A week or so ago, Mike, from one of the blogs I read (Westy's running) posed the question "Why do I run?" I loved his answer which was basically that he wanted the "challenge to fail" meaning each time he runs a race, it shouldn't be 100% clear if he'll make it. He wants to continue to challenge himself with things he's never done. He knows he can and will finish any marathon so he is challenging himself to bigger distances or tougher courses. Mike, if you read this, feel free to comment if I'm wrong.
Regardless, I do love the phrase "challenge to fail" and it got me thinking about why do I run? I agree with his thinking and I feel the same way. I do want to continue to challenge myself. I now know that I also can and will finish any marathon, so it is my desire to try new races, new courses, new places, and therefore new challenges. But for now, I don't have a desire to run a longer distance. Maybe in the future. Right now, with only 2 marathons under my belt, I'm enjoying that distance too much. The marathon is the race for me right now. I am really enjoying it. I realize my next big race is a 1/2 marathon, but the purpose of that is to work on my PR time and possibly improve it. I still enjoy the 1/2 distance as well. So why do I run then? My answer isn't exactly the same as Mike's. But what is my answer?
I've thought about it a lot since I read Mike's post. Why do I run? I mean I have to admit there are some definite disadvantages to running. So let's get those out of the way and end with the positive things. I guess the biggest disadvantage is the time it takes, especially marathon training. It takes sooooo much time. I don't like running when my boys are awake. I sometimes do, but I try to keep those time the exception and not the rule. I don't want my hobby of running to take away any time we have together. And it would take A LOT of that time away if I felt otherwise. So this means I must do my running early in the morning before they wake up or late at night after they go to bed. I do both. I typically do most of my short runs at night and my long runs in the morning. It just works well this way. But neither is my favorite. I am tired in the morning. I want to stay in bed. That's natural. And at night, I want to relax, watch TV, read, spend time with my wife, go to bed early maybe. I have to admit that it's sometimes hard to motivate myself to run at night, especially if it's late for some reason. I always do it, unless it's a rest day, but it is sometimes hard. Another disadvantage is pain. I get pains in my feet, legs, knees, etc. Right now, I have a pretty annoying one in my left heel. Not sure what it is. And I'm sure that I'm probably doing damage for the future. I've heard the horror stories about life-long runners having bad knees when they get older. I'm sure that'll be me. The final disadvantage (even though there are several other minor ones) is the money it cost. Running is expensive. You wouldn't think it would be, but it is. Shoes are expensive. Gear is expensive. Races are expensive. I want to do more races. I love them, but they eat away at our measly budget and it's not fair to my family to go overboard. I wish I had an inexhaustible race budget, but the fact is that I don't so I have to choose my races carefully and that's not always easy. For those reasons alone, it would make sense not to run. But it's the advantages and the benefits that outweigh the above. In other words, the goods far outshine the bads.
So what are the goods? Why do I run? I think I'll save it for next time. This post is getting long. Stay tuned....
5 years ago