I have a confession to make: I am a shameful runner and have been for years.
Let me explain…
My running journey started out in 2006 when I experienced my first heartbreak. With no prior heart healing experiences to call on, I turned to running to get through it. Slowly, I started out running at a 12 minute pace and eventually worked into a comfortable 10 minute mile, where I stayed for years and years to come.
During the 365 days of sweat challenge, I shaved off another minute, leaving me hanging tight at a 9 minute mile. It’s a pace I’m comfortable with and rarely do I speed up or slow down. It wasn’t until I created My Sweat Project on Facebook and Instagram that I noticed how intense some runners are and that I was incredibly far from running like them.
This longing was causing me to feel shame within my running self. For months I started tracking my runs on NikePlus and would gauge my running ability off of my times and those of others. The pressure I was putting on myself was making me fall out of love with something I truly enjoy. Not only that, I started ditching my running partner, Journey, because she slowed me down. It felt horrible.
After months of dodging running as much as possible I decided to try out a 60 day running streak. Feeling inspired by my little goal, I ran 3 miles everyday for the first four days with my favorite running accessory: a little black dog and my iPod (sans the running tracker). Day 5 it was wicked cold, which helped me decide to skip my outdoor run since I don’t belong to a gym
That run skipping day invoked this simple thought, “I get to create what my running looks like and make it fun again.” With that, I want to give my new running
- No timed runs.
- Bring Journey.
- 5 days off out of 60
Three small things change the way I view running. I’ll keep up with this for the next 60 days and see if I can fall back in love with the sport. Low pressure = bigger gain.
Is there something that you can do to make working out more fun and less stressful? I challenge you to find a version that feels the best to you and ditch the stress. More fun means you’ll stick with it longer. Promise.
Please share with other readers what works for you in the comment section below. Now get to some sweating that you truly enjoy!