Thursday, March 5, 2015

Why I Continue Running

Runners are really twisted souls. We love the feel of lactic acid build up because for some reason it makes us feel tough. We get an endorphin high from running that is just indescribable. We push through pain week after week in order to cross that finish line. Why do we do it? I can't speak for others, but I will tell you why I continue to run.

This past weekend I had a race. It was tough one for me because I did minimal training. I had been dealing with my plantar fasciitis pain so I had kept it pretty easy for the month of February. Any other newbie would have just taken the loss and moved on. I couldn't. I had to get another race under my belt. It's a borderline addiction for me. The problem is that since I have ran so many half marathons I just seem to think my body can handle anything I throw at it. I admit this is not how I should be thinking.

Now don't get me wrong I have gotten better at listening to my body. I have skipped on two races in the past due to injuries. I didn't like doing it but it was necessary. I run through pain to an extent. If I know it is going to cause me more harm than good then I take some time off. I always come back to it though. Even when I took a few years off from running during college, I was craving it. I felt something missing. It was in 2005 when I got back on that horse and hit the pavement running. I haven't looked back and am happy that I've kept at it for quite a few years now.

I continue to learn more and more about myself with running. I've learned that my body will achieve anything that my mind believes. Running is part physical and part mental. The mental part is what is the hardest for me. My mind plays tricks on me when I have to do a long run, when I have to go out and do hill intervals, or when I have to do speed work. I psyche myself out and have to find ways to motivate myself. I've learned that I am my own worst enemy when it comes to mentally preparing for a race.

This addiction, as I call it, is thankfully a healthy addiction. It is my "me" time, my stress reliever, and my time alone with my thoughts. I get to take in all the beautiful sights when outside and breathe in the fresh air. Well right now the air quality where I live is horrendous but I do get the luxury of running in a great park with amazing scenery. When I go out and run, I try to put all my troubles aside. I may not be going super fast but I am out there putting in the miles.

After every race there is that brief moment where I question why I continue running. I am usually sore, tired, and can feel my body tense up. The lactic acid slowly builds up and I start to walk funny. Some times I am even calorie deficient and feel extremely nauseous. I ask myself is all of this really worth it? The answer is plain and simple. Of course it is worth it! My endorphin high trumps over all other painful feelings that may come up. The feeling of crossing that finish line is so rewarding. All my hard work is payed off when I get that medal. 

My hope is that I can continue to run for many more years to come. I know I am no spring chicken any more but I will continue to run as long as my knees and feet allow me too. I just love running too much to quit so easily.

Do you like to run?
What shoe do you run in?

Other places you can find me:
Instagram: fitwanderlustrunner
Twitter: fitwrunner
Bloglovin': fitwanderlustrunner

I am linking up with Amanda from Running with Spoons

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