Better health, weight loss, the fun of doing athletic events even though we're old! Omg cardio! So fit!
|I have finally learn how to use "Pinta", the MS paint for Linux.|
Like many others, I love to get outside on a beautiful day, see the sun, feel my feet hit the pavement, and feel so alive. This is a big reason that I run.
But honestly, that "Magical beautiful day I feel like I'm flying" is a pretty rare experience for me. Those days are few and far between. Most days I feel more like an elephant than a bird. I don't really feel like waking up and getting out the door, and more often than not I just slog through it at a pace that is slower than it should be. Like my partner in crime, Sarah, I am not a lover of every run. I'm indifferent at best.
But there are some things about this sport that really do it for me.
The first thing I love is in the beginning of a race when I am so pumped up and scared. The gun goes off, my heart is pounding, and the first mile feels like I am walking, when really it was faster than my 5k pace. Of course, I've paid for going out this fast and have learned not to do it due to the awful consequences later in the race, but I love this feeling.
But there's another aspect that's really hard to explain without sounding somewhat psycho. And I guess it is a little crazy because a lot of people who are runners are a little bit crazy. (Probably why I get along with them so well.)
One of the big reasons I run is because of the crazy discomfort of pushing yourself in a workout or race, and the elation I feel right afterwards, and potentially for the rest of the day. It's crazy uncomfortable but crazy good.
Rounding the last 400 or 800 or mile of a workout or a race, knowing that I put in the groundwork for a successful workout and all I have to do is hold it for just a minute or two longer is the best. I feel so freaking alive.
Kind of masochistic to love the pain of running, no? Maybe the oddest part of it, is that I feel proudest of myself when I've run races where I've been barely able (or completely unable) to stand at the finish line. It's arguable if this is a healthy outlook or a good way to treat your body, but hey, I never ran only for health reasons. It's the feeling of control of mind over body, or something.
(And I think it's part of why there's such a prevalence of similar control based issues in the sport as well. It takes a certain kind of person to be able to ignore a level of pain and thrive off that, but that's another post that will probably never get written..unless I'm feeling hella serious).
In the past few months, I've felt like I'd lost these things that I love so much about running. During workouts, I haven't wanted to push through the discomfort and I've lacked the mental toughness to get through the hard moments. In races (granted I've barely raced, but at CIM), I felt no buzz at the starting line. I just wanted to get it over with.
I had a high school coach that said "you gotta wanna". And I haven't wanted anything.
But the good news, is that I feel like little by little these exciting pieces for me are coming back. I'm not loving every run, and I have no idea how my half marathon in a month will go, but I'm feeling that excitement again, and that joy in pushing my limits. Many of your encouraging comments on my discouraged blog posts lately have helped a lot to motivate me and remind me why I do this. So thanks for that.
I know there are a lot of reasons why people run, but these are two big ones for me that I don't talk about much. They might sound a little crazy, but I can't be the only one?