Monday, September 1, 2008

Running is fun and other lies

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that I think the notion that running is a fun activity is a myth.


A conspiracy, even, propagated by Nike and Gatorade.

I'm not saying I don't believe that running is good for you, that it doesn't burn calories and tone muscles. That's why I do it. But I certainly do not believe that it is fun.

I'm not sure what this runner's high people speak of is. There might be a slight tinge of accomplishment when I've finished, but during, there is no high-- just sweat and gasping for air.

(To be fair, I may be missing the gene for natural highs. I also get absolutely no rush from gambling. I just stare at the slot machine when I'm done and think "Damn, I just wasted two dollars.")

However, even worse than the exhaustion is the boredom. This is why I have a mix on my iPod entitled the "Make-Running-Not-Boring Mix". Because cardio is really, really boring. I try to overstimulate the hell out of myself while on a treadmill or elliptical trainer. I listen to upbeat music, I watch the televisions in front of me (which are, cruelly, always on the Food Network-- visions of cheesecake and pasta floating before me), I flip through magazines, I challenge myself to random games in my head... but I still can't help but watch my time tick by, second by second, wondering when this sweaty boredom will elapse.

Despite all these complaints, at three plus months, I have beat my personal record for regular gym attendance. The results are nice, I must admit. I am more inclined to check myself out when emerging from the shower, and perhaps even pose a little. Lines are beginning to trace themselves onto my stomach, indicating an emerging two-pack six-pack. Biceps are beginning to pop onto my arms. My boyfriend is making sweet little comments. 

But that doesn't mean I don't sulk and pout on weekend mornings, drawing out the syllables of "soooo boooorrrrriiing" as he remains wrapped up in delicious blankets, and I lace up my running shoes.

39 comments:

Arielle said...

There is always at lease one TV in my gym that's on Food Network. On the one hand, it's awful because it makes me want to go home and feast. But on the other hand, it really does help keep my mind off the "sweaty boredom," as you say.

Jo said...

I have become a gymophobe. I now only hit the gym on days that I have a yoga class and even then I must force myself to do run two miles and some change.

Make no mistake, there are no emerging six-packs on me, but I'm lucky to be married to a guy that thinks a little more around the edges is sexy.

Paula said...

I LOATHE the gym and intend to never set foot in it again if I can help it. Give me an exercise dvd anyday.

Daisy said...

I think running is boring too. I always think of all of the other things I could be doing if I weren't running right then. Now I force myself to run outside because then even if I want to stop I still have to run back. And yeah - ipods are a MUST.

Alexa said...

excellent work! congratulations! it may suck but who doesn't love seeing the effects.

t.k.foster said...

I've feared this for a while and you have confirmed it for me: I am definitely odd. I love running and wish I could do more of it, but when you bulk it is counter-productive to run, so I pass on it. Nonetheless, if you are seeing results that is only the start of the beginning of an addiction to it. It is the results that make the lifestyle so worth it.

Goodluck.

PrincessB said...

I used to like running. In high school. Maybe in college. I like to think that I like running now. But really I just like being able to eat more.

Larissa said...

I hate hate hate running. But somehow, I do great with elliptical machines and brisk walking.

Caz said...

I have a love/hate relationship with running. I enjoy it AFTER I've done it, but generally dislike it during. I've found that a gorgeous day, a great place to run and a seriously pumping playlist are the only things that get me out. I'd much prefer going to the gym but running is free.

distractedspunk said...

...I kinda love the gym. And miss it. It's hard to be motivated to go though as I'm never home and when I do go, everyone there is 40+ years older than me. I want to see six packs and biceps and more! Not healthy hearts.

Ai.

Bayjb said...

Congrats on your gym attendance. The results are nice, you find yourself flexing a lot more and running around with less clothing on. Maybe.

angela said...

I love running and I get that runners high. The only way I achieved it though was by doing Couch to 5 K (www.c25k.org). You could probably skip the beginning but it trains your body to get used to it instead of just up and running long distances and not enjoying it. They also have podcasts that are very upbeat and enjoyable. I hope you enjoy it soon...really!

Angela said...

I hate running.

According to my Movement professor, 5 minutes of straight jump-roping (jumping rope?) is equal to 40 minutes of running.

I say invest in a jump rope and play some music.

magda said...

I've known plenty of people who swear on the runner's high. I just don't think I'm genetically equipped to experience it. "Just keep on suffering, and it gets easy! And fun!" They say. Untrue!

I trick myself into the gym by going when I know there are shows on I want to watch. My gym has little individual tvs on each machine, which makes this possible. But still, at the commercials, I switch channels, look around the room for distractions, put on my ipod, etc. I'm just not a gym-inclined person I guess. But alas, I carry on.

myself said...

I'll go walking, but no way, no how, not in hell am I running. My knees, my hips, my ankles....erm, no thanks. I'll keep training for my 10k walk...we'll leave it at that!

poodlegoose said...

