Soapbox: Running And Pain Posts

*Drags box across floor, stands on top…

I am a runner. There, I said it. I basically have been running for as long as I can remember. My first official “Turkey Trot” I completed in a pair of Mary Janes. That was elementary school. During my early running career all you really needed was a pair of sneakers and the want to get out on the road.

Uncomplicated. Simple. Running.

BeeBeeBridge uphill

Running up that hill…

I bring this up because I had a great run yesterday. I took my time. I enjoyed the scenery. I took on a few miles and I took on some hefty hills. Along the way up my Bee Bee Bridge route in Canastota (mile #3 basically is all uphill) I was reminded of the quote:

“Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up.”
Dean Karnazes

And, basically, that kept me running on up that hill.

I also almost paused to pick up a nice pair of scissors just sitting on the side of the road, but, then I didn’t (and that’s off topic. They were Fiskars after all…)

Well, today at work, as I was scrolling through social media posts as one does, I was bombarded with nothing short of running porn. Yes, running porn. The posts from anonymous runners about how awesome it is that they were able to overcome some painful aspect of their journey…how they “sucked it up, buttercup,” and pushed on through, and so on…yadda yadda.

Look, I’m all for encouragement and what not but I gotta say, if you are one of those “push through the pain” folks I have one question for you…


Why are you doing that to yourself? Is it to compete with your Pinterest pals? Is it to sculpt the perfect runner body and loose the belly fat? Is it because you haven’t eaten anything before your run and now you wonder why you are in pain? Is it because you did not train properly? Is it because you’d have a great story to share with your pals when you’re done?

At what point was it cool to do this?

I mean, sure, I’ve run with injuries. I’ve pushed through shin splints, ingrown toenails, ankle twists, fractured toes… I’ve pushed myself to run when I had a cold. But most of that pushing happened when I was in high school eons ago. And when you do start running the first time, or add miles, or take on a new challenge, yes, there is some pain. By why on earth would any adult runner, unless you are training for the Olympics, want to put themselves through that?

Point is, if you’re doing this to push through pain, I think you really need to reevaluate why you are doing this at all.

I am a runner. I challenge myself but if I feel pain, I’m going to adjust appropriately.

I am a runner. I want to show my kids that you finish what you start, but don’t be stupid about it.

I am a runner who knows if I don’t get a PR this time, there’s always a next time.

I am a runner who rejoices in the successes of others.

So, please, you can take your running pain porn, and shove it.

*Looks below, jumps down from box gently to avoid injuries. Hauls box away.

Until next time…


2 thoughts on “Soapbox: Running And Pain Posts

  1. I am with you on this one. I am not a “push through the pain” kind of girl. Sure, I tell myself to “Suck it up, gluten-free cupcake!” all the time…but that’s more because I don’t want to hit hills. When I started having pain in my back, I stopped all activity…when it went into my hip and got worse…I went and saw a doctor. I had marathons coming up…and I stopped training because I wanted to get better…not make something worse. The push through the pain mentality has never been my mantra nor my thing. If something hurts…I’m not going to risk making it worse. I’m going to rest, ice, heat, whatever…until it feels better.

    That being said, I’m currently restricted to NOT running (but I can pretty much do anything else…nothing high impact like plyometrics) until I can get the torn labrum in my hip to work with me and heal up a little. I have good days and bad days. Yep…I miss running. But even the mornings when nothing hurts and I go on a fast walk…I hear my brain start saying, “Just do a little jog…” But I don’t. My doctor said no running until (MAYBE) July…so no running it is. Even with the little devil on my shoulder prodding me to just give it a try.

    Thank you for this post.

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