I was looking at my Strava Profile today, and I noticed something that went right by without me knowing it; I have run 101 times since starting in September of last year.
When I started running last year, I wasn’t sure I was going to like it. In fact, I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to like running as I’d never liked it in the past. As an active duty Marine, I did it because I had to, and even then, I disliked it. Sure, I liked feeling fit, but not at the cost of having to run.
In September of last year, joining the National Guard was something I was interested in, but I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to do. I knew I had to start running, but I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to get fast enough, be strong enough, and fit enough to pass an APFT. Well, my APFT in April definitely put that to rest, and now, I’m one of the more fit soldiers in our battery (based on APFT scores and height/weight).
A crazy thing happened about a month into my running experience: I began to like it. I forced myself to like it, and it worked. I remember making the conscious decision to enjoy running and I hoped that it would become genuine. It has.
There are days I don’t feel like doing it, but the feeling of not running is far worse than any pain or discomfort I feel when running itself. I really enjoy the 30 minutes I spend running. I am in an easy cycle right now, not working toward an APFT, and just staying fit. I am allowing my body to strengthen gradually, and watching what my body does with repeated physical activity. I’m focusing more on my breathing and allowing the pace to increase naturally instead of pushing it hard like I was. The result is a much nicer run, I feel better immediately after a run and in between runs, and my pace is increasing nicely without me noticing any additional discomfort.
While not every run is great, some of my runs have been downright nice. Every now and then, I experience a light runner’s high, which is pretty cool. It’s something I hope to experience more in the future.
101 runs. I never thought that would be something I could say I’ve done, yet here I am. Coupled with the 100+ push ups I do before every run, I now have a decent set of muscles on me. I’m not looking to have a body builder’s physique, but I do like looking fit. I love feeling fit even more, however, and that’s where the true benefit has been.