On Saturday I completed my 5th half marathon (I’ll fill you in on a details later) and I realized there are a lot of misconceptions about people who run.
- If you run you must be really fast. Nope. If you run fast you’re probably a sprinter, not a distance runner. There’s a huge difference. Some people can do distance quickly, but not most normal people. And, us normal people in our jealousy despise them.
- Running must be easy for you if you do it. I wish that were the case. That’d be like saying that just because you can ride a bike, you must be able to do it for 2.5 hours and have it be easy. No way. Doing any kind of endurance race for that length of time is difficult, even if you’re in great shape and followed the training problem perfectly. It’s all about pushing yourself to be better, whether it be increasing your distance or increasing your speed. With running your work never really seems to be done.
- Running makes you lose weight. In theory yes. To lose one pound of fat you have to have a 3,500 calorie deficit. That would mean every 30 miles I run I should burn a pound of fat. And, in my long run weeks 30 miles is unfortunately common. So, fat should be falling off me. Yes, that would be true if running wouldn’t make me insatiably hungry. And, I have to fuel my body, but even with healthy foods there is no longer a 3,500 calorie deficit. Bummer, right?
- You must love working out. Nope. I hate it. In fact, I hate working out so much that I don’t stay very consistent with it. But, if you’re doing a distance race you follow a training program, have goals, have a plan, and, most importantly, have an end date. Then it seems so much easier. The only problem is that once my race is done I’ll go back to lounging around or sleeping in instead of running. I do moderation best in moderation.
- You must have been born a runner. There are some people out there that love running and are naturally very good at it. But, they’re kind of an anomaly. I definitely was not born a runner. Even in school when you had to run a mile for gym class and be timed I walked most of it. I had no desire or endurance to run. Then, in late 2006 my NKISA (Not-so-much Knight In Shining Armor) and I bought ourselves a treadmill for Christmas and I started on a Couch to 5K program. Once I made it to 3 miles, like Forest Gump, I just kind of kept going. Then, I made it to 5 miles and decided that maybe a half marathon could be realistic. Labor Day weekend of 2007 I completed my first half marathon…and didn’t do another one for two years. I did two in 2009 and another in very early 2010…and again hadn’t done one until Saturday. I guess it takes a couple years to forget how horrible they are to get the gumption to do it again. Since I’ll be doing a marathon in October it’ll probably be four more years until my next race.