Sunday, September 12, 2010

Running Sucks

I suck at running.  I've worked at it.  I've tried.  I've used "positive affirmations."  I still just plain suck at it.

Some of it is physical.  Some of it is mental.  All of it is frustrating.

Here are the facts.  I have a total mental block about running.  As soon as I take the first "running" step, my heart starts pounding, my lungs start burning, my legs feel 4 times as heavy as they did while I was walking, and I start thinking about how long/far I have to run before I can stop.  That's the mental part.

The physical part:  I'm fat.  I'm short.  I'm slow.  Now, I have lost a ton of weight.  I'm not nearly as fat as I was 6 months ago, but no matter how you slice it, I'm still technically "obese."  I'm making progress. I'm getting closer. 

I'm really not sure, given my muscle mass, size, bone structure, body type, etc, that my healthy, reasonable, sustainable weight will ever be what is considered on the "one size fits all" chart as "normal."  I'm pretty sure I'm destined to always be considered at least "overweight" if not "obese."  Now, I'm totally cool with that.  If I'm healthy and fit and happy with my size, I couldn't care less about some dumb chart that doesn't take into account at all a myriad of stats such as body fat percentage, muscle mass, resting heart rate, bone structure, etc, etc, etc.  BUT, my predisposition to likely always weigh more in pounds than is considered "normal" doesn't really bode well for my running future.

The reality is that even though I've worked out A TON since February 1, and even though I've lost 103 pounds in 32 weeks, I'm still fat and still tip the scale at just over 200 pounds (getting dangerously close to conquering that milestone - but that's another post for another day).  "Runners" (at least of the female variety) generally don't weight over 200 pounds.

Even though I know in my head that I'm fat.  Even though I know in my head that I'm short.  Even though I know in my head that I am making progress, and I am getting better, I'm still REALLY frustrated about the whole running thing.

I started the "Couch to 5K" (aka C25K) running program June 26.  I am registered for the Texas PurpleStride 5K in Austin September 25 - raising money for Pancreatic Cancer research and support. I've been registered since March 24.  I decided I could certainly complete the 9-week C25K plan and actually be ready to RUN an entire 5K in 3 months - especially since I'd been working out and losing weight since February 1.  I wasn't really starting from "the couch."  I'd already started a little walk/run training on my own.  I had already lost some weight and was confident that the pounds would continue to come off as I trained and the calendar got closer to my first 5K since 2008.

I took it really slow with the running/walking training.  I followed the C25K plan, but I didn't "run" all that fast.  I actually did Week 2 THREE times because I didn't feel ready to move on, and didn't want to take it so fast that I sabotaged myself.

I tried to take baby steps.  I tried to focus on the progress and stay positive.  I still suck.  There are 13 days until the Texas PurpleStride 5K.  I really don't think I have a chance in the world of actually "running" the whole thing.  It's only a freakin' 5K!  I've been working out since February.  I've been specifically training for a 5K since June.  I've lost 100 pounds.  WTF?!?!?!?  It's not like I have my sights set on a marathon.  Is it really too much to ask to be able to run an entire 5K in 35ish minutes and not feel like I'm being tortured from the first step until the very last?


While I'm trying to stay focused on all my accomplishments over the last few months and on the positive things, I'm still really bummed about the whole running thing.  I thought for sure I could get myself in a state by now that I could run a 5K in a relatively respectable time.  35 minutes is barely respectable.  I'd really love to accomplish 10-minute miles, but that is such a pipe dream considering I can't even run the whole thing at any speed at this point.  UGH!

And, I'm talking about just a 5K - I just go to the starting line, run 3.1 miles, then cross the finish line.  I'm not even talking about the 5K part of a triathlon that happens AFTER I've swum 800 meters and biked 12 miles.

My goals for 2010 are modest:  the PurpleStride 5K and the Trek Women's Series Triathlon.  That's it.  I might do another 5K or two, or a bike ride if one comes up.  I might even do another triathlon if I can find one.  But generally, those 2 events are my official goals for 2010.  At this point, it's doubtful that I'll be able to run the 5K on 9/25 or the 5K portion of the triathlon 10/3.

My 2011 goals are a little loftier, but we're still not talking about a marathon or anything completely crazy like an Ironman Triathlon.  I'd like to complete an Olympic Distance Triathlon (1500m swim, 40K bike, 10K run) in 2011.  I'd also like to complete a 100-mile bike ride next year.  I'd LOVE to do a half marathon, but I haven't officially made that a goal yet.

Every second that I'm "running" and struggling and feeling like crap that I still totally suck at it, I think about the fact that the end of an Olympic Distance Triathlon involves running a 10K (6.2 miles).  I think about the insanity of my actually running a half marathon (13.1 miles).  Given my current progress, I have a LOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNNNG way to go.  UGH!

I will keep training.  I will keep trying positive affirmations.  I will keep losing weight.  I will do some research about various running techniques and clinics.  I will even consider finding a running group and/or a coach/personal trainer.  I've conquered other obstacles.  I'll "beat" running.  It's just taking longer than I hoped.  I am strong.  I am not patient.

For now, Running SUCKS!


  1. I've started C25K twice now and have fallen off the wagon both times. Life gets in my way- or at least that's my excuse. That and the fact that we want to have one more baby puts my motivation to run right now waaaayyy down on the totem pole. Why bust my butt now when it's just going to grow regardless when I get pregnant? Isn't my rationalization conveeeenient? I admire you so much, Kellie! No really- I do. Really. If someone had told you when you were in college that someday you'd complete a triathalon would you have believed them? Hmm?? Someday I will do a tri with you- how 'bout that? We can finish it off with a good Hubba. :-)

  2. Hey, Kel, I am proud of you. You already know that. It doesn't matter to your Mom if you are running, on the couch, fat, skinnier, just as long as you are happy and healthy. However, I want you to know that I am extra, extra proud of you and your accomplishment on this weight race. That is what it is a sort of rat race. You know that I have been on it most of my life. I want you to know that the only success I have reached on the race the past few years is your inspiration. I keep telling myself, I am fat, and old. A worn out P.E. teacher that knows the value of a more desirable weight and if Kellie can do it, I can at least make an effort. I keep telling myself that maybe I may just be a little help for her. However, it seems that all the help is coming from you. Ok so I am just simply a proud Mom.