Wednesday, September 12, 2012

When You Hate Running

I signed up to do a 50 miler on Saturday called Moab’sAlpine To Slickrock. One report I read said the difficulty level of the race is 9 on a scale of 1-10. The elevation certainly confirms that I may be crying at some point during the race.

I decided to do the race as a last long training run before the Javelina Jundred 100 miler next month. So I’ll do the 50 miler, then three weeks later the St. George Marathon, then three weeks later the Javelina Jundred.

I really love running. I seriously love being out on the trail for hours. I love the whole race experience. I really, really love those things.

Most of the time.

But inevitably at some point in a race I hate running. I seriously hate it. I am convinced that running is the stupidest hobby since collecting Garbage Pail Kids cards. And then I talk myself out of whatever race I have coming up. I never want to run again. I never want to do a race ever again. I think most of us go through phases like this whether in training or in races.

So what do you do when you reach that point when you decide you want to stop running and take up stamp collecting? Here are my suggestions:

1) Eat a Hostess product. (Actually, this is my first solution to any of life’s dilemmas.)

2) Remember that there are peaks and valleys. It's okay to go through some rough patches. In order to have the good, you need to have a little bad. 

3) Remind yourself that the harder the task is, the bigger will be that sense of accomplishment you will feel when you are done.

4) WAIT. Don’t make any immediate decisions. When your brain starts saying “Ugh. I want to drop out because running is dumb.” Or “I’m never doing a race ever again because only idiots run for hours on end.” just tell that part of your brain to shut up. Chances are that the low point will pass. Maybe it will take a while. But it will pass. 

5) Slap yourself and remember how fortunate you are to even be able to run. I work with lots of sick people who would give anything to be able to run for a mile. You are blessed. Don’t take it for granted.

6) Then, for good measure, eat one Hostess Donette.


  1. I need to get some Hostess Cakes! Good advice on all the other points too. Good luck at the 50-miler!

  2. Awesome advice... especially the hostess part! lol. I was definitely having some less than awesome thoughts about running during the end of my long run this past saturday, but I just try to remind myself how epic I feel when I get to that point when I can say "I did"... thinking of that helps to shut up the "I can'ts"

  3. Absolutely on #1 and #5 is the best motivator to get through a rough patch of training. We take a lot of things for granted.

  4. Yep, needed to read that post! thanks

  5. I try to take myself out of the moment and recognize that the misery I'm feeling is fleeting. I tell myself that in x hours/minutes it will all be a memory and I'll either be on top of the world for finishing or kicking myself for giving up.

    Also, Garbage Pail Kids are awesome.

  6. This is why I always have a box of Twinkies on reserve. Just in case I lose my passion for running.

    Good luck on the "training" run, that looks intense! It's hard for me imagine a 50 miler being a training run. Rock on!

  7. I think I need to give the Hostess strategy a try. Sooner than later since they're in bankruptcy.
    All the best with both of those races. Ouchie.

  8. I love Hostess Donette. My former obese self was addicted to them so I must stay away from them.

    When I start hating running, I take a step back. I was HATING running in May. I had 2 months of bad marathons and was miserable. I decided to train for a triathlon over the summer to give me a change of pace. Now every time I have a run on my schedule I get excited and run harder than I ever did during marathon training.

  9. Really?? I didn't know you had thoughts of hating running? I was just quietly wondering if it was just me on occasion. I'm happy to know that this thinking is not abnormal.
    I just don't understand how you can run with donuts and they not turn into smoosh?
    ACCCKKKK!!! That elevation chart would give me nightmares! You have to climb OVER 3500 feet in 5 miles??? That's just a mean trick to play right at the beginning of the race!! Good excuse to eat LOTS of donuts!

  10. Great post! I especially like #5. Thanks for the reminder Cory....we are freaking lucky to be healthy enough to suffer for miles on end. And there will almost always be ice cream at the finish!

  11. I usually hate running only when I'm trying to run fast--so I will remind myself that the next day I will get to go slower and it will be fun. And agree--Hostess (or some other treat) helps greatly.

  12. How in the world did you read my brain from there?
    I am SOOO going through this right now.

    After a couple of pretty good Half marathons last week I ran a 10k on Saturday and pretty much hated the experience. Then I went running 5 miles last night and did some hills that I pretty much hated too.

    There are two Half M coming up that I WANTED to run but I have such a poopy attitude that I don't ever want to run again.

    I need one good FUN run or I am afraid I will cave!

    Off to the donut isle I go!!

  13. Great post! I have those peaks and valleys too. And it helps me to remember those who can not run as well.
    Good luck this weekend! Looks like it will be a challenge!

  14. GOOD LUCK THIS WEEKEND! definitely going to be thinking about you! also...thank you SO much for posting this. this will def be running through my mind on saturday!

  15. After watching hours of the Paralympics I realised that I never will again have any right to complain about how hard running is. I have two working arms, two working legs and a brain that can tell my arms and legs what to do. I've just run out of excuses.

  16. I love #5. It is SO true. Every once in a while we all need to be reminded of it. I think that's part of why I love running so much. There is joy to be had in the toil of it.

  17. I always remind people that running is never "always easy" or "always great" for anybody. There are lots of days/times/miles when it is just HARD. I love the quote from A League of Their Own when Tom Hanks says, "It's supposed to be hard. it's the hard that makes it great". :)

    GOOD LUCK with the 50 miler. I am sure you will be a rockstar as always!!

  18. I remember thinking how stupid running was as a hobby during my first marathon and how I should have a normal hobby like scrapbooking. Obviously, that didn't stick :)

  19. thanks for the can only eat hostess while you're running...otherwise you will turn into a twizzle, right?

  20. I love that St. George MARATHON is basically like a taper run for you. Amazing.

    But, I do want to say: I love garbage pail kids. I like to keep it classy in my collecting habits.