Boob Sweat

10 Reasons Running Doesn't Suck As Much As You Think

Image via People Magazine

The word “running” used to conjure up painful and awkward memories of gym class. My middle-school gym teacher, Mrs. Morey, would stand her roly-poly body at the top of the hill behind our school, barking through a megaphone between bites of beef jerky at us red-faced kids as we ran circles around the track. According to her, running  was supposed to build character, or whatever it is they teach gym teachers to say in gym teacher school.

Needless to say, most of the gasping kids on the track were thinking the same thing: Character? <bleep> you. Choke on your jerky, fatty.

Your first experience with running was probably in gym class. And it’s quite possible it left the same rancid taste in your mouth, with little desire to ever run again. But no more! I hit the reset button on my attitude towards running, and for the last two years, have gone from hating running to loving it (most of the time). Running really doesn’t suck as much as you think. Here’s why:

  1. Most races and fun runs are full of hot bodies in very little clothing. Let me repeat that: HOT PEOPLE. WEARING PRACTICALLY NOTHING. Wear sunglasses, and ogle with reckless abandon.
  2. You can lose weight by drinking nothing but hot water with lemon. Or you can run for an hour, treat yourself to a cookie and still fit into your skinny jeans. One of these options makes you bitchy; the other makes you rad.
  3. Take your iPod with you, and your runs suddenly become a safe place to indulge your love of boy-band music. With enough practice, you can even blend in a couple dance moves from ‘Bye Bye Bye’. Don’t lie: You’ve still got that routine memorized.
  4. When your boss, your melodramatic friend and your nagging to-do list won’t leave you alone, calmly put on your running shoes and head out the door. They won’t follow you. It’s a safer alternative to storming out with both middle fingers in the air (though you can -and should- still do this in your head, just for spectacular effect).
  5. You’ll discover lululemon pants are good for more than just buying tampons and Cheez-its at Target (I know, ladies. My world was rocked with that discovery, too.).
  6. Running is the last place you have to “be a lady.” Sweat, snot and sneaking behind a bush to pee is not only liberating it’s fun, in that giggly-childish-naughty kind of way.
  7. Getting a run in before happy hour means you get tipsy on half a glass of wine instead of your usual two. That’s not being a lush, that’s just sound economic planning.
  8. Studies have shown that runners have better sex. Sex counts as a cross-training workout, which in turn makes you a better runner, which – hello! – leads to even better sex. Really, the whole thing is full of win-wins.
  9. Girls are lucky; there’s an entire industry committed to making us look awesome while getting our sweat on. Workout clothes come in all sorts of cool colors and designs. Jockstraps, on the other hand, will always be ugly with questionable stains.
  10. Non-runners will sit on the couch and call you crazy. Those folks, sadly, will never learn what their bodies are capable of. You, on the other hand, will die knowing you completely, totally, unabashedly used up the body that was loaned to you. That’s not crazy. That’s freakin’ awesome.
  • Jess Bender

    I think you’ve officially convinced me to start running. You’re a saint (or as close as you can get to that title)!

  • Lauren Maslen

    Loved this! I started running a couple years ago when I moved to England and ran my first 5k in London a couple months later. I just did another big move across the world and you got me all kinds of excited to put my running shoes on and find a nice pothole-free piece of pavement in Seoul. As soon as it’s warmer than 14 degrees F, that is. I’m afraid nothing can convince me to run in this frigid cold.

  • Terri Arth Hildebrand

    Well now you got me thinking!

  • Rebecca Kennedy

    Great thing to help inspire me to keep going with my training for a marathon in June :)

  • Thu Ngo

    To everyone now thinking about starting to run, I urge you to start slow and do, say, the Couch to 5k program, which has you doing run/walk intervals. “Slow and steady” will get you to the race :)

  • Erica Wheelan

    Spot-on recollection of Morey. The only element missing of this lasting legacy is her penchant for shouting through said megaphone, “YAY EAGLES, BOOOOO TURKEYS.”

    Yes, I did hate running for years after that experience. She may have forever ruined square dancing for me too – that’s okay though.

  • Kristen Green Seymour

    When I did St. Anthony’s triathlon last year, my sister-in-law came to cheer me on and was SO PISSED that I didn’t give her the heads up on all the hot men because she showed up all scrubby. They might not smell good, but they sure are fun to look at!

  • Susan Sofranko Pedersen

    Agreed on the Couch to 5K program. I started in September and am now comfortably running 3+ miles three times a week or more. Just google couch to 5k and its the first response that comes up.

  • Mackenzie Barrow Warren

    can you write something about running in the winter? i enjoy running, but it’s so hard to motivate when its cold outside. (looking forward to reading more of whatever you write though!)

  • Jessi ‘Kluess’ Gardner

    Susan…OMG you EAGLE…..amazing how that little turkey learned how to fly….great article!!!!!!!!!! Took Aiden to the Y on sunday and while we were running laps and he started winning…i briefly thought about her and told him to stop winning and suck it up!!!!!

  • Elisabeth Miller

    Why are most gym teachers overweight? I don’t get this phenomenon. I’ve recently discovered the joys and benefits of exercise. I joined a gym and have been doing cross training and yoga. I would do the couch to 5K thing, but it’s cold out and I have a tendency to shin splints (all those landings when I did gymnastics took a toll). So I’m enjoying exercising in other ways…

  • Anonymous

    I love running and I too am going on two years. I’ve never felt better and so alive.

  • Leslie Polish

    i’ve started to love running. (winter time means i run indoors), but for me the hardest thing is being okay with the fact that i’m not going as fast as other people, or doing as many laps as them. But really, I’m proud of myself for starting to run. Gym class very much ruined it for me a few years back. Swishy pants will forever be the sound of my too-close-gym teacher coming to yell at me…

  • Juwina Wijaya

    Getting a run in before happy hour means you get tipsy on half a glass of wine instead of your usual two. That’s not being a lush, that’s just sound economic planning. –> THIS

  • Gaelle Izabelle

    I hadn’t run in 3 months and I read this post, got out and ran! Thank you 😀

  • Syikien Oyob

    One of the motivational article for me to kick-start my running goal this year!! Yay me!!!

  • Ann Cooper Caddele

    This was such a great article…I laugh the whole way through…and you were spot on every word.

  • Daisy Thompson

    I had a gym teacher who doubled as our Jr. High school’s track coach. She would line the team up and start them running down the street….and follow them in her car. Good times…

  • Jennifer Mather Thomas

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  • Rebecca Blevins

    Great article! I am loving these ideas and will use them on my current challenge. Check it out and help me change lives in 100 days!

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