It sure as hell isn’t because I’m good at it–because I’m not especially good at it. No, for the first in my series profiling local runners, I’ve decided to list a few reasons I get out there day after day. I’m going to use this post to provide the inspiration I need to layer up, jog down to my community center, and bang out 3 miles on the treadmill on this 16-degree day. (If nothing else, my injuries have good timing. I’m so glad it’s only 3 miles!)
5. It keeps me thin. Ok, ok, I know, it’s a really superficial and unfeminist answer, but it’s true. I like how running makes me look, and I love that it keeps me healthy. I have had more than my share of body images as a pleasantly plump young woman, but running (and rugby) taught me that my body was a functional machine that I had to treat well if I wanted it to perform. (Can you imagine how big my legs would be if I didn’t run? Actually, that’s a trick question. They have always been huge, and will continue to be. And see, I’m totally body hang-up free!)
4. It makes me feel special. I know, it’s another superficial reason, but I get a kick out of the fact that I’ve done 3 marathons, and that they’ve all been under 4 hours. I like to see the look on other people’s faces when I tell them that. Just yesterday the instructor at my weights class made us all give ourselves a round of applause because there were so many places we could be, but we came there. I get a kick out of that too. And I like to be able to help people get into running and find out that it can make them feel special. I got my mom doing it, and in the past 24 hours I told the manager of my gym and Hannah to come join my running group.
3. The rush. Is there anything better than a run on a gorgeous spring or fall day? Or a new PR? Or a new distance record? If you’re reading this, you know exactly what I mean. I read once in Runner’s World that a runner’s high is akin to a marijuana high. Which helps me understand stoners A LOT more. It’s like their drum circles are our tempo runs!
2. The competition. I’ve always needed validation. This is totally me:
Now that school’s over (yes, I have a master’s degree, and yes, I want to go back SO BAD), races are the best way I’ve found to keep measuring myself. I’ll admit, I like to compete against other people, but I also like to compete against me and where I was 8 years ago, when I did my first 5k (30:13). Is it a coincidence that I ran my first marathon during my last semester of grad school? Probably not.
1. The community. I love everything about being around runners. I went to my first road race as a favor to a friend. I ran the mile race with her son, while she and her (bad-ass runner) husband ran the 5 miler. I hung around afterward for the awards and had a great time. Everyone knew each other, everyone was so positive and congratulatory, and everyone seemed welcoming to me, a chubby kid who thought at the time that running 2 miles would kill her of boredom. Since I’ve moved to DC, I really found a home in the running community. I love my training group and my friends there. I love the trails in the DC area, the races, even the running stores. And I’ve really loved trying to become a part of the running blog community. Runners are SO GREAT. And I have to keep running to hang out with them, so I do.
So, there’s the first (extremely self-indulgent and a little embarrassing) post in my series. Please, let’s hear why YOU run. Leave some thoughts in the comments, and if you’d like to be profiled, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org–my all-new email address, which I will try to remember to check 😉
Have a great weekend everyone. I got a jury duty summons in the mail today–what’s up with that?