Will My Legs Ever Stop Hurting?

I am not a physically fit individual. When asked to run the mile in high school, I’d finish the process near the end of the group with the asthma kids, and I don’t have asthma. I’d also cheat by skipping laps. The sports kids were running circles around me anyway, so bailing in the final lap prevented all of us from waiting out in the cold while I meandered around the track loop.

Suffice to say, I never had a strong desire to be a runner. When people would mention cross country running I’d get nauseous for them by association. You guys did a five miles run after school for practice, or worse for fun? I’d rather have each of my teeth removed with pliers.

Imagine my surprise, ten years later, when my mind started whining about running. We should start running, it posed, rather suddenly, it seems kind of fun. Wouldn’t you love to be a runner? Not only would you survive longer in a hypothetical apocalyptic situation, but you’d be a runner. Runners are cool. They are happier. You want to be happier, don’t you? We should go for a run. Right now. Who cares if it’s midnight–let’s go running!

My mind didn’t ever really stop bugging me about how cool runners were. And, as years before with vegetarianism, it had be convinced that if I picked up this new habit, I’d somehow be magically cooler. (Vegetarianism did not make me any cooler, for the record.) Ever since reading A Separate Peace in ninth grade I’d always been fascinated by the runner’s high. You mean there was a magical time when you were running when you stopped hating everything and running seemed fun? I’d never gotten anywhere near a runner’s high, and I wanted to see what it was like.

Finally, after humming and hawing for years, I’ve taken the running plunge.

On Sunday night I downloaded the Couch to 5K app, and vowed to start it the next day. And I got my butt out of bed, put on a pair of old sneakers and never-used workout gear, and headed out the door.

I’ve only completed two workouts, but I’m finding the app extremely useful. Other attempts at running have left me near retching on my front lawn, but the Couch to 5K program recognizes how weak I am at the start. After the first trip I certainly didn’t feel great (in fact, I kind of felt like I’d been hit by a train), but the feeling didn’t stop me from going out again today. And, to my great surprise, today’s run was much easier. I didn’t feel great about my form and speed, but when my darling Constance (the app’s automated trainer) told me I could stop running, my feet weren’t slowing down. I’m not saying I could keep running for long, but I could feel the progress, and it felt incredible.

I’ve often thought that Future Me was a runner. But the thing about Future Me is that she’ll never be Present Me if I don’t do something about it. I’m not going to just suddenly be the person I want to be one day after a miraculous night of sleep–I have to go get her. Run, even.

Now will someone please tell me, when comes the part where my legs stop hurting when I stand up? Soon? Yes?



  1. They will stop hurting! However, I started running several years ago, and while yes I enjoy it, I still have to make myself do it a lot of the time and there are plenty of days that I don’t want to or I find an excuse not to. I still haven’t gotten to the “addicted to running” stage (and probably never well, that’s just not me), but it does make me feel good!

    1. That’s good to know. My legs still hurt from last week–getting out of bed last night to go to the bathroom was like drinking Skele-gro. But I want to stick with it, and hopefully reach an “addicted to running” phase.

  2. I was addicted to running my senior year of high school. The soreness goes away for me after about two weeks (but I’m sure it varies for everyone depending on body type and such), and then I start to get more sore if I DON’T run for a day or two.. I always say my legs are “itchin'” to run! That and the runner’s high is what keeps me running when I do.

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