Well jeez, when you put it that way, it does sound pretty crazy, doesn't it?
I will certainly agree that running can be hard, frustrating, and painful. I definitely have my days, weeks, and even months where I wonder why I put myself through the effort. Sometimes the couch looks oh-so-inviting!
In the end, though, running has always been worth it. SO worth it.
I run because:
I love the euphoric feeling I get from a good run. Sometimes it feels good right away, sometimes it takes a few miles, sometimes the euphoria doesn't come until after I've finished (sometimes hours later). But running always makes me feel good.
I love the mental strength and clarity that running gives me. It has taught me how to keep persevering and pushing even when every fiber of my being is screaming at me to slow down or stop. I've learned so many times that my body is capable of much more than what I think. To me, this is a metaphor for life. It has translated into increased confidence across so many other facets of my life.
I love experiencing improvement. In the last three years, I have improved my half marathon time by more than 20 minutes. An 8-minute mile pace no longer feels like panicked sprinting to me. The 10-mile distance used to feel like an enormous effort, but now it's my favorite race distance! In my humble opinion, there is truly no better feeling than seeing your training efforts pay off.
Running is so versatile. It can be done solo, with pets, or with 50,000+ of your closest friends. It requires comparatively minimal equipment. Getting started requires almost no preparation or training. You can run at any time of day or night, for any length of time, at any speed, both indoors and out, in any season, and in nearly any weather conditions. It can be done almost anywhere in the world. What other sport or activity can boast that kind of flexibility?
I love the cameraderie. I've made the most incredible friends through a shared love of running. It provides an amazing, transcendent bond across otherwise perfect strangers. Runners are some of the most welcoming people I've ever met. It's not a coincidence that the runner that breaks the tape receives the same finisher's medal as the runner who finishes last.
OK! Before I close for the day, let's make sure we covered everything.
Have I have shown an artistic running picture? Check.
Have I been philosophical? Check.
And now. It is time to share one final, brutally honest answer on why I run:
I love the shoes!!!!!!!! =D
Linking up with April, Patty, and Erika for Tuesdays on the Run.