HOW IT BEGAN
I began running in June 2011 when I set a goal to train for and complete a local 5k. I honestly have no idea what compelled me to set this goal because I had always been one of those people who loathed running. I went out for track in seventh grade (I ran the 7 Flight Hurdles and Shuttle Hurdle Relay) but that was the extent of my running history. However after that 5k, I was hooked. Now, running is one of my biggest passions, and in addition to running, myself, I love to read, watch, listen and talk about all things running!
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Since my first race in 2011, I’ve run more than 35 races, including four half marathons. I’m not fast (although I absolutely acknowledge that ‘fast’ is a relative term) but I’m proud of my personal records because I worked hard for them. The simple reason why I love races so much is because they’re fun. I love the atmosphere of races and view the race as a celebration of training.
I personally believe that training is more difficult, telling and rewarding than any race or race result could ever be. Yes, nailing your race plan or setting a new personal best is beyond awesome and should be celebrated, but neither would be possible without the training that made it happen.
I think training is hard and racing is easy. Meaning that I think it’s easier (and more fun) to run a race than piece together week after week after week of consistent training. There’s no glory in training. There’s no cheering spectators or lively bands. Training isn’t as sexy as races. It really comes down to putting in good old-fashioned hard work day in and day out.
Training is also a perpetual exercise in self-discipline. No matter how much you love running, there are days when it’s not fun or feels like a grind. When staying in your warm bed or watching Netflix on your comfy couch sounds way more appealing than going for a run. You have to have the self-discipline to get it done.
WHY I LOVE RUNNING
There are countless reasons why I love running. I love the health benefits of running. I love the endorphins I get from running and how it clears my head. I love how running outdoors allows me to explore new parts of my city and others, fully experience the changing seasons and temperatures and be more cognizant of the beauty of nature and my surroundings. I love how tempo runs, hill repeats and running on the treadmill – aka: the type of runs that are the most challenging for me – strengthen my mental toughness. I love how running gives me opportunities to be brave and resilient. I love how the joy I receive from running infiltrates into other, more important, areas of my life…this list could truly go on and on.
But, ironically, the number one reason I love running is also the number one reason I dislike it: IT’S HARD. I believe that the more difficult something is, the more rewarding it is in the end. I love how running challenges me both physically and mentally. It completely takes me out of my comfort zone and, hey, that’s where life begins, right?! In short, I get to see what I’m made of. Running doesn’t come naturally for me and that’s why it’s so fulfilling when I nail a hard workout or cross a finish line. And one of the cool things about running is that it’s difficult for everyone. Even the fastest professional runners in the world have a threshold.
SEASONS OF RUNNING
Like life, I believe many runners go through seasons with their running. I know I certainly do. When I first started running I wanted to complete a 5k race. Then I was all about improving my time. Then I was all about increasing my distance and running half marathons. My running priorities and goals are ever-changing.
In my current season of running, I’m more casual. I run for fitness and leisure or to maintain a base. Sometimes I opt for other types of workouts and go an extended period of time not running at all. While that’s the case right now, that could change in a few months or a year from now if I decide I want to start training for a race. I love knowing that I can change up the focus and direction of my running and still possess the same joy and satisfaction.
I hope you enjoyed learning about my running story. Leave a comment below letting me if you enjoy running or have run a race before. I would love to hear about your running story!