. So maybe I won’t join any running event anytime soon. Or anything that made me care too much about my speed.
And if you ever feel like I do, I’m just letting you know that you’ve got a friend! If you enjoy it, go for it! It really doesn’t matter what anyone thinks of your run (well, maybe if you’re an Olympian, but most of us are not anyways).
Here’s the scenery I truly love for autumn in Charlottenburg