September 02, 2019

5 Things I Miss About Running (and they're not what you may think)

I'm sure most of you know already, but if you're new here, I took a (long) hiatus from running. Like, two years long! With a few attempts to get back to regular running thrown in there (I even trained for a half-marathon last year, running 4-5 days a week) I've only run a few miles a month (if at all).

At first, I loved the hiatus! It was so nice not to have to worry about fitting in my runs or having double the laundry to do, sleep in, or make myself do something I just plain didn't feel like doing. I was tired of it. Interestingly, I lost about 30 pounds after I quit running due to eating in a way that made me happy--so weight loss/gain had nothing to do with it.

Anyway, I wrote a whole post about all that stuff at the end of 2017, so I won't get into it all again. Here, because I lost lists, I'm going to list five things that I miss about running. I came up with this idea this morning just after I got done on the treadmill (this is the start of my third week getting back at it).

Eli came into the room and asked, "Geez, how far did you run?" And I said I just ran three miles. He said, "Oh, it seemed like you ran about five miles!" This made me laugh, and I told him that I used to be able to run five miles in 40 minutes (that's about how long it took me to do three miles today).

I was only joking, but then I remembered that I once ran an 8K race (5 miles) in 40:31. And a 5-mile training run under 40:00!

At this point, you might be thinking that my past speed is something that I miss. However, I honestly don't miss the speed that all that much. It would be nice to be that fast again (so that it wouldn't take up so much time on the treadmill, haha!) but I don't mind being a back-of-the-packer.

I did start thinking about the things that I do miss about running, though. And here's my list...

5 Things I Miss About Running

1) I miss how easy the "easy runs" actually felt easy. I remember feeling like a 10:00/mi pace was a simple stroll in the park. I remember when my heart rate was able to stay at my MAF training rate when I was running a sub-10:00 pace. I wasn't huffing and puffing and pouring sweat while doing my "easy" runs. They felt how they should feel--easy. I miss how easy the easy runs felt.

This picture was after a 10-miler, and I remember feeling great.

2) I miss the runner's high that I would get after nailing a very hard run. I would feel on top of the world, sometimes for a couple of days afterward.

My very favorite was when I was doing a final 10K training run, 3 x 2 miles at 10K goal pace (mine was 7:55/mi at the time) with a five minute jog between. I think I was more nervous about that workout than I was about the actual race!

And when I hit my goal for that workout, I felt like I was flying high. NOTHING could have brought me down. I miss that kind of runner's high. I even miss the smaller ones. They were few and far between, but totally worth it.

This photo was right after I completed the 10K workout...

3) I miss my long runs. (Wait... WHAT?!) Yes, I miss running 10 miles in the crisp fall or winter air along routes that are just too long to walk now. I miss when running 10-12 miles was no big deal--it felt easy, as long as I was going at an easy pace. I miss running with a friend and chatting through a couple of hours of running.

When I drive by places that are five or six miles from home, I think, "I used to run from home to here and back like it was no big deal"--and I miss that.

This picture of Jessica and me was after we completed our first 20-miler!

4) I miss setting goals and really, truly wanting to reach them. I've tried setting goals since then, but I just don't have a goal in mind that really excites me. I've no interest in doing more marathons or bettering my race times.

I remember when a PR in my 10K felt like a pipe dream and all it took was stating to my best friend that I was GOING TO do it. And then I worked my ass off, harder than I've ever worked in my life, and I did it. I lost 40 pounds and ran a 49:03 10K between September 2015 and April 2016. I miss picking a goal that really excites me and drives me to attain it.

I look super focused during my goal 10K run, but I was DYING inside. I wanted to quit so badly!

5) I miss reading about running, writing about running, and talking about running. I miss blogging about running. I used to recap all of my runs on my blog, even the really boring ones--not for others to read, but because they excited ME.

I used to love hearing about new training methods and reading everything I could find about them. I snatched up the memoirs about running. I read Runner's World magazine cover to cover every month. I talked about training with my other running friends and I gave advice to people who asked for it.

