It seems that question is asked of me almost daily. I was at the grocery store today and a person that I didn't even know came up to me and said that she had seen me running all over town. Wondered how far I ran each day. Today another person said that she passed me in her car each day0n her way home and it inspired her to get out and start walking with hopes of running someday. I was stopped at a stop light the other day and a group of high school runners ended up at the same light with me (I would like to say caught up with me but that's not the case.) and asked when and where my next race was. A man stopped me as I was running through downtown the other evening and wanted to know how I got started running and that he would really like to start running.
Knowing what to say can sometimes be difficult. I don't want to respond that I am on my second day of 20 mile plus long runs. Or that I am running 30 miles training for my next ultra. I also don't want to say that I have just been running a hill route workout that is really kicking me. So many times I just say I am out for a run because I really like to just get out and run, do some thinking, and enjoy the world around us.
I tell most people that I started out with a walking program. Then did some cycling, and then decided that I really liked to just run. That I really liked the training plans and nutrition plans I developed and how I felt each day.Then I lost all sense of reality and started running endurance races. Whoa, wait a minute! To some people an endurance race just might be a mile so I have to be careful with that statement. Some people get it and some people just don't. That's ok. There are some days when I feel like an 18 wheeler and I don't get it either.
Do we run because:
*We like doing something that we can really see benefits in our efforts.
*At a race we like all of the pre and post race things (Food?) that are associated with running.
*We can eat right and make good nutrition choices. Or not. And eat everything in sight.
*Love to hear the roar of the crowds at the start and finish lines of big races.
*We like the preparation and training that go into running.
*We like the lonely think time that we have when we run alone.
*We like the times we have with our running group that gets us out there even when we don't want too run.
*We have found new emotions down deep inside us that we never knew we had.
* We like the great playlists for the music that we listen to as we run and know that we never would have done that if we hadn't started running.
*We have developed endurance that carries us through our everyday challenges.
*The joy that we feel when we accomplish a distance or time for a training run or race that we never thought we could do.
*We run because we can.
*We run for somebody, a special cause, a personal reason.
We are all different in may ways. But we are the same in knowing that we still put one foot in front of the other each time we step out the door. Some days are easy and some days are hard. Some days we laugh and some days we cry. Some days we feel like we could run forever and maybe wish that we could and others we feel like the first mile was just as hard as our last marathon or 5K. We inspire each other and also those that have never run before.
So on your next run, ask yourself "Why do I run?". And on the day after a difficult run when you get out of bed sore and wonder why you run, or when you get that race medal and race shirt, remember this: You like to run because.......
The next time someone asks me why I run I'll say, "Do you have a couple of minutes...?"
Forward we go! May your roads and trails be happy and safe!