Is running ever really fun?
… and if it is fun, does that mean you’re not trying hard enough?
If I study my running habits, then the ACTUAL PHYSICAL ACT is never really ‘fun’ in the traditional ‘makes me smile and laugh’ way.
Tuesday Training – Running up hills, often in the cold and rain, trying as hard as possible, until I can’t breathe and/or feel sick … whilst being outrun by a bunch of gossiping teenagers ; )
Wednesday Clubrun – Run faster than I normally would, with quicker runners than me until I’m knackered, whilst being rained on in winter or scratched to bits by gorse in summer.
Thursday Track – Like Tuesdays, but flat and harder.
Recovery Runs – Functional and just need to be done.
Parkruns and other 5k races – Rev it up to maximum heart rate and hang on for 20 minutes and attempt not to puke.
10k races – A bit like 5k’s but feeling like death for twice the time!
Half Marathons – I actually like these … in a sadistic kind of way. A pace you can actually breathe at, but an hour and a half of total mental commitment to the pain.
Marathon – No need to say much on this one. Euphoric and horrific at the same time, and a very uncomfortable finale to the months of hard work you’ve put in.
Where’s the fun then??
Even in the midst of high discomfort, funny things often happen.
I’ve found myself laughing out loud 2½ hours into solo long runs at some of the bizarre things you see when you give yourself the opportunities to be outside in this bonkers country that running enables.
Then there’s the tripping over, catching a glimpse of how ridiculous you look in a shop window or the realisation of how silly you are actually being running 20 miles into driving rain on a cold February morning when your family are all tucked up under the duvet eating toast and watching telly.
Of course there’s the pre and post run banter with friends and club mates similar to most other sports. This helps to see the humour in hurting your body and gives the chance to share the fun by laughing at other runners all too familiar woes.
Group run chat is like a watered down bike club ride. The slipstream and pack riding draft of the bike (which allows you to, dare I say it, rest and breathe normally) allows for a level of constant mickey taking and cajolement that running cannot offer … if only we could freewheel down hills, I reckon this could even be an enjoyable sport we do as well as a fulfilling one.
So, is running ever really fun?
Yeah, you just have to look a bit hard to find it sometimes.