As published on RunKeeper: http://blog.runkeeper.com/4275/why-i-run/
It was a sunny September afternoon when I crossed my first finish line. I was out of breath but buoyant, dehydrated but driven, tired but triumphant. After putting in 189.3 training miles, 33 training hours and burning 25,945 training calories (thanks for the stats Runkeeper); I could finally call myself a half marathoner! I completed my first official half marathon, the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose Half Marathon, with a time of 2:03:27.
I posted about my first half- marathon on social media and after the congratulatory messages, my friends started asking me, “Why do you Run?” “Are you running away from something?” “Don’t you get bored running for so long?”
So I started to think about why I run. Do I run for the medals, the bright colored tech t- shirts or do I run for the post race yummy food? No, these are all good to have but I don’t run for the medals, race tees or food.
Let me take a step back and take you into a runner’s mind (yes, I call myself a runner even though I don’t run elite pace). We runners plan each week, each month, and each day leading to a race. We decide on what mileage we will run for the day. Whether it’s 3 miles or 13, no run is easy. Each run requires preparation, mental conditioning, and planning. But between “Activity Started” and “Activity Completed”, the journey is what we enjoy. We enjoy greeting every passing runner, we are motivated when we see an 80 year old zooming past us, we are impressed when we see a mom pushing a stroller running with full vigor, and we learn not to give up as we learn to stretch our boundaries. We don’t give up because we know our running buddies will be waiting at the end zone. We don’t give up because we know we’ve done it before and that we can do it again. We don’t give up because we believe in ourselves.
To quote a lyric from Enrique, “All I need is a rhythm divine”. We run, we go in a trance, and between pace, cadence, posture and breathing, we suddenly get a rhythm. That rhythm pushes us through. We enjoy the sense of accomplishment when we finally pull out our phones and complete the activity. In our regular daily life, achievements can be far between but when you run, you achieve goals every time you run. And that is why I run. I get to prove to myself that I can do what I set out to do. That belief pushes me in my life. As you start believing in yourself, your life sorts itself out around you.
Running isn’t easy; we chafe, get blisters on our feet, pull our hamstrings and calves, and we live with sore muscles for extended periods of time. Yet we run because it gives us a high. I run because it clears my head and because I love the sound of my shoes pounding the pavement. I run to clock 300 miles on my shoes so I can buy a new pair. I run so that I can eat my heart out! And, above all, I run because I enjoy running.