I’m a runner, not a racer

I’m going to preface this post by saying that I hate exercise — it is not fun. Yes, some of you will say that it can be fun if you find something you enjoy, to which I will agree. I played on a basketball team in grade 6, played doubles girls badminton in junior high and high school, and I just spent the last four years performing various dances on stage. All of these were very enjoyable.

Once a woman hits her thirties (i.e. me), her metabolism decides to stop chugging as efficiently as it once did and she has to work harder at keeping unwanted weight away. This is where I am at the moment. Almost mid-thirties and my metabolism has noticeably decreased. Nowadays, when I want to exercise, I want to get it over and done with and I don’t feel like leaving the house to do it.

This is where our lovely treadmill comes in.

We bought a used treadmill from one of my co-workers a couple years ago, and I’ve done a good job at ensuring it gets used as a treadmill and not a place to store things. In the beginning, I mostly walked on it while watching Netflix until my FitBit vibrated when I reached 10,000 steps. I noticed my stamina increasing during this time, but eventually I started to get bored.

Then I got this crazy idea! What if I actually tried to run on the treadmill?

I had participated in the Learn to Run program at Runner’s Soul one fall and actually enjoyed the walk/run intervals — though I think I only stuck through it for about the first four weeks of the eight week program. I think my excuse for quitting was that it was starting to get cold out. Yeah, I’m pretty sure that was it. I’m a wuss.

But in remembering my enjoyment of the program, I searched for a similar program, found Couch to 5K, and downloaded an app of the same name. I started, stalled, and stopped a few times, but this summer I actually stuck through it for the entire eight weeks and finished the program — huffing and puffing — in early August.

Then I got an even crazier idea! What if I signed up for a 5k run?

I didn’t sign up for one right away. I thought I should try to maybe increase my pace a little bit before I dive in completely and pay the registration fee. I downloaded a pacing app and kept up with my runs three times a week — for about two weeks. Then I started to not enjoy running.

“Why am I doing this?” I asked myself. “Why do I want to do a 5k run?” I wasn’t interested in the t-shirt, the medal, or breaking a personal best. The more I questioned it, the more I realized that my reasons for wanting to race were quite arbitrary — I had finished the app, so the next natural step was to sign up for a 5k, right? Is that what I wanted to do or was it just something I felt I was supposed to do?

In the end, I never did sign up for that race, and I haven’t stepped on my treadmill much since then except for a few days here and there to reach 10,000 steps. I do want to get back on it and run again, though. But I want to do it for the right reasons, and I don’t feel like I’m quite there yet. I definitely feel like my stamina has decreased and my “running muscles” have withered a little bit. One day I will get back there and enjoy it again, but that time is not now.

So as not to leave this post on a somewhat sad note, I did want to share a running playlist that helped me push through when I thought I couldn’t keep going (I’m looking at you, 35-minute run intervals!)

Let me know if you listen to any of these during your runs or if you see a song you’ll be adding to your workout playlist. I’ll also indicate which Couch to 5k interval (run/walk) the song is good for.

  • Take Me Out by Franz Ferdinand (walk)
  • Footsteps by Pop Evil (walk)
  • Runnin’ Wild by Airbourne (run)
  • Roots by Imagine Dragons (run)
  • Ready to Go by Republica (run)
  • I Wonder by Tom Cochrane (run)
  • Whistleblower by The Arkells (run)
  • What You Waiting For? by Gwen Stefani (run)
  • Saving Grace by Tom Petty (run)
  • I Feel Free by Belinda Carlisle (run)
  • Mess Around by Cage the Elephant (run)
  • Square Hammer by Ghost B.C. (run)
  • Doom and Gloom by The Rolling Stones (run)
  • Stayin’ Alive by The Bee Gees (walk)
  • Unapologetic Bitch by Madonna (walk)

 

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