Running: Not Always the Easy Road

lululemon athletica/flickr.com

By Megan Cox

I had a lovely weekend with my brother and sister-in-law.

Sure, our babies had their fussy moments, and God knows my toddler gave some very passionate demonstrations of the terrible twos, but all in all, we had a blast. There’s nothing like a houseful of kids to keep the grownups happily busy.

My brother and I took a few hours one morning to do a long run, and I’ll admit that I’ve missed having a running buddy (my hubby was my partner for marathon training in 2008, my most recent race before my half marathon this December—and before my babies).

The conversation, although a little breathy, sure made the time fly by. I came back from our run feeling tired but invigorated. Sore, but inspired.

My sister-in-law and I chatted about running. In fact, we had a similar conversation to one I have with so many people. “I hate running,” is the common theme. The treadmill is especially the subject of loathing.

In fact, my husband and I even had a brief “discussion” about the subject of running. “You love it!” he claimed one day. “It’s your hobby.”

Here’s the thing. Yes, I do love it. I guess you could call it a hobby, because it is something I choose to do in my free time. However, to say that I enjoy it each time I run wouldn’t be quite true.

Running is hard work. It’s not always fun, and it’s certainly not easy. It takes mental and physical discipline. At the ten-mile mark, sometimes it even takes emotional discipline. There are days, more often than not, that toes bleed and knees ache.

Now, couple all that with fitting a training run into a busy, grueling schedule—which most everyone has these days—and training for a race becomes quite the mountain to climb.

So why would a runner like me express love for the sport?

Because running packs the most workout punch for the least amount of time. Because when I run ten miles, I feel powerful and strong. Because I fit into the same clothes year after year, even after two pregnancies.

Because running releases endorphins that fight things like depression and lethargy. Because it makes me healthy. Because I get to share it with people a lot like me—motivated, strong, and energetic.

I’ve mentioned how I fell in love with running. As I described, it wasn’t an instant process. But my experience makes me certain that everyone has an equal shot at learning to love and enjoy this most wonderful sport, where a short-legged plodder like myself can find fulfillment in just finishing a thirteen-mile race.

Because love isn’t easy, but it’s worth it!

This is a guest post by Megan Cox, an Oklahoma City-based novelist, writer and contributing blogger for HalfMarathons.Net. Learn more about Megan at her website.

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