Running Outdoors - WAY harder than you think

I've been a little cocky lately.  Ok, maybe a lot cocky.  I've been strutting around all "I can run a 5k any night of the week, cuz I'm cool like that."  Or perhaps, "Look at me! I'm running at 6 mph and I can have a full conversation with you!"  I'm pretty proud of that accomplishment, so I can be a little cocky, right?

Look at that smile on my face.  Cocky, right?

But the other night, I was SHUT DOWN.  By my own self...

It was an incredibly cool night out and I wanted to take a stab at running outdoors.  After all, I used to run cross country and I was in great shape then!  My major complaint with running outdoors is that I hate getting my clothes all sweaty, so in general, when I'm home I only wear shorts and a sports bra to exercise.  I know that some people think that it would perfectly fine for me to wear that same thing while running outdoors, but I do not have the body to go running around outside in a sports bra, no matter how good I feel about myself.  Trust me.  Plus, my ritzy neighbors would probably call the police, or something.

Just kidding.

Anyway, it was a nice cool night, I wanted to try to run outside.  I wasn't feeling great - my one meatball sub for dinner was so good that I doubled it to two and my belly was not happy about the addition - but I decided to persevere.

After a brief warm-up walk with DH and the Murph dog, I put my earphones in and headed off!


Only to stop immediately because the sound on my iPod was so loud that I temporarily went blind from the blast. 

Once I got that figured out, I started running again.  It was hard.  It sucked.  My knee starting hurting almost right away and in less than 60 seconds I encountered my first hill.  (If you saw this "hill" you'd probably laugh at me and tell me that it was basically totally flat, but trust me, it was definitely a hill.)  That hill was HARD, with a capital H A R D.  But I pushed through it and continued on.  I probably went half a mile - if that - when I encountered the massive hill at the end of the development.  I stopped briefly, panting like I was dying, and paced around, trying to get up the nerve to try that hill.  Then I saw some ladies who were walking coming up behind me, and in an effort to not look like a total wuss, I took off up the hill.

Oh. My. God.  It was sooo hard.

My lungs hurt, my heart was pounding.  I couldn't feel my legs and it felt like I couldn't take in enough air to sustain my existence. About three quarters of the way up I said "Screw this," turned around and headed back down the hill.  I avoided making eye contact with the ladies.

Second later, DH and Murph rounded the corner.  Wow.  Seriously? I'm so bad that walkers basically caught up with me?  Hmm...

So, the moral of this story is that running outside is WAAY harder than running on a treadmill.  Way harder. WAY HARDER.  Did I mention that it was harder?

Now I know why real runners hate us treadmill runners, and call treadmills things like "dreadmills."  I'm going to start calling it the "lovemill."  Because at least on the lovemill/treadmill I can pretend that I am healthy and in shape and strong and beautiful, which I love.  Outside I am sweaty and hurting and suffocating and hating it.   

And of course Murphy was being a royal jerk.  He's usually a jerk when we're walking - he hates other dogs and does everything that he can to kill them - but tonight was even worse than normal.  I think he was pissed that I went jogging without him.

And I think I'm going to try to it again tonight. I know... I'm a glutton for punishment.  But I can't let outdoor running get the best of me.  I'm much happier when I'm confident and cocky.  This dejected/defeated feeling is definitely not for me....


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