"There are as many reasons for running as there are days in the year, years in my life. But mostly I run because I am an animal and a child, an artist and a saint. So, too, are you. Find your own play, your own self-renewing compulsion, and you will become the person you are meant to be. " - George Sheehan
Running... Well, this weekend was supposed to be my first 5K. And boy was I jazzed. Unfortunately, Hurricane Sandy had other plans & I wasn't able to make it from FL to RI for the race. (Actually, I could have made it out of FL - just wasn't sure I'd get back home & being stuck in NE in the cold during a major storm that could cause power outages isn't my idea of fun times....) So - my first 5K. Trained for it since Labor Day. Didn't come to pass.
Why do I run? I think honestly to prove to myself that I can. I was never a runner. Still I don't consider myself a runner. Although I've suspected I had it in me, there was always a tiny voice nay-saying... I would be on the treadmill doing cardio & a great song would come on. I would think "golly, this makes me want to run" but I never picked up the pace.... I'd continue on my brisk walk because of that nay-saying voice. I would have thoughts of "I wish I were a runner. I would like to run a race." But it wasn't until 8 weeks ago that I started.
So why do I now run? Simply to prove to myself that I can... grant it I wasn't going to win the race... I was just excited about starting & finishing & enjoying the time between the starting & finishing.
What made me decide to start running? To take the plunge? That's easy - my cousin. She knew I had been working out regularly since April. Working out to the point that I now thoroughly enjoy going to the gym - huge step for me. And on the days that I've planned to go & I think "oh, I've had a hard day at work. I just want to go home, crash & have a glass of wine" - on those days I still go (huger step for me) & I feel great after going - not just from the working out but from the pushing aside my inner saboteur. So - how did I get from that to this place where I was actually training for a 5K since I never picked up the pace on the treadmill? My cousin recently moved to Rhode Island. I was planning to visit this month to celebrate her birthday & get a lovely dose of Fall. She called the Friday of Labor Day weekend & told me how she started running & was enjoying it to the point that she wanted to run a race... she researched & found one the weekend I was coming to visit - Great Pumpkin race. Would I run it with her? Without even really thinking I said "Of course. Guess now I need to figure out how to run". I had heard about the C25K program (Couch to 5K) - downloaded the app & started the very next morning. For me it wasn't as easy as I had hoped. I knew going into this weekend that I might still be walking part of the race - especially up the hilly parts since in sunny South Florida we don't have hills to train on. But I was not only excited about the prospect of finishing - I was equally - maybe even more so - excited about the fact that I agreed to start in the first place!
Great disappointment set in when I had to cancel my trip due to weather. And yes, I had to change my bracelet yesterday (see Week 27 post - a complaint free world).
But my cousin & I both agree that positives still came out of it. We both trained for something, were committed to something. It brought us closer & it's good for us - mentally & physically. We also agreed to continue our training & run a 5K soon - maybe not in the same town but we're looking for one around the same time that we can each do in our respective locales & train remotely together. Then to challenge us even further & make up for the disappointment of missing our very first 5K, we have committed to each other to train for the Disney half marathon in November 2013. (yes, that's a long way away... but it is something we are going to work toward & will need to tackle a few 5K & 10K between now & then.) It's a goal. And it's going to become part of our lifestyles - running. Time where we can just let everything go & be in our own moment. Being healthier. Committing to something so grandiose that 6 months ago neither of us would have dreamed we'd ever do. Something we'll do together & we'll cherish the fact that not only did we do it - but we did it together.
There are as many reasons for running as there are grains of sand on the beach... my reasons are simple - I always wanted to but didn't think I could. So proving to myself I can is reason one. Pushing the limits of what I think I can accomplish. Hitting that point - the moment when it's no longer a chore (because yes, the first half hour is still the toughest for me... I don't hit the 'runner's high' until I'm about 35 minutes in... hopefully that will change soon). Basically I realize that the biggest reason I want to run now is because I can. Plain & simple. Maybe not very far or very fast... but I can. And that, in & of itself is huge to me.
My cousin said she actually found herself smiling when she runs. And that is the best reason out of all of them to run - because it makes you happier.
Carol Welch said, "Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person's physical, emotional, and mental states." I'm always looking to change/improve my physical, emotional & mental states so I might just keep running.