Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Why Run?

Sunday afternoon was my last long run before my next race. It had been my intention to run 12 miles, and I inadvertently did 14 due to my failure to map my route at Munny Sokol Park before hand. I'm okay with my mistake since it has proven to me that I can run the entire length of my race next weekend without stopping. While I have 'run' two half marathons before, this Sunday was actually my first time running 11+ miles without stopping to walk at any point. It is amazing how much of a confidence boost this has given me.

But running that distance was not without some consequences. I've been needing new shoes for a good, long while now and have been putting it off. I've been taping up my feet for long runs to avoid hot spots and blisters with a fair degree of success. Taping aside, it's still hell on my feet, knees, hips, and low back. Long story short, I need new shoes.

Beyond joint issues, running is hard on your body overall. In a discussion with my mom this weekend, she expressed her concerns that it was unhealthy to run marathon distances due to the many damages that it can cause to your body. This led to a discussion of why one would run such distances at all, and more specifically, why I am motivated to run long distances.

For me, distance running is not merely a physical achievement and it's not something I do because it is 'healthy' per say. Rather, distance running is an achievement of willpower, endurance, and self discipline. It took me two hours and ten minutes to run 14 miles, and I spent every minute of that time willing myself to continue. I ran with no iPod, no partner, and really no plan other than to finish it - to not give up until it was done. That's a long time to be with your own thoughts, and a long time put the will of your mind over the will of your body.

Your body wants to quit when it gets tired. It wants that hot shower, soft bed, and blissful rest. You are the one who must choose to run every step. It is a true mastery of one's self.

That is why I run.

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