Why We Run

“One of the beautiful things about running is that it is direct and elegant. The formula is simple: put one foot in front of the other. It doesn’t take much to figure out that if you want to improve sprint speed, you run faster. If you want to improve distance-running performance, you run farther.”
― Bernd HeinrichWhy We Run: A Natural History

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It has been such a long time….I think this summer was non-existent…Running fast and longer is always a dream…but you must never forget why you run.

 

I have been having trouble these past few months.  Running a marathon under four hours has been such a big goal…now I did it so what do I do next?  When you set goals, it gives you something to work towards, some kind of motivational agenda.  What happens when that stops?  You just have to stop for a moment and come back to that moment you realized why you were running.

I have never been popular or super athletic, but running was something I could just do.  I remember when I was running on a treadmill at Trillium in East Syracuse, just like it was yesterday.  I was 26 and my water bottle flew off the treadmill because I was so excited.  I ran two miles…IN A ROW!!!!!  It did not matter how fast I ran…I ran two miles!!!

No matter how fast or slow you run, you are running the same distance…and maybe even for the same reason.

 

I often joke that I deserved to get slower.  I remember having Lilly.  I was so angry going through divorce.  I ran all of the time.  When you see your daughter every day and for the first time, you do not get to put her to bed, it is traumatizing.  I do not know how people can do this…because I can’t.  I think about her all of the time!  It never gets easier.  It is not supposed to.

 

I used my anger and I dropped times.  I started to win races and I felt invincible.  I wanted to be a competitor.  Somewhere along the way, I lost sight of why I was really running.  So why do I run?  I had almost forgotten.  Then I was hurt one day.

 

I run because I want to be a positive role model for my daughter and my students.  Running makes me feel good and I lose a great amount of stress along the way.  I do not care about how many calories I burn or how good I look in a bathing suit.  I just simply love to run.

I have been having a hard time this summer.  I feel like I just lost my best friend.  I started running with a girl a while back…we had so much fun and it was nice to talk to someone I shared a lot in common with.  Along the way, we set some PRs and had a great time.  We surpassed our goals and felt amazing.  I can get over a lot of what people say or do, but I have struggled with being told I was pissed she beat me.  I know friends like to get competitive when it comes to running…but I am not in it for that.  If I wanted to beat her, then I didn’t deserve to win.  Running should be about yourself.  You are racing yourself at the end of the day.  All of the training and work you put into it…well, a race is a test.  I can come back from being told someone was surprised at how nice I look or that I only win an award because the race isn’t competitive.  None of that matters, but the only person I want to beat at the end of a race is myself.  I want to crush all of the negative feelings I have or the voice in my head that says, “STOP RUNNING!”

 

It is supposed to hurt.  It is not supposed to be easy.  If it was, then I wasn’t trying.  Life is all about challenge.  So I do not know what is next?  I do not even know how far I am going to run today…but if I have a smile on my face, that is all that matters.

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