Why do you run? It is a question we are often asked by others that just do not quite understand what makes us get up so early when we can sleep in, and what makes us pay outrageous prices for races and spend a fortune on trips just to run. I am sure sometimes you ask yourself that very question…Why do I run?
Why do I run? Because for the first time in my 39 years on this earth I have found something I truly love. I was not very athletic in school. I was actually the band geek for a brief period of time. So for me to be able to say I have ran two marathons is really probably a shock to some. I never thought I could run. I have mentioned before about my asthma and how I never thought I could get out there and run, much less race. But after a lot of hard work and persistence I am now a runner and love it! Maybe even a little obsessed with it. But I can think of worse things to obsess over.
So why the title, Battling our Insecurities? Because even though running is a passion, we can still fight our own demons even when we are doing something we love. I have done a previous blog touching on the topic of competition and struggling with “bad” runs. And after a few conversations I have had lately with others I feel the need to say something again about this.
I have struggled more than not with my running. Trying to build strength, staying injury free and well basically just trying to keep up. I have felt frustrations, anger, sadness, happiness, and I have felt moments of true accomplishments. You name it I am sure I have felt it at some point during my runs. But we have to remember why we are out there running in the first place. I am sure there are some that run just to compete. They want to only get faster and win more. But I feel most runners run for the enjoyment. We get out there and have our fun social runs and we try to improve ourselves, always shooting for a goal. But we are in competition with no one but ourselves. We train hard and to really get better it takes up a lot of our time. So when we do not reach the goal we trained so hard for we get down on ourselves. Or maybe we reached our goal but someone else did better. And secretly we are angry because you did the same amount of work but did not do as good. As I have said before we are not angry at the person but we are angry at ourselves. We are very proud of our friends for their accomplishments but it is very frustrating how sometimes others just make it look easy.
We have to remember at how far we have come and to always be proud of ourselves. And as much as I have struggled and can relate, it breaks my heart to hear one of my running friends talking down about themselves. Thinking they didn’t do good when they really kicked butt! We are not competing with our friends, we are competing with ourselves. We will become bitter towards others if we compare ourselves to them. I have been in the back of the pack more times than not, and I have been close to the front and a few times in the front as well. We all have good days and bad. We need to just focus on one foot in front of the other. I don’t know about you, but running is my therapy, my way of staying sane! Unless you have experienced it you will think I am crazy for working on my feet 9-10 hours a day then going out and running 4-5 miles after work. But my running buds understand. It is a way to just clear your mind. Forget everything for a few moments. And sometimes I get scared when I think there may come a time when I can’t do this. And let us be honest, there will come a time later when we can’t do this. We just all hope it is later and not sooner.
So this blog goes out to all my amazing running friends who work their butts off trying to improve their running. They put in the long hours during the week and weekend to hit the mileage they need. They commit to their goals, and they see them through. It is easy to quit. I mean let’s face it, we don’t have to do this! But we want to and we love it. So let’s remember that. It doesn’t matter our age, our pace, or how far we can go compared to others. We are out there together and we support each other. And let’s try to stay positive too. Your time you finished a race may not be what you wanted but guess what?? I bet there is someone that would love to have that time. So let’s be proud and try to say positive things. I am speaking to myself on this as well.
We all have the same goal in the end, and that is to cross the finish. What happens between the start and finish is up to us and sometimes out of our control. We are blessed to be able to run. We need remember this on a daily basis. We need to motivate others and praise them. And it’s ok to praise yourself too. Be darn proud of what you have done! Because YOU did it, not anyone else! And your friends are just as proud of you whether you ran an 8 minute mile or a 13 minute mile. So let’s get out there this weekend and have fun! And of course as always Happy Running!