This was the refrain going through my head as I struggled during yet another run. Just as I was starting to feel good about running, everything has suddenly become incredibly difficult again. I don't know what is wrong with me, but all of my recent runs have been a real struggle. It has been a struggle to wake up early and get out the door. Forcing myself to keep moving forward has been a struggle. Even distances I thought were easy a month ago have been a struggle.
I'm have to keep reminding myself why I run.
|I've started trying to find new routes to keep things interesting.|
It was AWFUL! I think I managed to run one block before I wanted to die. Everything hurt. Everything burned. It was not good.
But I refused to give up! I looked up some training plans for beginners. I found a bunch of different simple, easy to follow instructions on how to start running - they all including a combination of running and walking, with the amount of running slowly increasing and the amount of walking slowly decreasing over a series of weeks. I chose one that looked good to me, and I started. Initially I was only running 15 seconds at a time, but within two months I was able to run 30 minutes without stopping. The more I ran, the easier it became. Before too long, it became something I enjoyed and looked forward to instead of something that I dreaded.
|Putting my shoes right in front of my door helps me get moving in the morning.|
|Oh, Chicago. You are so pretty, sometimes.|
|There are some great trails both in the city and in the surrounding suburbs.|
I occasionally run races, though I run them for fun instead of running them to win. I'm simply not fast enough to be competitive with anyone other than myself. I try to choose races that benefit local charities. It helps make me feel a little bit better about paying the entry fees. And I do have to budget for entry fees, which is why I usually stick to shorter races (my last 5k was much more affordable than my upcoming half marathon) and sign up as early as I can (there is usually a price break on entry fees for folks who register far enough in advance).
|Me at my first race - The 2013 Grant Park Turkey Trot. I was super excited.|
|The one thing you will always find at a race, besides runners, is bananas.|
And runners, as a community, are pretty awesome. I've gotten more smiles, hellos, waves, and even high fives from other runners when I'm trudging along on my morning runs than I've ever gotten at any other time in my life. At the Ravenswood Run this year (a neighborhood 5k here in Chicago), I had an hour long conversation with a complete stranger after the race, as we sat down to enjoy our post race snacks. The only thing we had in common was that we were both runners. It was pretty awesome. At the Proud to Run 5k & 10k, I was feeling ill, but I got so much support from the volunteers and other runners that I was able to finish the 5k instead of just walking off the course and going home.
|The 2014 Ravenswood Run 5k. Thousands of people came together to run.|
This is a version of a post I made on my other blog, Full Belly, Small Budget, on June 4, 2014. One of my reasons for starting I Think I Will Run Today is because I had some comments that the post wasn't really in keeping with what the other blog is about, so I started a blog to talk about my running. My other blog is mostly about cooking and food, because food is awesome.