I know, I know. We’re not supposed to hate anything about running, right? Certainly if you put it on a ledger the assets would far outnumber the debits. But if you peered into the deepest recesses of your most secret thoughts you would find something about our chosen sport that you despise.
No? OK, it’s just me then.
I could cobble together one of those Top 10 lists and include things like black toenails, animals, hill repeats, misplaced mile markers, etc., etc., but those things are really just minor inconveniences.
No, the thing that absolutely kills me and deadens my runner’s soul is starting up again after a layoff.
But injuries aren’t the only cause of layoffs. Maybe it’s pregnancy, the job, a trip to Antarctica, a prison sentence, or teleportation to the Hell Dimension of No Running.
Whatever the reason, it’s no fun to wheeze my way through a three-mile run with splits about two minutes slower than usual. Nothing else in my life compares to this phenomenon. If I stopped writing for six weeks, I wouldn’t forget how to use verbs.
Maybe it’s nature’s way of humbling us. If you’ve ever made sport of beginning runners, take a couple of months off and start up again. You’ll get a real taste of what they’re going through.