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I run. I'm not a runner.

I run. I'm not a runner. There's a difference.

I have no desire to run a marathon, a half marathon, or even a 5k. My desire to run is directly correlated to my desire to eat more later.

In fact, for motivation, I dangle an old photo of myself on a stick in front of me.

"Give me...sugar....in water."

Until I graduated college, I had never run farther than a mile.  Part of the reason is because no matter what point I'm at in the run, I'm wheezing like an asthmatic pug. But most of the reason is because running sucks. It does. Just admit it. Everyone admit it. Running does not feel good. I feel horrible doing it. I look horrible doing it. And I'm horrible at it.

The idea of a runner's high sounds great to me. Yet, I've never gotten it. I've felt good while running before, but it's never outweighed how good I feel sitting on the couch playing video games. But after college, I needed to lose all of the weight I gained by feeling good on the couch playing video games.

So I started running more. I started running 2 to 3 miles every outing. And the pounds were slowly, but surely, dropping.

When someone asks you how much weight you lost after a week of exercise but you actually gained 2 pounds

While I didn't necessarily feel good during the run, I felt great after. I carried no guilt at dinner. I could enjoy a few drinks at night. I felt free—free to run as far as I could up to or around 2 to 3 miles.

My motions and technique still couldn't be described as "looking good." But I brought the style. I got a hat, designed specifically for sweating which is one of my most defining attributes. I got some sunglasses to wear even if I'm indoors on a treadmill. And I bought some of those short running shorts to really help me stride out my little hobbit legs.

When you have a good run and you don't feel like cooking dinner
Oddly enough, what helped me keep it up was living in New York City—what with all the space to really stretch your legs. When I first moved there, I lived in an apartment right by Central Park. I just had to take advantage of the proximity, knowing that I would later regret NOT running out there a few times a week.

Running in Central Park has its downsides though. There's the weaving in and out of a packed running path on a nice day. There's the jarring smell of police-horse dump wafting into your nostrils as you're gasping for air.  And there's all the really in shape old people. Like REALLY in shape. And like REALLY old. There were days where I thought I was running at a great clip and some old dude wearing an "NYC Marathon" shirt would pass me. In my head he was flipping me off. In reality, his fast legs were doing the talking—those pasty, grey-haired, fluorescent legs.

Qualified for NYC marathon. Much faster than Chris.
These days, I'm still running about 2 to 3 miles every outing. I still don't consider myself a runner—but hey, things change.

I may not be proudly displaying a "3ish - 4ish km" decal on my car anytime soon. But I have recently discovered how much ending a stressful day with a run helps me. That could be just because no matter what bad things happened to me during the day, I have a very uncomfortable run to remind me that nothing sucks quite like running. Maybe that means that in some weird way, I'm starting to like it. Maybe someday when starting a run, underneath the strained look of dread on my face, there will be an unforced smile.

To me, that makes it worth it.

On your mark,
CJ

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