Before nearly every long run, during most long runs, and occasionally even after a long run, I sincerely question my sanity. Who the fresh hell willingly runs 20+ kilometres? I ask. Why do you do this to your feet? I wonder when I want to wear an open-toed shoe. Can I glue a fake toenail on there? I’ve asked professionals when my training has resulted in another nailless toe.
Have I lost my damn mind? I’m pretty sure my loved ones ask it, too.
Outside of the physical commitment required for distance running, there is a massive time commitment because d’ya know what takes a long ass time? Running 20+ kilometres.
(Interjection: In the middle of writing this blog post, I actually signed up to do a 50 km bike ride. I am actually losing it.)
I feel the need to state what I imagine is already obvious: I love running. In a lot of ways, it’s my therapy, my me-time, my favourite hours of the week. But it’s also a curveball in my life. Running means missed nights out, and missed brunches with people I love.
It eats up hours of my “downtime”. Suffice it to say, running takes up a big part of our lives.
Fortunately, M and F are both understanding and supportive. In fact, my two favourite guys met me on the trail today to complete the final 5 km of a 17 km run that hadn’t gone smoothly. Step after step, I questioned my sanity. I was sore. I was tired. I was exhausted. Running when the run feels hard and your legs feel heavy is NOT fun. I think that’s why many new runners never find their happiness: when you’re not used to the discomfort of a shitty run, it’s exceptionally unpleasant.
So why do I do it?
Well, the short answer is I love it and I’m actually pretty good at it. But the longer answer is this:
- Running, despite the fact I’m always trying to go faster, lets me slow down in all the right ways.
- A few years ago, running three kilometres felt like a huge accomplishment (and it was). Being able to actually see your body change and become stronger is really, really cool.
- The running community is supportive, fun, and easily accessible.
- And, possibly most importantly, it gives me an excellent excuse for seconds at dinner.
I can now recognize when I’m having a less-than-great run and beat it mentally. Mind over matter has never been truer than when you just want to sit down because your legs weigh 300 pounds. Each.