Thursday, February 9, 2012

Why run

I get asked fairly often "why" I run, and what my motivation is to run/train like I do. Why do I keep setting challenging goals for myself? Why do I get up at 4:30am every day? Why am I running over 70 miles a week? What is my motivation?

The easy answer is, because I love it. I love running, and it is a part of who I am.

I often write about my love for horses, and how inspiring it is to watch a horse run. A baby horse is up on it's feet almost right after it is born, and can run at a gallop by the next day. I don't know why it took me so long to find this part of myself. I don't know why I didn't go for my first run until I was 32 years old. All I know is that when I went on that first run, I unlocked a part of myself, an instinct, that was just waiting to be found, and even though running was HARD and I was slow, I knew I loved it, and I was hooked.

What motivates me? Since I started running I have often claimed that I may not have a lot of natural physical talent (although Bart Yasso and Coach Ray have made me reconsider that!), but what I know I have going for me is that I am stubborn and determined. I don't ever give up, I don't ever back down, I don't ever make excuses, I don't ever quit, and I have an inner drive to be better at whatever I am doing. In fact I think that one of my biggest strengths when it comes to running is my mental toughness. I never (ever) would have described myself as mentally tough a few years ago, but through running I have found out that I AM tough. And I like it.

So yeah, I am pretty darn self-motivated. At first, my motivation was definitely weight loss. Then once I got to a healthy weight, there was this constant, underlying fear that the weight would all come back if I slacked off at all on exercising and that fear was a big motivator to keep running. Then I fell in love with running because of how it made me feel, and then came the love of marathons, and the  drive to keep pushing to see how good I can be.
Races are motivating to me. I love to race. And when I race, I want to do well and beat my previous times. I want to be fast. I want to be the best runner I can be. I want to make my goal of qualifying for the Olympic Marathon trials in 2016. So I have to train, and train hard.

But I know without a doubt, that even if I could never reach my goals, even if I could never run another race, even if I could never be fast, I would still run.

For me, running helps keep me in good physical shape, and it also keeps my mind and spirit in good shape.

I think the biggest motivator for me is just that I love running and I love being an athlete and a runner. I hope to be able to keep running for my whole life. I run because it has helped me get into (and stay in) shape. I run because I want to get faster and achieve my goals. I run because it clears my head and calms my soul. I run because it's fun. I run because I love the "me" time. I run because I love a challenge. I run because it feels good, and because I have found it is one of the best things I can do for myself, physically and emotionally. I run because it makes me a better wife, a better mother, and a better person.

I run because I happily dedicate my life to caring (physically and emotionally) for others, and this is what I do to care for myself.

But all of that makes it sound more complicated than it really is.

What it really comes down to, is that I run because it is a part of who I am. I run because it is in my blood and in my spirit.  I run because it is what I do. I run because I love it. I run because there is something inside of me that tells me to "go". 

Running is freedom, a challenge, fun, powerful, humbling, revitalizing, adventure, sweat, smiles, sacrifice, discipline, focus, personal, dedication, passion, satisfying, peace, rewarding, a journey, energy, play, pure, spiritual, enabling, sport, necessary, happiness, therapy, physical, exciting, natural, healing, courage, faith, strength, Me.


Jen@runfortheboys said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
robinbb said...

I think it is so important to remember why we run when we are in the middle of a hard training cycle or a hard race. Running is so freeing to me and I just love the way it makes me feel. Great post!

Jen@runfortheboys said...

Sorry, I accidentally posted my comment before I was finished. Anyway, great post! You never make excuses and your enthusiasm for the sport is contagious. Thanks for sharing this. I had a moment last weekend during the half when a bad attitude came out of nowhere and slowed me down and I was not proud of that. It happened the last 2 miles when I realized I wasn't going to be able to meet My goal. I just wanted to give up. If you have any advice or suggestions on how to overcome a bad attitude especially during a race I would love to hear them. I was really taken aback, surprised, then ashamed of that negativity. I knew running was partly mental but didn't realize HOW mental! :)

MCM Mama said...

I love this!

I sometimes wonder why I run. I know I run to keep depression at bay, but most of the time I run because it's what I do. It's part of who I am now.

portia said...

I love reading your blog because you are so positive! This is a great post. You are such an inspiration to me - I'm planning to run my first marathon in May.

Thanks for sharing your running journey with us.

BabyWeightMyFatAss said...

Always a happy runner! I love that!

runnerwannabe said...

Great post. I am at the stage of running to try and lose weight. However, last Saturday's group training run of 8 miles I actually enjoyed it!!!

bobbi said...

"But I know without a doubt, that if I could never reach my goals, if I could never run another race, if I could never be fast, I would still run."

YES! Love this post!

Mark Matthews said...

Your blog posts are getting exceedingly motivating. Love this one. Well done and needed to read it on a day like today. Appreciate it.

DL said...

I love reading your blog - I have always been a "runner" but never really let myself consider being a runner because I still have a lot of weight to lose until I feel I can call myself a
"runner". I also have a passion for adoption and my husband and I are starting the process this year :)

Blessings to you

On the Right Track said...

So moving!

Your passion for life is so contagious!

enough said...


Cyndi said...

Very inspirational post! It's important to remember why we run. Like you, I run because I love it and can't imagine my life with out it!

Anonymous said...

Love your post! I made medal displays for my running buddies for Christmas and painted why they run on the display. I run because it brings inner peace! Carol-WV

Katie @ Will Race for Carbs said...

Love it and well said. I think every runner that reads this can say an "amen sister!"