Why I Hate Running & Still Ran a Half-Marathon

Oprah Winfrey once said, “Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it.”

I was never a cardio guy much less a runner. I didn’t understand why people would exercise by running when they can easily burn the same number of calories in less than 30 minutes at the gym. I can list all the reasons why you shouldn’t run — it’s bad for your joints. It’s repetitive and boring. It’s an inefficient exercise for fat loss. And apparently you need to learn a special stride for long-distance running. The list goes on.

It’s all the rage these days, running a marathon. Over 1.3 million completed a half-marathon in 2010 alone, a number that’s double from just a decade ago! Naturally I got curious and wanted to find out what all the fuss was about for myself.

Ever wanted to know what it takes to complete a marathon?

Step 1 – Choosing a race.

Well now we know I don’t like running. But if I was going to do this, I’m going to pick the best run in the Bay Area, at least one with an awesome view! I decided to register for the Big Sur half-marathon.

The course rides along Monterey Bay — one of the most scenic routes in the country — and like running along the Edge of the Western World. Sold!

Big Sur Coast 75% of the course consists of stunning views like this.

Step 2 – Let the training begin.

The time commitment towards preparing for a race is probably the biggest challenge of this entire process. Luckily for me, I wasn’t bogged down by a full-time job.

I had 2 months. Two months of dragging my ass out the house and making a conscious effort to train at least 3 times a week.

ShinSplints

The training wasn’t exactly smooth sailing. I had a myriad of issues from my arch-nemesis, shin splints, to my shoes. My new shoes fitted and recommended specifically for me after I was analyzed by a Specialist caused my outer leg muscles to freeze up. This is also known as anterior compartment syndrome in fancier, medical terms. Fancy or not, it hurt like sh*t!

I figured it be easier to blame the shoes rather than admit I might be running wrong. Come to find this is a common problem for beginner runners that train too much too soon. During my last practice run just 3 days before the race, my shin splints came back with a mean vengeance.

The question was whether I should even follow through with the race or risk serious injury trying to muscle through 13 miles. And to top it off, my health insurance expires 2 days before the race. My dedicated (or stubborn) side was telling me I did not get this far for nothing.

Or, maybe it was my stomach. Did I mention it’s recommended to carboload the day before the race? By far my favorite part of the training program and quite possibly the reason I stayed in the race. 😛

carboloading What Monterey does well.

Step 3 – The morning of the run.

As if my shin splints weren’t enough, the weather forecasts rain the entire morning. My spirits were wearing thin.

Morning came and the race Gods have blessed the day with partially clear skies for the morning! Thousands of participants line up and the energy is vibrant despite it being a cold dark morning in Monterey. I took it slow for the first couple miles to warm up. After mile 3, my biggest fear crept up. The sharp shin splints returned. I stayed calm. Stretched for a minute, then kept on trucking.

run-too-fast Am a running in the right direction?

My shin worries subsided over the course of the run. In fact, they felt like small peas when I passed a lady with an arm sling. Or the old man with a rolling walker; he was 80 years old. Or seeing all the army & marine service members cheering us on reminded of everything they went through to serve our country.

After getting that boost of inspiration, I saw myself getting across that finish line no matter what obstacles came in the way. The 13 mile course turned into a pleasant jog along the coastline in my mind.

Big Sur finish Finish strong!

 Step 4 – Crossing the finish line!

That pivotal moment when you pass the mile 12 marker and realized you’re just a mere mile away.  During this last mile, my feelings for running turned a 180 and I was truly enjoying it. A world of emotions, a sense of accomplishment and more importantly, an overwhelming feeling of relief to know the finish line is a few minutes away. Absolute, sheer joy when I made that last turn on the run.

race-done-6

I DID IT!

What this has taught me.

Races like many sports are really about pushing our body and mind beyond its limits. And as much as I hate running, I’ve always aspired to do something out of my comfort zone, something challenging and at times seem impossible to achieve.

Competing in a race is a metaphor to life. You’re going to have aspirations in life. There are always going to be tough situations or people that will make it difficult to get there, but you need to stay on course and don’t let it hold you back. It’s a rewarding feeling to be able to overcome such obstacles and I challenge you all to push your limits.. Hold no boundaries because the end result is worth the battle.

You’ll need some serious stamina to pull-through all the way to the finish line. Goals might seem really far out of reach, so build up your endurance and put in the work, sweat & dedication to achieve what you want out of your time on this wild planet.

So would I do it again? The day after the half-marathon, I could barely stand on my 2 feet, so my new found love for running was short-lived and turned back to hate. Thus the answer is probably not. I still don’t like to run.

