19 Very Emotional Things We All Felt on Our First Run
You got yourself some slick new running shoes, put on a sweet little running outfit, got your headphones, and made a killer playlist, but nothing — NOTHING — prepared you for the first side cramp, shin splint, loss of any and all ability to breathe, lungs on fire . . . and complete and total anguish. Although it is a fraught memory, we'd like to think of our first run as a humorous one, and at least get a few laughs out of the experience.
Stage 1: Preparation (and Potential Overconfidence)
As you envision what your first run will be like, everything starts out pretty positive. "I know how to walk! This is just like fast walking, right? Just move forward. This is gonna be cake. Everyone runs."
Stage 2: Suiting Up
You lace up and get ready. You're feeling like a superstar athlete with these sweet new running shoes. "Get at me, run! I'm gonna crush you!"
Stage 3: Optimism
You embark on the new journey, in your neighborhood, park, beach, or trail. You're feeling so amazing.
"THIS IS GREAT. I'M GOING SO FAST!" you think, as the rush of being an amazing athlete and embracing the glory of the great outdoors starts to hit you.
Stage 4: Not Pacing Yourself
The excitement of this new activity fuses with the overconfidence and leads to a little bit of overexertion. This does not end well, but we don't know that yet. So you keep running at a pace your body certainly cannot maintain.
Stage 5: Lungs. On. Fire.
Minor caveat: lungs unprepared, can't breathe. Why do lungs stop working when you need them most?!
Stage 6: Surprise, Shock
Your first "wait, what?" moment just happened (see: Stage 5, Lungs). "Why am I so exhausted, so soon? I thought I was more fit than this. This is NOT what I signed up for."
Stage 7: Psyching Yourself Up
To draw up some motivation, you pretend you're running from something . . . like terrible monsters.
. . . or explosions!
. . . or you envision that you're running toward something. Whatever works, right?
Stage 8: Actually Pacing Yourself
The second wind comes to you (or is forced upon you), but you're taking it slow. It feels a lot better this way! Niiiice and easy.
Stage 9: Other Runner Envy
You then see some lean-bodied superhumans gliding past you at a remarkable pace. "What the heck!? How are those guys going so fast? ARE THEIR BODIES BIONIC? These people are not real."
Stage 10: Your First Cramp
Or shin splint, or jammed toe, or rolled ankle — whatever it might be, something hurts. You weren't prepared for this!
You're not being a baby; this is basically war! And to think you thought it was "exercise"!
Stage 11: Fear
You realize that running is actually not fitness — it's the Hunger Games. How long were you supposed to run today? Where is your car? Where is your home? What year is it? ARE YOU GOING TO MAKE IT OUT ALIVE?
You start to feel a little overwhelmed . . .
And you still can't really breathe . . .
Stage 12: Anger
Your body is like, "What the heck??? I thought you liked me?"
"Where is the runner's high? Is runner's frustration a thing? It is for me!"
Stage 13: Uncontrollable Thirst
The thirst is real. You have NEVER been SO THIRSTY in your ENTIRE. LIFE. You douse yourself in water like you're an NFL coach with a gatorade cooler, as you contemplate whether you're really THAT thirsty or if you just needed a break to drink some water. Or tie your shoes. Or change your music. Or take an Instagram photo of your #firstrun.
Stage 14: Fatigue
"Can someone just take me home?"
Stage 15: The Light at the End of the Tunnel (Acceptance)
You suddenly realize how far you've gone, and how close you are to home/your car. IT'S HAPPENING.
Stage 16: The Finish Line
You made it! Your first run! You crushed it! THE EUPHORIA IS REAL!
Stage 17: Feels
It gets a little emotional; you just went through a seriously intense journey. With yourself. And your sweet running shoes. Is this runner's high? But also, you're sore, and you're tired, and you REALLY want a burrito.
Stage 18: Physical Demise
Your body was unprepared for that, and now you're suffering the consequences.
Stage 19: Insatiable Hunger
Speaking of burritos . . . you want ALL THE FOODS. You're a human vacuum, but don't worry, you've earned it.