Naomi's Love/Hate Relationship with Running
To you, the innocent onlooker, it must look like…wow…this Naomi person must love really running and how determined is she?! She runs loads and always looks so smiley in her running photos. But, if only you knew the truth! I think the people I run with would tell you how much I moan on runs and how hard it is to drag me out for a run at times.
After my first 20-mile race, around country lanes in Gloucester, it is safe to say, I did more than my fair share of moaning, often talking about the fact that I only run for cake and thinking how much I would rather be in bed and generally muttering that I’d rather be anywhere else that here. The first photo reflects my feelings on finishing this race and the second is me pretending I loved it.
So, as you might be able to tell, I have an incredibly love/hate relationship with running it seems…like when I see other runners running I feel a pang of jealously, but then when I have time for a run, I often make excuses not to go.
Even, after the London Marathon when I could hardly walk, I got moody and low when I took a break from running after the marathon, but yet, I don’t really like running all that much...confused? Yea...me too!
Goodness, why do this to yourself…what brings you back week in and week out and why on earth are you running another marathon, I hear you cry! I guess my answer would be that running to me, is actually so much more than the actual running bit.
It is all-inclusive, does not discriminate anyone and just simply unites people. From every walk of life. Everyone has their own story, their own journey and it broadens our insight when we share these experiences. Running puts everyone on an even playing field, whether it is the person running their first 5k at parkrun or the person who is completing their 60th ultramarathon, we are all achieving something and all inspiring someone, maybe without even realising it. Competitive sport is not something I would ever do, but running for me, is not competitive, in fact, since parkrun has been going the average finish time has slowed every year and parkrun themselves see this as a positive as it means that it reflects their mission to be inclusive and welcoming, no matter on your age, ability or background. You never know who is quietly watching and wondering if maybe they could also do it to, which by the way, you totally can.
I recently had a message recently from a friend who went for their first run in 12 years because of me…little old me, had stirred that desire in someone to get their trainers back on and go for a run…me ? Inspiring? Wow.
I guess it is really easy to forget your achievements, especially when you are surrounded by runners in life and on social media, but a message like that makes me truly humble.
For me, running is also about forming new friends, relationships and learning things about yourself that you never thought would be possible. It is also about celebrating, not just your own, but also those friends incredible achievements, I don’t think many of us set off on our running journey to run a marathon immediately, but I am so proud when I watch people take that leap.
So, when I wonder why I have signed up for another marathon, I will remember all these things.
Honestly, my relationship with running makes me feel so many things. Happy, proud, sad, elated and frequently overwhelmed! But yet, I am still here and I can’t quite work out why…but you know, I think maybe running get me, more than I get it!