Why I run

Monday, September 12, 2011

As a relatively new runner, I can say with absolute certainty that up until recently, I had no clue what the granola munchers saw in running. I will admit to uttering a few curse words on a cold bleak morning when icicles were forming on my eyelashes and I would see the odd one run by. And I really did think those "running people" were odd.

I get it now.

I have had a few moments in my life where I've been incredibly proud of myself. In terms of physical challenges, I'd say my number one moment was the birth of my daughter at home. However, I must say, that moment aside, I have never been prouder of myself than the first time I crossed the finish line at my first 5k race this summer. I've heard it said by a runner that she wasn't the winner, but she crossed the same line that the winner crossed. I couldn't agree more.  I am now upping the ante and have signed up for a 10k this fall. I'm renewing my relationship with my sneakers, and getting slowly back into my rhythm.

For anyone who has ever run, there is a progression every time you start to think about going out, then as you pass through your kilometres (or miles, for my US friends), then as you round the bend on your last stretch home. Here's what mine looks like:

Before the run: "I really should go. I know I'll feel better once I've gone. But child #1 or child #2 needs something/dinner isn't made yet/I don't think I've had enough water today/ hubby isn't home yet/I just ran two days ago, didn't I?/etc./ ad nauseum.

Once I've decided to go: "Okay. I'm super pumped. I'm going to KILL this run. Kids are set, hubby is organized, duties set aside, time to go. But wait- where are my pants/ socks/sports bra/shuffle/etc.?"

The first km: "Omg. Maybe I could just turn back. No one would know."

The second km: "Why did I think this was a good idea? When will I stop feeling every single ache and pain, and when will my legs start working again? I need more grease than the Tin Man."

The third km: "I could just take the short cut. If I cut through there, I'll be back home in ten minutes. Why is this taking so long?"

The fourth km: "Anytime now. I know it's coming. Just ease into it...man I love this..."

If you're a runner, you know what I'm talking about. It - that elusive moment you wait for each time you run. It's the moment that sometimes just doesn't come- like a sneeze that never materialized and left you unsatisfied. But most of the time, it does come and transports you away from your body. You stop feeling every hurt, every step, hearing your breath, complaining, mentally punching the person who convinced you to go...

...and you're there.

It is that point, where it's just me, my music and the road, that keeps me coming back for more. That surreal place where no one wants anything from me, and it's just me, competing against myself.

Those times when I hear that voice, before it comes, I crank my music and skip to a song with a bigger, faster beat. Each time the voice gets louder, I make the music louder. It's the voice of defeat and I don't want to listen to it, so I drown it out and tell it to Eat. My. Dust.


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