I decided to go through my drafts of blog posts that never came to fruition. I found this gem from December 2012, two days after I finished my first marathon. I eventually wrote, and posted, another text, but this must have been my first attempt at jolting down my feelings, as this draft was created two days earlier.
"Running is like the frenemy who keeps inviting you to fabulous parties, where all her gorgeous friends are perfect. They all smile at you but you can hear them snicker behind your back, and it is obviously to everyone that you are out of place, self-conscious and trying too hard. You hate it, but you still yearn for the invitation and you always end up going, because at the end of the day she's so alluring and fascinating, and you just want fit in. If she took the time to get to know you, she would see how much you try, how much you care and maybe, just maybe, she will stop mocking of you and stop putting you through hell.
I rather loose another 50 lbs than run another marathon"
There you have it, my mental state, two days after my first marathon. By the sound of it, I felt misunderstood, my feelings were hurt and my ego was humiliated. But as it turned out, I lied. I did not loose another 50 lbs, but two years later, I did run another marathon.
My relationship with running has always been a tentative one. Most days a tedious battle, but some days encouraged by measurable progress and occasional achievements. The only way I knew how to approach running was to see it as a tool, as means to and end. First it was a weight-loss tool, then a tool for personal achievements. I used it as a tool to stay healthy and as a tool to maintain fitness. All of these reasons were good reasons, but throughout it all, I never actually enjoyed the activity of running much. The "Runner's High" I kept hearing about never happened to me, not once, in years of running.
But somewhere along the way, things started to shift. I'm not entirely sure when, were, how or why, but running stopped being such a struggle. At some point, running turned from being a chore, into something I could get myself to do, on days I didn't feel like doing anything at all. For the first time since I started pursuing this endeavor, it's something I can trust, something I can rely on and something that gives more than it takes. I'm no longer chasing the runner's high, I'm perfectly happy and content with the runner's satisfaction.