I hate running

by Agnieszka Dębowska

“If you run, you are a runner. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far.” John Bingham

Only 2 years ago I was a seasonal runner. Although I’m using the word “runner” loosely. I ran 1-2 times a week, up to 3 km during the holiday season. I’ve never managed to exceed the magical 5km barrier – it’s boring, so why bother? 

There are definitely many more interesting physical activities that excite me, like volleyball, swimming, cycling and roller skating. Now those are sports choices I enjoy!

However, when I started to swim fairly regularly, my friend encouraged me to sign-up for a variety of sporting competitions. Events that I had never even considered trying before and which were a huge challenge.

In June 2018, what started out quite innocently, from a modest 5km competitive run ended with me smiling widely as I crossed the finish line. To be honest, when I started I was terribly stressed out and nervous about coming last, and that I’d end up walking instead of running but, not only did I manage to run the whole way, I beat my Personal Best! And that’s how my running journey started.

During the holidays I continued to challenge myself and set the bar higher and higher; first 5km, then 7km and finally triathlons which I was running quite regularly. I combine running longer distances with shorter ones 2-3 times a week.

The same friend who had previously encouraged me to sign up to more competitions suggested 5km and 7km triathlons! It seemed a natural progression considering I swam and ran regularly, so now I just needed to buy a bike.

I must admit that I enjoyed the adrenaline rush of the competitions. The big group of people meeting on the starting line each with the same goal in mind yet each of us running at our own paces. Those who finished the race first waited at the finishing line, cheering for the rest of us still running. Afterward, we all stayed and enjoyed something to eat together.

As someone who got tired just thinking of running, I’ve transformed into someone who loves to do it! Will I ever run a Marathon? I don’t know but so far I have run a few 5km runs, including the oldest race in Denmark with a distance of 13.3km during which I improved my personal best of 10km by 6 mins. I’m so proud of myself!

Now my calendar is full of all kinds of running competitions. This year’s sports goal is to participate in an Olympic distance triathlon, and maybe a half marathon. It’s ambitious, I know but keep your fingers crossed for me.

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