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Running Is Hard




I'm trying to increase the distance of my long runs.  I have been trying for quite awhile but I've been rather unsuccessful.  A few years ago, something changed and it has taken a long time for me to accept that this is probably the new "normal".  I used to read other runner's blogs and wonder why they talked about the pain of running so much.  Since I was already a somewhat older runner, (in my forties), and I ran pain free most of the time. I didn't understand why it would be so painful for so many other runners.  Not only did I used to be Kingcoffee, I was also the king of no pain. 

Somewhere around the age of 48, that began to change.  I thought it was just a temporary thing.  Seven years later, I just might be ready to accept that this is just the way things are going to be.  What is the next stage after denial? 

Today I did the longest run of this year to date, almost 13 miles.  It was a struggle for the first 3 miles but then my muscles began to loosen up. By the time I reached my planned stop at a gas station, my legs were really tired.  After a 6 minute break a the gas station, I began shuffling along the bike path again. I was thinking, for the third time that i was going to come up short of my goal which was to run for two hours. 

Twenty minutes later, I found a renewed sense of vigor and picked up the pace.  This lasted for 3 or 4 miles and then I began to struggle again, although not as much as before.  The second hour was faster paced than the first hour, which is good, I guess. 

Every run starts off slow now and the first 3 miles are almost always the hardest.  This really sucks for racing 5k"s.  I try to run at least a mile and a half before a 5k race now, because it takes so long for my legs to loosen up.  I always end up passing a lot of people in the second half of a 5k. It feels good but I sure wish I could get started faster and run a faster overall time.

Mostly what was running through my mind while I was running today was, this has really become a lot harder to do.



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It has always taken me a while to warm up, and that's why 5Ks have always been the hardest. 

If I'm having a hard run, and I'm actually thinking about it being hard, it makes it way worse. Mostly when I run, my head is clear and I don't think about much. I don't like to think about things when I run because I do enough of that when I'm not running.  I also don't run with music so I'm just constantly listening to my breath, my steps, and the surrounding noises. It's very zen for me.

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Right there with you. First mile I'm barely moving. Plus recovery is much worse than before. Seems like I'm always hurting in multiple places. Oh well.

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It takes me at least two slow miles to get warmed up. Sometimes I'm at mile 5 before I actually feel decent. I don't have a lot of pain though, so that's a bonus. We really have to get over ourselves and just keep going. (speaking for myself, anyway).

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This was me when I was in my late 20's/early 30s so I'm really hoping I have the reverse happen as I age. One can dream, right?

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That's the next stage after denial 😉

I hear you.. late 40s was when running started to hurt, and I was outraged ! betrayed ! 
now I'm just happy to still be moving forward.. most days.. 

it takes me longer to warm up for a 5k, than to run a 5k. 

to quote myself, 2009, 
"a truth I'd not articulated before: the worst thing about aging is that running now hurts. It never used to hurt - the pain appeared as information rather than suffering - but now every blessed step of a race takes effort to oppose the weakness. If I take my watch off it's possible to imagine myself to be running fast, still that's only a comfortable delusion."

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