Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Runner's Confession


I said it. I meant it. I’m here to represent it.

Running is taxing on my body, it costs me toenails and rewards me with blisters! In extreme weather, it’s worse. I have to force my body through suffocating humidity in summers and “the biting cold of winter’s embrace.” Some days, running can be downright miserable.

There’s also a mental component that can be my best friend or my worst enemy. There are times when I feel as though I'm listening to a conversation in my head between two very different people. One blustering voice is screaming over and over again, “Take a break. Go to WAWA. Relax with a coffee. You deserve it.” The other voice -- soft and composed yet firm and adamant -- sings a much more rational tune, “You need to do this. It’s good for your body. It’s good for your mind. It’s good for your family.”

In short, there’s no other sport that I’ve done that has required so much mental and physical energy and commitment. Every single run demands more of me than I think I can give, and on some days more than I want to give.

So why do I run?

Because I love how I feel afterwards.

That’s my addiction.

Whether I run 3 miles or 6 miles or 12 miles, I am always amazed -- heck, I’m impressed -- that I was able to do it … because it isn’t easy. It’s hard. Yes, there are some days when I hit my stride more easily than others and maybe it doesn’t feel as hard but every run is work.

The only three perks for me when I am actively engaged in the act of running are:
  1. I run with my husband and I absolutely love doing anything with him.
  2. When I am running outside, I see my surroundings differently. The colors of trees and grass and the sky come alive. When I run, I am seeing the sun, as if for the first time, in all its glory. I love feeling its rays on my face and the wind at my back. I love the sounds of a flowing stream. I take things in that I normally wouldn’t if I were just driving by. This gives me a greater appreciation for the sights, smells and sounds around me.
  3. I know it will eventually end.

That’s it.

This morning I walked into the gym and saw a girlfriend. I told her I didn’t feel like running at all, much less 6 miles. She, of course, encouraged me.

So run I did, trying to capture the “Zen-like” focus that makes an hour feel more like half that time. I'm happy to write that I succeeded. I hit my stride and it didn’t feel as hard. I finished 6.19 miles at a 10:00 pace.

Today running was my friend.

1 comment:

  1. I can definitely relate!!! Some days are harder than others to get out the door, but I never ended a run regretting it.