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Old 07-06-2016, 07:05 AM   #1
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Default Running/walking not because it's easy, but because it's hard

In his famous speech about going to the moon, John F. Kennedy spoke these immortal words: "We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard."

I feel the same way about running. I don't do it because it's easy for me, but because it's hard. I am a sprinter by nature, and always have been. In high school and college, I ruled in sprints, but quickly faded in longer distances. It was not a matter of training. My body is just built that way.

I recall a 20 mile run in the military -- full gear, rucksack and automatic rifle and all -- where through sheer willpower I tortured myself to a 4th place finish, which got me off for the weekend leave three hours earlier. I paid for that effort by feeling sick for almost two weeks.

I ran ran 2.5 and 5 mile course in college almost every day, never once experiencing the supposed "runner's high." Yes, the exhaustion and feeling of accomplishment AFTERWARDS can feel very nice, but other than that it's HARD.

I took up running again, in earnest, some three decades after college. I'd been feeling depressed and running, amazingly, fixed that. Since then, I've run the equivalent of about 200 marathons, usually three 4Ks in my neighborhood every week, and then a competitive 5K run every two or three weeks.

I love competitive 5Ks because people can run them or walk them, so I run and Carol usually walks. There are not too many runners in my age group, and I'd lie if I said I wasn't thrilled every time I finish at or near the top in my group. It's a wonderful sense of accomplishment, even though every run is so hard.

One thing that I love about the 5Ks is seeing so many fat people participate! Everyone doing their best. At this past Sunday's Pilot Fireball Moonlight Classic 5k in Knoxville, almost a thousand people ran and walked, all ages, all sizes. A 400+ pound man walked the course. He finished last, but he finished and I could see the pride on his face as he crossed the finish line.

That's why I love running. Almost anyone can do it, regardless of speed or distance. Very little equipment is needed. There are no rules or limitations. It gives a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, be it finishing a marathon (which I could never do) or making it down the block and back.
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Old 07-06-2016, 01:38 PM   #2
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This is a really sweet post about running/walking. Too often people criticise those of who can't or don't want to run. Me personally, I love walking and can walk for miles and miles. A combination of asthma, bad joints and angina means I will never be comfortable running for more than a few steps but if people around where I live were more accepting of people walking rather than running races etc I would be happy to join in.
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Old 07-06-2016, 04:23 PM   #3
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I have spent most of my life doing things the hard way. Partly through iron self-discipline, mostly through cluelessnss...
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Old 07-06-2016, 06:25 PM   #4
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I am with you Loopy. I like walking. Lately I have wanted to try running, but I have arthritic knees and at my weight the doctors advised me not to run. I am hoping to lose enough to be able to jog without it effecting my knees by the end of the year or at least by my B-day in Feb.
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Old 07-07-2016, 05:27 AM   #5
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Not all, but many 5Ks are running OR walking. That's what I love about them. They are very inclusive and celebrate just going out there. I see a lot of fat people at the 5Ks I do and think that's terrific. Give it a try!
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Old 07-08-2016, 02:32 PM   #6
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I gave up running as I got heavier (ran track and cross country in early high school, and kept up running on my own for a while after that), and gave up dreams of running again after I messed up a knee -- but I'm an eager walker and cyclist. Granted that I enjoy doing these things in general, but there are many days I've headed out biking in the rain or walking in frigid conditions because I just need to get out move, whether the conditions make it enjoyable or not.

Personally I never had much use for formalized/organized events. Just not my personality -- would rather walk somewhere I want to go, not waiting for a group to decide that it is time, nor having to deal with other people. Then again I'm both an introvert and very leery of competitive people (the scars of growing up with a hyper-competitive older brother, I've never been able to view competitive situations comfortably).

But chiming in to say that I love big bodies in motion -- and for that matter hurting or damaged bodies in motion, older bodies in motion. To me this is a valuable perk of being fat -- perhaps your hour long walk (or five minutes, all depending on size) was as demanding as someone else going for a jog or hard run.
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Old 07-08-2016, 07:10 PM   #7
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I actually liked the long marches we went on in the Army. When people started falling behind the stronger soldiers started carrying their stuff. I usually finished marches with two backpacks (one on front) and at least three M16s (one in each hand and the others strapped to my backpack). On several occasions the sergeants had me running back and forth while everyone else marched. They push you harder and harder so long as you're holding up. Its actually quite rewarding to see how far you can push yourself.
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Old 07-08-2016, 08:09 PM   #8
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Thank you for sharing your stories

I don't run, but I used to love to walk. I did my first 10K in high school for a charity walk and we really did not train for it. I remember getting home and landing in my dad's easy chair and sleeping for two days. Before the walk, my dad teased me and pledged $5 per mile thinking that I would not finish. Well, I did finish and it cost in $50 back in 1976.

During high school I participated in Track and Field competitions, but not for running. I must say that I did enjoy competitive spirit of my school. The schools coach was incredible and when he saw me (a BBW) he pushed me to practice every day and would make us all jog to warm up. Every Friday our coach would wait by the bus that I would be taking home and had me the discus and shotput ball to practice over the weekend. Training was hard, but rewarding. I did metal every year in discus and shotput. I must say at 110 kilos I was very strong girl and the gold metals were my favorite; A couple of times, I did have to settle for silver or bronze. I loved winning metals at regional competitions for my school.

