With the grind of training, a long to-do list, or the overpowering desire to do nothing on Saturday morning it is easy to think of a whole host of reasons to skip your weekend long run. I understand…I am the master of justifying things I just don’t want to do. But it is in those moments of weakness that I have to turn to something outside of myself, my waning willpower, and the conversation happening in my own head.
Fortunately this time I didn’t have to look to far.
Everyone has a different reason to run. All are equally inspiring in my opinion, but lately it has been the words of Christopher McDougall, author of Born to Run, that resonate with me the most in the moments when my motivation falters.
I’m sure you have all heard of this book and most of you have either already read it or know what it is about so I won’t bore you with a recap. Instead, I want to share what inspired me to leave the comfort of my bed this morning to log a few miles in the misting rain.
“Your body becomes so familiar with the cradle-rocking rhythm that you almost forget you’re moving. [Eventually,] you break through to that soft, half-levitating flow. You have to listen closely to the sound of your own breathing; be aware of how much sweat is beading on your back; make sure to treat yourself to cool water and a salty snack and ask yourself honestly and often, exactly how you feel. What could be more sensual than paying exquisite attention to your own body?” -Ann Trason, p.69
If you have run for any length of time then you know what Ann is referring to. She is talking about those runs that leave you feeling on top of the world, like you could just go forever. With diligent practice the rhythm of running becomes like an old friend you go to greet on Saturday mornings. Nevermind you aren’t training for a race, nevermind that there are 2 kids and a husband that could use your attention, nevermind the stack of job applications waiting to be filled out…that can all wait.
Finding that feeling where running is (dare I say) comfortable was a proud moment for me. It was the same day I shattered my old half marathon PR and decided I could, and would, become a marathoner.
Running has done more for me than I really know how to express. It provides confidence (and a bit of weight loss), solace, self-esteem, a sense of purpose, and drive in an otherwise confusing and muddled period of my life.
These are my reasons to run. Writing them out prior to leaving my house this AM has solidified my need to just go. So I am leaving the Garmin at home (the horror!) to just enjoy the activity for what it is.
Question: What has running done for you?