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
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
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
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.