I still love to walk, but right now my walking is limited to a really bad ankle that has been broken and sprained too many times. I love having a pet so I have a reason to walk!
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Old 07-16-2016, 12:45 PM   #9
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I just want to say I don't care for dedicated exercising (5k's and the like). I regularly sprint (I work healthcare lol!) and I take long, destressing walks.

I'm also not attracted to the running-type. Those boys are too much for me. They also eat like birds lol
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Old 09-26-2016, 01:37 PM   #10
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I used to run when I was in my pre-teens and I loved it; it was exhilarating and I did get the runners' high, but then I started other activities like sailing and then teaching swimming and sailing at a camp so it just kind of fell off my radar. I walk once in a while, but it's more likely I'm swimming. I got the Kangoo jumps a few years ago and really like those. The problem is that it can get pornographic using them in public without really firm support and it's hot as Cuba here, so I'm mostly in my pool getting laps in rather than bouncing around strapped in with thick socks and compression garments; I honestly didn't think of that part when I bought them. My brain was like, "hey, this'll be awesome!!" Never did it occur to me that really fat girl + personal trampoline that can take me anywhere + 99*F and 90% humidity = what could go wrong?
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Old 09-27-2016, 04:30 PM   #11
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When I was a kid I would run everywhere. I loved it but as the girls developed I started really hating it as they bounced around and jiggled a lot and they would start to hurt even with good support. I was also really self conscious as they were large. Now I love to walk especially in the fall when the weather is cool and crisp. I have never tried walking in the 5 k but it sounds like fun. I would worry about the effect of my weight on my knees over that long of a distance on pavement.
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Old 10-09-2016, 12:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leem View Post
When I was a kid I would run everywhere. I loved it but as the girls developed I started really hating it as they bounced around and jiggled a lot and they would start to hurt even with good support. I was also really self conscious as they were large. Now I love to walk especially in the fall when the weather is cool and crisp. I have never tried walking in the 5 k but it sounds like fun. I would worry about the effect of my weight on my knees over that long of a distance on pavement.
Absolutely x2 on this. I bought an elliptical and got Kangoo jumps as a gift because of their low impact nature. I don't know if knee problems would come yours/my way if we ran, but why instigate those or any other runner issues? I'm not a physical therapist or in sports medicine, but it stands to reason and upheld by the laws of physics that regular size runner issues would likely be trickier and compounded by more force. I certainly wouldn't do it unless I were chasing the ice cream man or running from the police. Maybe I'd do it with a nice pair of NBs. But not every day. But what if I got addicted to it? alright, nevermind; I just might after all.
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Old 11-12-2016, 09:09 AM   #13
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The only marathon-length runs I ever did were in the military service. It's one thing to run in athletic gear, quite another in full military garb, boots, backpack, and automatic rifle. There I learned that one can make it past total exhaustion, but there's a fine line between going beyond what one can do, and going so far that there will be damage. I learned that lesson, and it remained a valuable one all my life.

Overall, I am a strong supporter of exercise, but I also firmly believe it's not about miles and repetitions and duration. It is about driving oneself to help the physical body we live in to be in the best condition it can be. What it takes to do that is different for every person.


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I actually liked the long marches we went on in the Army. When people started falling behind the stronger soldiers started carrying their stuff. I usually finished marches with two backpacks (one on front) and at least three M16s (one in each hand and the others strapped to my backpack). On several occasions the sergeants had me running back and forth while everyone else marched. They push you harder and harder so long as you're holding up. Its actually quite rewarding to see how far you can push yourself.
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Old 12-11-2016, 07:03 PM   #14
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After my second pregnancy I had a hard time going back to running because I became lazy and heavy. After reading this I would like to try again
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Old 12-12-2016, 03:12 PM   #15
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Old 02-23-2017, 12:42 PM   #16
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*snip*

One thing that I love about the 5Ks is seeing so many fat people participate! Everyone doing their best. At this past Sunday's Pilot Fireball Moonlight Classic 5k in Knoxville, almost a thousand people ran and walked, all ages, all sizes. A 400+ pound man walked the course. He finished last, but he finished and I could see the pride on his face as he crossed the finish line.

That's why I love running. Almost anyone can do it, regardless of speed or distance. Very little equipment is needed. There are no rules or limitations. It gives a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, be it finishing a marathon (which I could never do) or making it down the block and back.
Nice inspiring post.

I'm 50/50 on whether I've done walking/running because it's hard or for the high. Most of the times I go on a walk (or run) it makes me feel better, versus staying home. I get the same kind of "high" when I do work, like chopping up wood and stacking it. But do I WANT to do it? Not necessarily. It's not like a burger or sex where you WANT it. It's not that kind of high. I've done routine walks (or rare running) just to keep the ball rolling. If I've done it consistently then I feel I have to continue that consistency.

I think walking with a friend is easier. Especially when it's to somewhere different for the scenery. You can talk.

I think bowling or basketball (or a sport) are a lot easier. They're actually fun.

Lately I haven't went on walks (or rare runs). I started neglecting my health a lot after I graduated HS. I'm middle age now.
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