I agree 100%. I ran cross country in high school, and I'd think about ways I could hurt myself without making it look too suspicious as to why I didn't finish. You know, "Oh, I could throw myself down this little hill and sprain my ankle, and everyone would feel sorry for me." Never did it, but always wish I could. I was always bored.

Now, I've been convinced to train for a half-marathon in Feb. What on earth am I thinking? I never can get motivated (which is one of the reasons why I've signed up for this crazy mess), and I never can go to the gym regularly. Even when I have a wedding coming up in 2 months. I guess I just don't care enough :)

Congrats to you, though! It sounds that you're being consistent, and even though you don't love it, it's still making a difference. Keep it up!

WiscoBlonde said...

I love to hate running too! It's all worth it - after it's over!

chasinglibby said...

i do the same thing at the slots. and i'm pissed if i lose all 5 dollars i budgeted at the stupid slots.

at the gym, running is my pick for poison too. i hate my life mid run but it burns so good after.

Dexter Colt said...

I would run from an ax murderer. Running for any other reason is out of the question...

Candy Grrl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Candy Grrl said...

If you hate running so much, why don't you find something else to do...the more you love something the more you'll excel at it & I bet your 'lines' will improve faster...not only that...your head space will be far better! What about hiking or dancing (like fun hip hop cardio work) or even swimming...the latter is your best form of toning!

I do share the same sentiments though...running can be extremely boring if you're not in the right frame of mind or if the music isn't as 'beaty' as you may require!

The plus is that you're looking good & your man is noticing...I bet his comments are worth all those weekend mornings :)

Son said...

haha! I like it, but I don't think you are getting it. Its fun becausse you can plan everything while running. It takes no brain power.

So while running, try:
- writing your next blog entry,
- planning the amount of food you can eat that night to make up for what you "lost" while running
- pretend that the treadmill's track is an annoying someone's face...

and other enjoyable mind activities...

SMARTBuddy said...

Yeah I disagree - I do a half marathon on the coast path every week now, partly for training, but mainly becasue its beautiful and i really enjoy being there. The running is tiring, but I kind of separate myself from it. Its interesting that you might not have a genetic basis for natural highs, I think i do, but I have only really started to 'enjoy' running as I do now in the past few years. Maybe if you stick with it...

lspoon said...

need to get back to it. I had to take a break from it all and now I feel too busy. Perhaps soon?

Jenn said...

Seeing the results after a gym attendance streak always lifts my spirits. Now if only I could find the motivation to go more often!! Congrats to you though!

As for running, I just can't find the pleasure in it. I wish I did because I really think I'd benefit from it. I think someone just needs to run in front of me with a twinkie hanging from a string. I'd chase them.

Deutlich said...

I seriously, seriously loathe running. Blah.

Nilsa S. said...

From what I hear, they're coming out with treadmills with iPod docking stations. Meaning, you can hook up your iPod and watch movies, videos or whatever else you choose. Wouldn't that be nice?!

dmb5_libra said...

i HATE running...but i consider it to be a necessary evil when i'm working out regularly. i think all cardio is boring and monotonous...maybe if someone dangled a thousand dollars in front of me that i would be rewarded after 30-45 minutes of cardio, that would make it a little more fun.

Jamie said...

Yeah I really don't see how running can be fun. Cardio is effing boring.

Yoda said...

I don't run much (especially lately my gym attendance has slacked), but running is major time fun!

I always run on a treadmill smack dab behind particularly bootylicious ladies and believe you me, I have fun!

nuttycow said...

At least you do the running thing. You know, getting out of bed and actually doing it.

I look at my trainers and think "sod it"

Katelin said...

i am so not a runner in any way. and i agree the gym is not all that exciting to me, yet i continue to go, haha.

Beth said...

I recently read that more new doctors are specializing in orthopedics in anticipation of all the damaged knees from running.
Mercenary but telling...

longredcape said...

WHY, WHY, WHY do they always have the TVs set to Food Network? And I totally agree. Running is BORING. I, too, have a "Working Out" playlist for such activities, but I must admit I haven't used it in a long, long while.

Surfergrrl said...

That's why i've never, ever been a runner.

nicoleantoinette said...

I haven't been to the gym in 3 months and am so excited to return this week!

The running thing? is easier with a friend.

Therapeutic Ramblings said...

Running = Punishment....that's what I was taught while playing sports. :D

I need to load some new music on my Nano to convince myself to run...as I'm starting a new training regime tomorrow, doh!

courtneyryan369 said...

I'm with you. No runnershigh! I think they made it up. Other than the fact that there's a guy who likes to run on the treadmill in front of/near mine. He's got great shoulders and a fantastic butt. That's about the only high from my time on the eliptical...there isn't a runners high otherwise.

the frog princess said...

So what's on that playlist? I have yet to create one that doesn't leave me continually skipping songs after 5 seconds saying "No, that's no good..."