TOTR: What’s Hard About Running?

with Erika @ MCM Mama Runs,
Marcia @ Marcia’s Healthy Slice
and Patty @ My no-guilt life

This week’s topic is The hardest part of running is _______.

I was tempted to say EVERYTHING.

I don’t find running easy.  I am not a natural athlete.

For me, long runs are hard.  Speed workouts are hard.  Hills are hard. 5ks are hard.  Half Marathons are hard.


this explains it all (after the First Watch HM in March 2013)

You get the picture.

But the hardest part about running is expectations.

I’m not saying that it’s not good to push yourself. It is.

But if we are always expecting to be faster or expecting a PR or expecting an age group award, then we are disappointed when we don’t meet our expectations.

If running is filled with disappointments, then it no longer becomes enjoyable.

This is very hard too.  How do you know how high to set the bar?

If I am not sore after a race, did I not push myself hard enough?

If my time was too slow, did I walk too much?

Can I run faster? Have I peaked?

Am I too old to be able to finish that fast?

But if we set NO expectations, then we can enjoy the run more.


No expectations. Just finish without any pain. Happy to have participated with friends and to have supported an important cause.

It will be hard but I hope I can do this more often:

and remember this:

Happy Running! What is the hardest thing about running for you?


24 thoughts on “TOTR: What’s Hard About Running?

  1. I’m not always expecting PRs, not by any stretch of the imagination, and certainly not AG awards!

    But I do like to time all runs, even if I don’t watch the time, and keep up my journal — it allows me to have a guestimate for a finish time if all the stars align.

    Came in handy Sunday, too!


  2. The joy of a PR or getting a medal seems to fade fast.
    One of my favorite memories was running a Wednesday night race put on by a local club each week. It’s a small race with no more than 75 runners in a given week, and I never break the top 15.
    One evening me and 4 or 5 other guys were racing each other, running down the side of a busy street. It was intense. I don’t think any of us were in the top 10 that night, but I will never forget that run. It was pure joy. It was a moment that reaffirmed my love of running.


  3. I, like you, don’t feel like I am a natural for this. I started so late in life and had my share of injuries already…but I still love it. I actually love what you wrote – no expectations, just finish with out pain, that will be my new mantra for the next several months 😉


  4. The expectation spiral is hard – you do want to push to get better, but not at the expense of the joy of running. A fine line to walk for sure. Great post!


  5. You make a great point. I’ve definitely been running more for fun than anything else these past few years. One can only chase PRs for so long. As long as I know I’m giving it the best I have that day, I’m good. Thanks for linking up!


  6. I am really looking forward to AFTER my big race, to run a little, just because I want to. Just because it feels good, and not look at my watch, paces or times.


  7. While I love going to PRs and other running accomplishments, at the end of the day we need to run because we love it! If I get too caught up in goals and times, I can end up being frustrated and depressed…no good! But on the flip side, I can lose motivation and focus if I don’t have any goals. I suppose it’s a balancing act, one that I’ll *hopefully* be working on for years to come.


  8. My overall expectation tends to be to just finish and I’m OK with that. It allows me to have goals to help me get out to do my weekly runs but doesn’t put undue pressure so I can enjoy the experience. Good job managing your own expectations.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.