I used to hate running. A few years ago, every single second spent running was pure torture. I couldn’t wait till my next walk break when I was doing intervals and I never used to run longer than 30 minutes. For some reason, I never experienced a runner’s high and I just couldn’t understand how people loved it so much. Seriously, I had wondered how people could even run 10K and enjoy it back then.
But, for some unknown reason, I changed.
Now, I quite enjoy throwing on my running gear and getting out the door. I’m excited to plan out my runs (first 10K training run coming up this weekend!) and track my progress with my Nike+ watch. I get pumped up at the thought of getting outside on a nice day to get exercise and fresh air. And yes, I even get excited thinking about races to do. Such a strange feeling for me now, but I’m going to continue to roll with it. (Check in with me after I run a Half to see how I feel ;) )
Recently, I saw some people on Twitter discussing the reasons why they run. Actually, I often get asked by my non-runner friends why the hell I would want to run 21K. I laugh, but then I have to think about it. So, I wanted to put together 5 reasons why I am motivated to run right now. What’s getting my butt out the door? What’s driving me to complete a speed training run when it’s 29C (84F) at 90% humidity? Well… I will tell you.
5 Reasons Why I Run (right now)
1. Exercise – first and foremost, I started running again for exercise. Being active is important for a healthy lifestyle, so I like to mix it up with yoga, running, and weights/TRX workouts. I started by only running 2 – 3K before my weight training, but then the distances just grew from there. I registered for the GoodLife 5K in May so that I would have a goal and, well, finishing that race prompted me to want to go further. When I’ve lacked effort to get my bag packed and head to the gym, I’ve found it easier to get my shoes on and get out for a run. I love the burn and feeling great after a good run. Building endurance and keeping fit – I love it!
2. Food – yes, I know, food should not be a motivator for exercise, but right now it is. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going for a run and then eating a whole pizza. I actually eat really clean about 90% of the time, and being active helps me not to feel guilty about the less-clean 10%. That means when I have nachos or wine on the weekend, I don’t feel so bad. Plus, it’s a nice treat and I’m not good at restricting myself. (Of course, the other side of the coin is that the longer I run, the more I want to eat ALL THE FOOD. Working on this balance as I go along)
3. Community – even though I run/train alone, there are times when I still feel like I am part of a community. Mostly online through #runchat and #sweatpink, but it’s still nice to know that others out there are going through the same worries, injuries, achievements, etc. as me. It’s fun to share accomplishments with each other, while also getting a chance to vent about the struggles. Everyone is there for each other, so it’s a nice bonus to this sport. I would like to actually meet some runner friends in person, but I know that will take time. For now, my online community is the best!
4. Accomplishment – yep, there’s a certain sense of accomplishment that comes from every long run distance achieved, race completed, or injury rested through (tough to do!). Whether a PR is achieved or not, it feels great to have done something that people think you are crazy for. Doesn’t matter the distance 5K or 100K, we’re still accomplishing something and it feels good. Plus, that medal at the end of the race can be pretty cool sometimes too. ;)
5. Races – not in the sense that I will win them, because ummm no, I won’t. But, in the sense of the excitement – being there with other runners at holy crap o’clock, freezing before the race starts, and looking forward to that free banana at the end. What a rush! I just get so pumped up at races and I really enjoy the atmosphere. Plus, there’s some pretty cool races out there… like, the Star Wars Half Marathon I registered for – seriously, I can’t even wait! So, even though I am not a morning person, I still get pretty excited about races.
There you have it. These are some of the things motivating me to run right now. Keep in mind that I’ve only raced 5Ks, so I will be updating this again at a later date. Possibly during or after my training for the Half Marathon. I figure as the distances get longer, I will have to re-evaluate or be reminded of why I am running. I know there are ups & downs along the way, like with any sport, so the best thing to do is maintain a positive attitude while keeping in tune with my body. Keeping it fun is important too, because once it feels like work it just won’t get done.
What motivates you to run right now?