Monday, August 17, 2009

What Drives you to run?

Almost two years ago I started on this wonderful journey that changed my life. I decided that I wanted to run. I ran in High School, ran with some of the cross country kids once in awhile, changed schools and gave it up (along with some other reasons). Time went by and I found new hobbies, Journalism and Drama in High School, horse back riding, Jobs daughters, a boyfriend or two (or more). I longed for the feeling I had crossing that finish line, the sound of the gun, but I had no idea how to get there.

Fast Forward. That darn doctor says I have osteoponia (the step before osteoporosis). I'm 29 years old! Gotta get some exercise in there. I decided that I need to go back to running. In January of 2008 I started training for my first half marathon. Although I fought through a terrible bout with Bronchitis I still managed to cross that finish line in 2 hours and 11 minutes. Not bad for only running for 2 full months hu?

But this bug got me. I wanted more. I took the Spring off from races and recouped from being sick and then trained for the 10K during the summer, then a half marathon again in October. I trained hard and it showed taking nearly 14 minutes off my time and coming in at under 2 hours. I had a not so good 20 mile race in November but had my running friends by my side then a terrific finish to the year when I completed my first marathon in 4:26:16.

Along the way I had lots of good and not so good runs. I had ITB issues and child care issues. I had scheduling issues and tummy issues... but I got my runs in. I learned about dips in the creek that were as good as ice baths. I learned about stretching and core muscles and foam rollers. I learned about eating and food... lots and lots of food. I learned to love and hate Dr. John's hands. He would fix me but it hurt like the dickens to have him get me there.

Without those miles listed on my calender I felt like I was floundering. I felt like I was at a standstill. I felt lost and lazy. I have found my way back. I'm looking out for that perfect run. The high that comes with it. The miles it took between the last one and this one. The exact formula of food, of distance, of fuel, of temperature and climate outside and friends by my side. I seek it out with every run. Sometimes I find it sometimes I don't. So when people laugh because I ran 20 miles on Saturday, or say they don't dare drive that far in their car, I smile because I have a secret. It has nothing to do with crossing the finish line first... at least not for me. Its about the achiement and progress of the journey getting there. Its about finding that perfect run and riding it all the way home.


Karen said...

Hurray! What a great post. I too love to find that perfect run. I also run for my health--the speedy-ness issue is just gravy..(mmmmm... gravy...)

TinaGirl said...

Karen, Gravy is GOOD. I also run for food.

Steven Cohen said...

You run for awesome reasons, and I aspire to find the same feelings you get! Awesome!