“If you want to become the best runner you can be, start now. Don’t spend the rest of your life wondering if you can do it.” ~ Priscilla Welch

This saying can really be applied to many aspects of life. If you want to be the best artist, teacher, salesman, parent or simply travel and see more of the world. So I say…

Start now, don’t waste your life by waiting for great things to happen. You have one life to live, so get off your butt and don’t let anything get in your way from being great.

DSC_0367-7 The happiest half-marathon finisher! 

The world truly is your oyster.  Like Oprah said, you get out of life what you put into it.

——–

Have you ran a long-distance race before? If so, what did you gain out of experience?

Photo credit: 2

You might like:

Share and Enjoy

Pinterest

, , , , ,

  • http://www.theworldofdeej.com The World of Deej

    My wife has done a few half marathons, and she convinced me to do a relay with her a few months back. My part was only 5 miles, but I still had to train as I never had run before, and went through much of the same issues you did. Since then (early October) I’ve run twice….I don’t like to run either…

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      A relay sounds like a cool idea esp for couples. That’s something I could’ve done w/ Q. I’m not even sure when my next 1 mile run is going to be.

      • http://www.GQtrippin.com Kieu – GQ trippin

        I’m definitely NOT a runner. I’m far better on the side lines cheering people on! Lol. Somebody’s gotta take those awesome pictures above! Haha

  • http://www.theworldofdeej.com The World of Deej

    My wife has done a few half marathons, and she convinced me to do a relay with her a few months back. My part was only 5 miles, but I still had to train as I never had run before, and went through much of the same issues you did. Since then (early October) I’ve run twice….I don’t like to run either…

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      A relay sounds like a cool idea esp for couples. That’s something I could’ve done w/ Q. I’m not even sure when my next 1 mile run is going to be.

      • http://www.GQtrippin.com/ Kieu – GQ trippin

        I’m definitely NOT a runner. I’m far better on the side lines cheering people on! Lol. Somebody’s gotta take those awesome pictures above! Haha

  • http://twitter.com/openpassports Caitlin Hall

    I have a love/hate relationship with running-but it’s a really fun way to go see new places. We went to Miami last year and ran, then ate and drank on the beach for the next week-guilt free ; )

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Yeah. I really didn’t feel guilty of eating anything bad before and after the race. I felt like my body needed it to make up for all the miles. hehe. Thanks for the RT Caitlin!

  • http://twitter.com/openpassports Caitlin Hall

    I have a love/hate relationship with running-but it’s a really fun way to go see new places. We went to Miami last year and ran, then ate and drank on the beach for the next week-guilt free ; )

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Yeah. I really didn’t feel guilty of eating anything bad before and after the race. I felt like my body needed it to make up for all the miles. hehe. Thanks for the RT Caitlin!

  • http://www.thetravelhack.com The Travel Hack

    Congratulations on completing your half marathon!

    I also have a love/hate relationship with running and I’ve been wondering if I should sign up for a marathon. Once I’m actually out the house and running I love it. But the thought of going is so horrific that I don’t get out nearly as often as I should. Running is great for keeping fit while you’re travelling though so it’s definitely a possibility!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      I would highly recommend it if you haven’t already (at least a half-marathon). This was always something I wanted to check off my bucket list. I agree, the hardest part is just getting off your butt, but once you’re out there, it’s not too bad. The race experience itself w/ thousands of other runners was very motivating and it turned out to be one of the best memories I’ll ever have. But I’m can do without all the training.

  • http://www.thetravelhack.com The Travel Hack

    Congratulations on completing your half marathon!

    I also have a love/hate relationship with running and I’ve been wondering if I should sign up for a marathon. Once I’m actually out the house and running I love it. But the thought of going is so horrific that I don’t get out nearly as often as I should. Running is great for keeping fit while you’re travelling though so it’s definitely a possibility!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      I would highly recommend it if you haven’t already (at least a half-marathon). This was always something I wanted to check off my bucket list. I agree, the hardest part is just getting off your butt, but once you’re out there, it’s not too bad. The race experience itself w/ thousands of other runners was very motivating and it turned out to be one of the best memories I’ll ever have. But I’m can do without all the training.

