Boy did I. When I was in high school, there were very few things I despised more than running. I played football and golf. In football, at that time, running was punishment. The last thing you wanted to do in golf was run. Heck, that’s why I played golf. Track & cross-country: running. Baseball: Running (albeit short bursts). In college, a couple dozen pounds ago, I was a diver: No running.
Not until the last year or so have I come around to running. Prior to that, I was still firmly on the side of “running sucks.” I still thought of running as punishment. Why do that to yourself? Eventually, the scale, and my wife, got to me. I started swimming, and went through a 5 week jury trial. That combination led to a 30 lb weight loss. But it was hard to get back into the swing of swimming after the trial, and the gym membership was killing me. Then my wife wanted to do a half marathon, and the rest is history. Running was essentially free, except for the cool shoes, “must have” gadgets, the treadmill, and the race entry fees.
Either way, once I started running, I stopped seeing it as punishment. I am not saying I love every minute of it. I always have thoughts of something else I could be doing. I often fight those rationalizations and excuses in my head for not running. During a run, I have those moments where I question why I am doing this to myself. However, I have not had a time that I remember where I finished a run and was sorry I did it, even after this year’s Walt Disney World Marathon where I hit the wall at mile 17. I still was glad I did it.
In fact, I am really excited about our next half-marathon, the Run The Bluegrass Half. It is called “One of America’s Prettiest Half Marathons.” All of the comments I have read about it mention the hills: “For the hardcore hill chasers,” “hilly but gorgeous,” “the hills come early and don’t let up.” Some may see this as punishment, but I am really looking forward to running through the beautiful hills of horse country. Things have really changed. I am fairly certain they have changed for the better, but check with me after March 30 to see if I feel the same way.