Exercise! - I don't want to be a "quitter"

View Full Version : I don't want to be a "quitter"

03-26-2011, 05:01 PM
I started C25K about 2 weeks ago, but I'm not sure it's right for me, at least right now, and I'm struggling with what to do.

My first day out was terrible (tried doing my neighborhood, went too fast, too many hills, etc.), but I found the run intervals more manageable when I jogged at a slower speed and on a mostly flat surface. More manageable, though, hasn't equaled enjoyment, or lack of discomfort/pain. I feel anxiety over going to the gym on the days when I have to do C25K, and dread the discomfort in my lungs and legs. I have been stretching before and after each session, but my shins have been hurting since I started, some days worse than others. My gait on the treadmill feels unnatural and I'm sure that contributes to the leg discomfort (along with the fact that I need better shoes, and my weight of course), but I just don't have the oppotunity to do it outside most days. And I just don't like it. I won't go as far as saying I hate it, but it's not far off from that. I am happy with myself when I complete each session without giving up (with the exception of that first day I've completed all the run intervals), but I don't enjoy anything about it - I just force myself through it.

I miss my walking on the treadmill, which I truly enjoyed and looked forward to. I loved upping my speed and the incline during my walks, making each one harder over the course of 50 minutes. I loved listening to my music and sweating and feeling energized and wanting to keep going. I have never in my life enjoyed any type of cardio workout, and loving my walks on the treadmill was a revelation for me. My cardiovascular fitness and stamina have improved dramatically from where I started 2 months ago.

The only thing that is keeping me going right now with C25K is that I don't want to quit, don't want to be a quitter. I feel like I SHOULD be able to do this, I just need to make myself do it and force myself through it. It's not a lack of motivation or willpower - I WANT to be able to run, and I fight through every one of those run intervals so that I can make that happen. I feel like I CAN do it if I just keep pushing myself... but at what point is the cost too high? Should everyone work toward becoming a runner? Is anyone capable of it? What is the point at which one should consider giving up on an exercise, at least for a time, and prioritize enjoyment and relative comfort (at least, not having any pain or anxiety) over working toward a new ability/skill and fitness level?

I know this probably sounds a bit silly to the runners here, who must wonder how anyone could struggle through 60 and 90 second run intervals. But they are indeed a huge struggle for me, and I appreciate any feedback or experience anyone is willing to offer. Thank you.

03-26-2011, 05:18 PM
This is EXACTLY why I didn't do C25K...but instead chose to go at my own pace. Some weeks I progressed, others I digressed. Don't feel bad or like a "quitter"...but "listen" to your body. There may be a very logical reason why you dread/hate it so much. Try something you ENJOY. Do whatever makes you sweat alot and have FUN!!:carrot:

03-26-2011, 05:35 PM
I never made it past level one outside last summer and now I can jog for 15 minutes straight on the treadmill. I think you should do what's comfortable for you. I plan to try to do C25K again this summer, maybe I'll make it to level two. :) As long as you are exercising, you're not quitting.

03-26-2011, 05:51 PM
Thank you so much for your responses, joyfulloser and JessLess. In your concise posts I see a lot of wisdom, and the light bulb is suddenly flashing. How bizarre that it never occured to me - I don't have to do this program to be able to run at some point. I can do the walking that I love, and get my legs feeling better, and on a day when I feel good and strong and energerized on the treadmill I can up the speed and jog for however long I can. And then I can do it again on another day when it feels right, and another. I can do it without being miserable, without anxiety, without hurting.

It's absurd, but I'm literally in tears. Thank you for making me feel that deciding to stop doing this program won't mean failure. This goal of doing C25K felt tied, somehow, to all my goals for weight loss, fitness, etc., and thinking of walking back from any of those goals made me feel like I just wasn't committed enough - like I might fail at something else, too.

I can't tell you how relieved I feel. Thank you.

03-26-2011, 06:21 PM
(((hugs chickadee32)))

03-26-2011, 06:27 PM

03-27-2011, 01:18 AM
It's so interesting how people (myself included) conflate the exercise program with exercise, and diet plans with losing weight. I.e. "I quit my aerobics class, I am quitting on getting fit" or "I ate sugar on my 4th day at Atkins, yet another failed attempt to lose weight." If you're still making smart choices about your diet you are still losing weight, if you are still walking/running you are still on your way to better fitness. It's like someone who is painting a house and decides the paintbrush isn't working so she picks up a sprayer instead. Different tool, still gets the job done :D

03-28-2011, 02:54 PM
I feel the same way. I always feel like I have to push so far because I can. But usually I push too far then find myself sore or disappointed that I didn't succeed. Then I'll miss 2 more workouts because I've injured myself or sent myself into a self doubt tailspin.
My simple reminder to myself is this; the most weight I've ever lost in one go was with nothing more than a calorie counting book and a very long road. That's it. All i did was walk up and down a road for a hour to a hour and a half a day, and journal my reduced calorie intake. These two simple tools helped me lose 90 pounds.
Every time I get down on myself for not doing enough, not going fast enough, not mixing it up enough, I remind myself that I'm still doing something. If all I do is walk quickly on the treadmill with a couple of running bursts, it's enough, it is activity, I'm still on track.

03-28-2011, 03:50 PM
At first I was a little started, thought you were trying to run 25K (about 15 miles). Even so 3 miles (5K) is a pretty good run. I started running 40 years ago and thought 2 miles was pretty good. Took me two or three years before I commonly ran as much as 3 miles.

I think the C25K is a pretty good program but unless you're already at a pretty high level of fitness the expectation to run 3 miles in 30 minutes might be a little rough. I think your time to run 3 miles would more likely be 40 minutes or more. Maybe just worry about running for 30 minutes which would hit a goal of moderate cardio activity of 30 minutes which will provide an excellent base to build on from there.

Congratulations on choosing a healthy lifestyle and welcome to the running community!

There are clubs you can't belong to, neighborhoods you can't live in, schools you can't get into, but the roads are always open

03-28-2011, 11:03 PM
This is EXACTLY why I didn't do C25K...but instead chose to go at my own pace. Some weeks I progressed, others I digressed. Don't feel bad or like a "quitter"...but "listen" to your body. There may be a very logical reason why you dread/hate it so much. Try something you ENJOY. Do whatever makes you sweat alot and have FUN!!:carrot:

I had the same experience with one of those Jillian Michaels tapes. Around the third day, I just stopped mid tape said "******* this is stupid", and haven't touched it since. I have kept on losing weight at a constant level ever since, which leads to my next point...

You're only a quitter if you stop exercising entirely! Whether or not you stick with a program doesn't make a difference as long as you stick with a program!

Best of luck.