This picture showed up on my FB memory, and it got me thinking – this was my first ever half marathon three years ago. I’m gearing up to do my second half marathon of the year this weekend (number 8 or 9…or 10th half marathon…I stopped counting).
I started running in preps for doing Tough Mudder. It was stints here and there with strength-training bursts mixed in. I had no desire to continue running after Tough Mudder. Running began with short little bursts; which turned into doing 5k’s, 10k’s, half marathons, triathlons, and eventually a full marathon. I never planned on running long distances. I challenged myself with my first half marathon in preps for my first half Ironman. I ran my first marathon to celebrate my one day, one month, one year to the date of my double mastectomy. It’s crazy thinking back and running was a big (I mean HUGE) part of those surgery celebratory markers.
Running is literal and figurative for me and my life. I ran from problems growing up. I learned after a while it’s not good to be a runner from problems, or run and bottle them up. It’s not healthy by any means. I learned to run to solutions and answers – face the problem head on and deal with it.
I’ve been thinking about why I run and put my body through torture…
Why do I run?
- For the wheezing, burning, winded feeling in my chest. I love being so winded and out of breath – there’s pain but a sense of excitement pushing the body.
- I love sweat dripping down my face and burning my eyes.
- I love jumping in the hot shower to quickly realize what body parts are chaffed. OUCH!
- I love hitting the wall (sarcasm)! It’s those times of hitting the wall that I’ve learned much about my mind, body, soul and digging deep!
- I love the runner’s high after a killer workout. I love the runner’s high in general – it’s really real!
- I love pushing past the unknown and proving to myself I can do it.
- I have heart. I’m not a talented, gifted runner, but my heart carries me through.
- I run so I can be a human garbage disposal.
- I do it to clear my head; to think and meditate.
- I run because I can.
- So I can buy cute workout clothes, and have gobs of laundry at the end of the week.
- I run to overcome obstacles, fight through pain and suffering, to test my emotional and physical limits, and amaze myself at what the human body can do.
- Because running for hours leading up to a race and being finished just like that… It doesn’t make sense, but it’s worth it. I may not win and get shiny first place medals, but the countless hours training and finishing the race means the world to me.
- It’s about every ounce of strength and determination. The voice in my head (devil) says “I’m done. I can’t”, but the stronger voice (angel) inside whispers, “I can. Just. Keep. Going.”
- I run for the race bibs and medals. I love coming home after an event and hanging the bibs on the wall. It’s a visual reminder of how far I’ve come and where I can go -there’s potential!!
- Because I want to explore the world and take in the views around me. It’s allowed me to see my town and surrounding towns in a whole new way.
- Because I love the way I feel afterwards.
- Because depleting the body and it being angry at me is how I roll.
- It can be easy…and yet so difficult.
- Because I enjoy making my body miserable and in pain. My mind only gets stronger after each run and hard workout.
- Because I love ice cream.
- I enjoy a delicious Blue Moon or Goose Island beer after a killer workout.
- I love waking up at the butt-crack of dawn to get out the door for a long run or to head to a race (**sarcasm**). There is some truth and excitement to waking up early and watching the sun rise, hearing the birds wake up, and watch the world come alive.
- I do it to beat my odds and be healthy.
- To meet people. Some that I’ve met at races or through training have become close friends of mine.
- It’s voluntary – no one is forcing me or twisting my arm to do it.
- I run because I love it. I run because I need it.
- Running through my problems helps me face what I need to face. I get to turn everything else off and forces me to process what I’m dealing with.
- It’s my me time. I get to step away from the problems and people of the world and focus on me. I can tackle anything and everything while running.
- Running is real exercise and a metaphor – think about it!
- It makes me feel alive.
- It shows me I can always improve.
- I enjoy my dates with my running shoes and pavement. The pavement is a good listener!
- Because my race times are simply a number.
- Because losing toenails is sexy (extremely sexy), and having blistered feet is beautiful.
- Because I love shoes; tennis shoes that is. I’m not going to admit how many pairs of running shoes, workout shoes, and tennis shoes I have…
- I run to inspire others.
- I love the puking feeling after finishing a tough progression run or pushing through that crazy, intense race.
- It makes me happy, releases endorphins!
- Because appreciating the bad runs helps me see and appreciate the good ones.
- I enjoy having funny tan lines and explaining why they’re there.
- For the swagger and limp that happens after a crazy, intense race – like the marathon for example. I love pushing my body and feeling like an 80-year-old. I get a thrill out of not being able to get out of a chair the next day after a long race. I love feeling like a 2-ton elephant waddling around.
- To meet a goal and continue improving myself.
- Because sometimes I need to cry, laugh, vent or scream.
- For the free t-shirt and beer that comes with a race entry!
- I run so I can spit and farmers blow. Gosh, my brothers would be proud of me after all those failed attempts at teaching me when I was younger!
- Because it’s cheap! Ha – I need to own stock in Brooks running shoes, Skirt Sports, Nuun, Honey Stinger and KT tape.
- To keep this body looking GOOD (JK)! I love the definition in my legs from running. I’m proud of my thunder thighs and lack of butt! My legs are the engine.
- I run because I have nieces and a nephew watching me on the sidelines and looking up to me. My two nieces keep asking me when they can do a 5k with me…one of these days 🙂
- If I did not run, I wouldn’t be me. Plain and simple. Something I absolutely hated, I now love and enjoy. How funny, right?!
As I’m prepping for this upcoming half marathon, I am full of excitement. I’ve had a target goal in mind for quite some time, and excited to run towards it on Sunday. When I have my moments, I’m going to remember my whys! I’m going to let my heart push me through those dark moments of pain and unknowns. I’m anxious and so ready to be done with taper week…Hand me a Snickers, please!
Do share…Why do you run? I’d like to know 🙂 Maybe you can add things to the list!