This photo is when I met the mayor of running himself, Bart Yasso, at the Runner's World Headquarters! I was the biggest running nerd ever during that trip :)

So, there you have it. I clearly miss running--not for the obvious reasons--and I want to feel that way again. So, hopefully, I will get there!

My BFF Thomas had to take a year off of running because he was having issues with pain in his legs and the doctors couldn't figure out what the deal was. After lots of tests and physical therapy, they finally diagnosed him with psoriatic arthritis. Once he started his medication, he was clear to start running again. And he did!

He is now just as fast as he used to be and his easy runs feel easy (he is FINALLY using my advice to run the easy runs easy). When I asked him about getting back into it, because I described how hard it felt, he told me that he started with running three miles, three times a week, for three months. And that's when it started to feel "easy" again. We call it 3-3-3.

I had a few false starts after that conversation, because I just wasn't feeling it. However, my cross country kids have inspired me SO much, and when I tell them to run even though it's uncomfortable, and that it's going to feel hard, I feel like a hypocrite. I want to be a good example for them.

That's one of the reasons I had the practice where I told everyone who could "run longer than me" would get a prize. I explained how out-of-shape I was and that every single one of them was capable of running longer than me (in the end, only two of them did it!).

It was a lesson in running being a mental sport, not just a physical one.

I want to show them that even though it's hard, it's possible to push past that and keep going. I jokingly begged the kids who were still running to just hurry up and quit already because I was tired and I wanted to quit ;)  They thought that was funny and then kept telling me I should just quit already!

I felt really good that I was able to run until the end of practice. If practice had been longer (thank God it wasn't!) I would have kept going, just to show them that it was possible.

I am also trying to teach them how to pace themselves. When you tell a kid to run, they sprint as fast as they can and then walk or stop, gasping for air. So we've been working on endurance and finding our "happy pace" to keep going.

Speaking of cross country, I want to say thank you again to ALL of you that donated awards to my team! (I like to call them awards rather than prizes, because they have to work for awards and it seems more challenging than winning a prize, if that makes sense).

I can't even describe how touched I am that so many of you would donate to total strangers. These awards have certainly helped the kids keep going when they want to quit, and I am so grateful for each and every one. Just ask my kids how emotional I got when Amazon delivered 15 packages in one day! hahaha.

One thing on the list wasn't an award, but rather something we could use as a team for speed work--a runner's parachute. I've received three of them, and they are SO cool for getting the kids excited to run hard! I had one girl on my team, Harper, demonstrate how it works (and her mom gave me permission to post the video here).

When the kids saw the parachute, they all started asking if they could use it, too. They had no idea just how tough of a workout it is--it's killer on the thighs! (You can also get a glimpse of her socks in the video, which is one of the awards that she chose--the kids are all obsessed with the fun novelty running socks.)

Anyway, I cannot say thank you enough for what you've done for my team. You've made some future runners VERY excited about (literally) going the extra mile at practice!


  1. It sounds like a great motivation circle. You have inspired your readers to run in the past, your running kids inspired you to restart running now and the awards got by your readers motivate your running kids more in the future. I hope everyone keeps running (or walking).

  2. You make me want to run, but I'll have to stick to walking. I've gotten a lot of inspiration from you.

  3. I think you miss having a goal you've never hit before to keep you motivated. I know you don't like swimming, but I really think you could train for a triathlon that is done in a pool. Maybe that would be something you could work for? Or, even go big and fund raise for LLS as they provide the training program and support resources. I did a 100 mile bike ride in Lake Tahoe with them (starting from no real training, although I had biked before) as well as a sprint distance triathlon in Cape Cod (but now I think they only offer olympic distance triathlons - but maybe they have the sprints still). I feel like you are looking for something new to push and challenge yourself to get you motivated again - see what is out there for you!

  4. Gosh, Katie! I think I can speak for many of your readers when I say that we get so much out of reading your blog, buying some of the awards for your team is the very LEAST we can do for you! :) Thank you!


I used to publish ALL comments (even the mean ones) but I recently chose not to publish those. I always welcome constructive comments/criticism, but there is no need for unnecessary rudeness/hate. But please--I love reading what you have to say! (This comment form is super finicky, so I apologize if you're unable to comment)

Featured Posts

Blog Archive