Thursday, September 22, 2011

Running - Just (Don't) Do It

I absolutely hate to run.

I want to love to run. I want to become as obsessed as those people you see running in the pouring rain, or the driving snow, or when it's 95 degrees, or below zero. I would love to experience that "runner's high" that you apparently get once you run a certain distance, subsequently feeling as if you could run forever. I would love to have the legs of a runner and be able to jog down a public street wearing one of those sports bra crop tops because my abs are so freakin' awesome.

Ain't gonna happen.

Every couple of years, I attempt to run. I make sure I have good shoes. I stretch. I start out slow, doing that whole "walk/run" thing. I have low expectations. I find a point that is my goal - and believe me, it's not a lofty one.

The minute my soles hit that pavement, I hate it. I feel like a lead weight - it's almost as if my feet have suddenly become so tiny that they can't support these calves/cows and speed skater thighs that live above them. After a few hundred yards, I start to try to get into a breathing rhythm, which is more of a desperate pant. But soon, it's drowned out by my knees creaking and screaming in pain. I think to myself, "This is the 'no pain, no gain' part. Work through it. You're a runner."

I'm not a runner. To me, running is like hitting yourself repeatedly on your thumb with a hammer. It feels so good when you stop.

But it didn't. After I got home, my left knee HURT. BAD. I mean, I'm almost 45, and my knees have never really been my strong point. But this wasn't good. Then it swelled. Then it felt hot to the touch. Really? I ran/walked two miles and THIS is what happens? Good Lord, a half-marathon would put me in my grave.

I applied ice to it and waited for the pain/swelling to subside. Finally, when the cold was too much to handle, I removed the ice pack only to find that my knee had broken out in hives. (Oh, did I mention I also have this thing called exercise-induced anaphylaxis?) I wasn't worried that it was going to spread, because if it was, it would have already. So I figured I didn't need the epi pen and waited for that to go away. I was more concerned with the fact that my fat knees were just one knee fatter.

The next day, it felt a little better, but playing volleyball that night didn't exactly help things. But I love volleyball. And I get to wear these cool pads that protect my knees and hide their fatness.

Tonight, my son wants to ride bikes to the park and throw the football. I love riding bikes. I love throwing the football, especially since my son taught me how to throw a spiral.

What is my problem? I'm active. Why do I feel as if I need to run? Is my envy of all of my friends who can run for miles and post pictures of themselves competing in half marathons and marathons and triathlons and cross-country tournaments making me feel less of an athlete?


I'm an athletic non-runner. I suck at running. To all of you who do run? Kudos to you. But honestly? It may be good for your heart, as I feel my own pumping nearly out of my chest. But there is no way it's good for your joints. Your knees. Your feet. And even if you can prove me wrong, it's not good for MY joints. MY fat knees. MY unsupportive feet.

I'm officially hanging up my running shoes. Next time I get the urge to run, I'm going to read this blog, put my volleyball pads over my fat, healthy knees, and walk to the nearest volleyball court. Or maybe just hit my thumb with a hammer.

1 comment:

  1. Running is bad for you. I'm serious. It's bad for your spine, knees, shins and self-esteem. Speed walking is much better. Or swimming. Take brisk walks, slow down to chat with people (like the old man at the corner) and check out the world around you. You'll be happier and your knees will thank you.


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