  • http://www.scenewithahart.com Fidel Hart

    Congrats on completing the half marathon G! I began running a lot more and I chose New Balance’s lite as a feather running shoes. I forget the exact model name but they are the same material as the 5-toe Vibrams, just without the 5-toe look. They feel great and make me feel like I can run for hours.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Yeah. That 5-toe look freaks people out sometimes. heh. I heard you have to retrain your whole step when you run with those kind of barefoot shoes. Might’ve helped me prevent my shin splints

  • http://www.scenewithahart.com/ Fidel

    Congrats on completing the half marathon G! I began running a lot more and I chose New Balance’s lite as a feather running shoes. I forget the exact model name but they are the same material as the 5-toe Vibrams, just without the 5-toe look. They feel great and make me feel like I can run for hours.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Yeah. That 5-toe look freaks people out sometimes. heh. I heard you have to retrain your whole step when you run with those kind of barefoot shoes. Might’ve helped me prevent my shin splints

  • http://www.myinnerg.com Justin McClelland

    That’s pretty awesome that you tackled your goal. I can completely relate to some of your experiences. I have a few marathons under my belt and now pretty much have a ‘hate’ relationship with distance running.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Thanks Justin. My life has seemed mapped out for me with the setting goals and achieving them. Now I figured it’s time to set that aside and see where this career break takes me. I think new opportunities might open up down the line and I’m just going to go with the flow. Props for having even 1 marathon under your belt. It’s safe to say that I haven’t ran much (or at all) since the race. I’ll use the cold weather as my excuse for this one.

  • http://www.myinnerg.com Justin McClelland

    That’s pretty awesome that you tackled your goal. I can completely relate to some of your experiences. I have a few marathons under my belt and now pretty much have a ‘hate’ relationship with distance running.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Thanks Justin. My life has seemed mapped out for me with the setting goals and achieving them. Now I figured it’s time to set that aside and see where this career break takes me. I think new opportunities might open up down the line and I’m just going to go with the flow. Props for having even 1 marathon under your belt. It’s safe to say that I haven’t ran much (or at all) since the race. I’ll use the cold weather as my excuse for this one.

  • Anonymous

    OK, so I’m sitting here procrastinating instead of going to the gym You’ve inspired me to get off my butt and go. Reading blog posts can wait! Thanks, I needed that.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Yup. We sit enough every day of the week and our bodies aren’t meant todo that. It’s good to take a break from that w/ a workout

  • jeffjung

    OK, so I’m sitting here procrastinating instead of going to the gym You’ve inspired me to get off my butt and go. Reading blog posts can wait! Thanks, I needed that.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Yup. We sit enough every day of the week and our bodies aren’t meant todo that. It’s good to take a break from that w/ a workout

  • http://www.ouroyster.com Jade

    Good on you for getting out there and doing it!!! I dont think I could!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Thanks Jade! You may think that, but you don’t know unless you try! If you ever want to run one, I’d recommend doing it sooner than later. Later on you’ll find more excuses not to do it. Sort of like travel!

  • http://www.ouroyster.com Jade

    Good on you for getting out there and doing it!!! I dont think I could!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Thanks Jade! You may think that, but you don’t know unless you try! If you ever want to run one, I’d recommend doing it sooner than later. Later on you’ll find more excuses not to do it. Sort of like travel!

  • http://www.aswetravel.com Sofia – As We Travel

    Very inspiring post, congrats for finishing the marathon! I’ve never run a marathon myself, and I absolutely hate running, but I can definitely see why you did it.

    I just finished a 60 day “insanity workout” and I have never been more proud of myself. The feeling of actually finishing something you started, pushing your body and your mind to places you never knew was possible, is one of the most rewarding in the world.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Thanks Sofia! I did P90X, but did do all 90 days, I was more curious on how intense the workouts were. It was ummm.. fun to say the least. Congrats on finishing Insanity, I heard it’s even MORE ‘insane’ than P90x. I’m sure you’re enjoying the results of that kind of MAX interval training. Maybe Q & I should give it a try to keep in shape on the road.

  • http://www.aswetravel.com/ Sofia – As We Travel

    Very inspiring post, congrats for finishing the marathon! I’ve never run a marathon myself, and I absolutely hate running, but I can definitely see why you did it.

    I just finished a 60 day “insanity workout” and I have never been more proud of myself. The feeling of actually finishing something you started, pushing your body and your mind to places you never knew was possible, is one of the most rewarding in the world.

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Thanks Sofia! I did P90X, but did do all 90 days, I was more curious on how intense the workouts were. It was ummm.. fun to say the least. Congrats on finishing Insanity, I heard it’s even MORE ‘insane’ than P90x. I’m sure you’re enjoying the results of that kind of MAX interval training. Maybe Q & I should give it a try to keep in shape on the road.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=591147692 Chris Walker-Bush

    I grew to really enjoy running while I was involved in it. I never did manage to run a half marathon, but I’ve run the 14.2k City 2 Surf two years in a row now. I love the feeling of a good run and the feeling of finishing one too.

    Good on you for doing it in spite of your reluctance!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Thanks Chris. The best feeling was finishing the race indeed. It’s a great feeling of being alive and knowing you’ve accomplished something hard.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=591147692 Chris Walker-Bush

    I grew to really enjoy running while I was involved in it. I never did manage to run a half marathon, but I’ve run the 14.2k City 2 Surf two years in a row now. I love the feeling of a good run and the feeling of finishing one too.

