“If you’re going to run hard, it’s going to hurt.”
When I started running intervals with Shawn, I’d get up the next morning and feel a real tightness in my chest. The first time this happened, I just thought my jogbra was getting too tight. After a second week, though, I realized that it was more likely my lungs learning to become more efficient and expanding a bit more when I’m running; being asthmatic, I’m probably more sensitive to what is going on with my lungs than most people are.
Two weeks ago, after our track workout and, last week again, after hill repeats, I felt that same tightness in my chest. It wasn’t painful at all – just uncomfortable. The next morning, it was still noticeable; by evening, it had subsided.
Sadly, friends will tell me that they don’t like running because it hurts them. My reply is that they are just learning to use new muscles; eventually, it will stop and they’ll be ready to move to a different level. No matter what pace you run, no matter what physical activity you participate in, if you’re pushing yourself more than you are use to, it is going to hurt.
I believe that I’m moving to that next level in my own fitness – hence, the “hurting”. This past weekend, I went over my race times from 2010 and was thrilled by the improvement. I especially can’t wait to run the Acura 10 miler in July as I ran a 77 minute race on that flat course last year, compared to the 73 minute race I just ran on Boxing Day on a tougher, hillier course. I can see that I’m at a really good spot with running right now.
So, yes, sometimes I am hurting – just a little – in a masochistic, only a runner can understand, kind of way. But I’m pushing myself, I’m setting goals, and I’m having fun. Runners: we are definitely different.