Meg on the Run: Committing to Running for Reals

FBGs, please give a warm welcome to our new contributor Meg Massie! Meg is joining us for a special series, Meg on the Run! For the next few months join Meg as she sets her mind to really, truly becoming a runner and shares her lessons learned while finding her workout mojo. 

meg-on-the-run

Hello.

My name is Meg and I have a running problem.

I’m not addicted to running — I wish I had that problem — what I have is a dysfunctional relationship with running, and, okay, fitness in general. I’m not a naturally fit person and though I’ve been hitting the gym on the regular for over a decade now, I’ve still not found an activity I can get excited about. It’s all hard, it all hurts, and I don’t think I will ever love working out. But there are moments of joy and other rewards that make it all worthwhile. Crossing a finish line. Zipping up my skinny jeans. Lifting my insanely heavy carry-on luggage into the overhead bin all by myself without the help of the strong, friendly stranger next to me. Sleeping soundly and contentedly after another day of putting in the work. These moments, along with some pictures of myself 50 pounds heavier, keep me going, even when nearly every part of my mind and body begs me to stop.

I still hit walls, though, and even when I get myself to the gym every day, I find myself slacking off, not really pushing, and stagnating or regressing in my fitness. I do best when I have goals with measurable progress and results, and I get these things from running. I can see my distance and time improve and enter races and cross finish lines and hang medals on my wall. I don’t enjoy running any more than any other kind of exercise, but the structure of it is perfect for me, and that’s why I do it.

Or did it, anyway. I haven’t been much of a runner for the past year …

Last April, I ran my first (and only) half marathon. It was a bucket list item for me, I was turning 30, and the time was right. I trained hard, and it sucked, and there were tears and blisters and lots and lots of whining, but I finished that race, and I’ve never felt better about myself than I did when I crossed that finish line. But then I was done, I checked “half marathon” off my list, and running hasn’t been part of my fitness agenda for almost a year now. Whoops.

I had hoped that by training hard and achieving something so monumental for me, I’d feel like a real runner, and running longer distances would just become a normal part of my routine. But what actually happened is that I burned out immediately and haven’t run since.

Constant reminders of my life as a runner nudge me each day. I get emails from races reminding me to sign up for their next event, I have a closet full of brightly colored running shoes just hoping to get the call, and people who followed my progress as I trained are always asking me, “When’s your next race?”

I’ve finally burned out on being burned out. My next race is May 18. I’m going to run another half marathon. Only this time, my goal isn’t time-related or even really distance-related; this time, I’m going to run that race, feel great about finishing, and then lace up my running shoes again the next week. And the week after that. And so on. I’ll be writing here about my training, what I’ve learned from the first time around and what I’ll do differently to keep from letting myself go completely after reaching that finish line. I’ll talk about the struggles, the strategies, and hopefully, the triumph.

If you’re one of those people who loves to run, then this series is not for you. But if you can relate to me and my physical and psychological battles with running, then follow along. We can do this.

Who’s ready to join me? —Meg



Comments

  1. Vicki says

    Welcome Meg. I’m quite a bit older, but felt like I related instantly to your words. Best wishes and Happy New Year!

  2. Missy says

    Meg – I look forward to reading your posts. Congratulations on kicking 50 lbs to the curb, and on committing to something difficult so publicly. I am still working on my weight loss, and have promised my daughter I would run a 5K with her in May. I have never run a 5K – I haven’t run anything in over 15 years. I’ll root for you if you root for me…

  3. Amanda says

    I also ran a half marathon, in June, that was on my bucket list and haven’t really run since. I really look forward to reading your posts and hopefully gaining some inspirations from them.

  4. terra says

    I can’t seem to run for more than a minute at a time. I want to be a runner but I think I psych myself out.

  5. Julie says

    Thank you Meg for this post. I needed some inspiration this morning, and yours was perfect.I have had similar feelings and discussions with myself. Looking forward to reading your progress.

  6. Peggy says

    I totally am there with you. I worked hard and started running at age 43, worked for 9mths and ran my first half last April then subsequently ran 3 more last summer, each 2 months apart, but come October, I was BURNT out, and have been barely running since. Plan on following your blog and getting back my mojo.

  7. Jen says

    I feel the same way. I shed a lot of weight and ran a 10 miler in 2011, but like you, burned out, and since then I have put some of the weight back on. I have a love/hate relationship with running, and I’m back on the old Couch to 5K program again, really struggling with my last interval of the session. I want to be back to where I come home from a crappy day at work and put on my running shoes and just shake my sillies out, or, when I’m staying at my in-laws during my summer holidays, get up before anyone else and head out to the shore, enjoying the coastline and the salt air at 8km/h. I’m in.

  8. Kiales says

    I’m excited about this! I can never relate to those (awesome) runner blogs — I have never been able to find that absolute love for running. But I do love what it does for me when I am sticking to a plan. Can’t wait to follow your journey :)

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