    Good on you for doing it in spite of your reluctance!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Thanks Chris. The best feeling was finishing the race indeed. It’s a great feeling of being alive and knowing you’ve accomplished something hard.

  • http://profiles.google.com/reclaimingmyfuture Toni White

    haha LOVE this post Gerard. I detest running with a passion for all those reasons you just wrote and yet, I find myself doing it 3-4 times a week to keep in shape…but when I fall through my front door I wonder why the hell I’m doing it =) I did a walking half-marathon last year and that was a pretty big goal for me so who knows…maybe this year, I’ll follow in your shin-splinted footsteps, and run one myself 😉

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Congrats on finishing the half! Even if it was walking, that’s a pretty long distance to cover in one day. I chose to run so I could over with it quicker. 🙂

  • Toni White

    haha LOVE this post Gerard. I detest running with a passion for all those reasons you just wrote and yet, I find myself doing it 3-4 times a week to keep in shape…but when I fall through my front door I wonder why the hell I’m doing it =) I did a walking half-marathon last year and that was a pretty big goal for me so who knows…maybe this year, I’ll follow in your shin-splinted footsteps, and run one myself 😉

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Congrats on finishing the half! Even if it was walking, that’s a pretty long distance to cover in one day. I chose to run so I could over with it quicker. 🙂

  • Pingback: Recommended Reads - January 8th

  • BeyondBlighty

    Great description! I used to hate running too, and then I signed up for the London Marathon. I only kept it up because I had to and, eventually, I got quite addicted. It took a lot of dedication though. I liked your comment about seeing 80-year-olds en route. I met one man who was doing two marathons back to back and suddenly didn’t feel so shattered!

  • BeyondBlighty

    Great description! I used to hate running too, and then I signed up for the London Marathon. I only kept it up because I had to and, eventually, I got quite addicted. It took a lot of dedication though. I liked your comment about seeing 80-year-olds en route. I met one man who was doing two marathons back to back and suddenly didn’t feel so shattered!

  • Ariane

    I can’t get over how beautiful Big Sur is.

  • Ariane

    I can’t get over how beautiful Big Sur is.

  • http://traveldestinationbucketlist.com/ Anita Mac

    Wow – for a non lover of running, choosing the half is a bit bite! I am so not a runner, and am happy to have my one run per year the 5K colour run (3.1miles I think that is!!) Even better, at each 1K marker, they throw colours at you – makes the time pass so fast and it doesn’t even feel like a run. hhehehe Regardless, well done on the half – that is a huge accomplishment! Now, back to my regularly scheduled carbo loading!!!

  • http://traveldestinationbucketlist.com/ Anita Mac

    Wow – for a non lover of running, choosing the half is a bit bite! I am so not a runner, and am happy to have my one run per year the 5K colour run (3.1miles I think that is!!) Even better, at each 1K marker, they throw colours at you – makes the time pass so fast and it doesn’t even feel like a run. hhehehe Regardless, well done on the half – that is a huge accomplishment! Now, back to my regularly scheduled carbo loading!!!

  • Alex

    Hate running? I used to NOT like it but once you start running regularly you get addicted and can’t wait for your next run or run training. Done the Dutch editions of the Amterdam half marathon, Egmond half marathon (beach/dunes/forest run) one of the nicest runs I’ve done. And damtodam run 16 km from Amsterdam to Zaandam. Also the Utrecht singelloop is a very nice 10 km cityrun and what to think of the Texel 10 or 21 km run, straight from the ferry on to the beaut island.
    Like i said, addicted. Run4fun!!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Yeah. I don’t mind it that much once I get into it with my music playing. I may give it another shot, but right now, my shins still aren’t having it. I think I need to retrain my stride and build up my calf muscles.

  • Alex

    Hate running? I used to NOT like it but once you start running regularly you get addicted and can’t wait for your next run or run training. Done the Dutch editions of the Amterdam half marathon, Egmond half marathon (beach/dunes/forest run) one of the nicest runs I’ve done. And damtodam run 16 km from Amsterdam to Zaandam. Also the Utrecht singelloop is a very nice 10 km cityrun and what to think of the Texel 10 or 21 km run, straight from the ferry on to the beaut island.
    Like i said, addicted. Run4fun!!

    • http://www.GQtrippin.com Gerard ~ GQtrippin

      Yeah. I don’t mind it that much once I get into it with my music playing. I may give it another shot, but right now, my shins still aren’t having it. I think I need to retrain my stride and build up my calf muscles.

Email
Pinterest