I have run 5 marathons in 2 years (including the Boston Marathon), and after people realize this, the next question is… why? Well, actually not a lot of people ask me that, and since I really love to explain it anyway, I am going to write about it :)
I LOVE the feeling I get after a run
The runner’s “high.” Yup. Its real people. And it feels amazing. Is it better than sex? Well, it’s up for debate. But it is one of the best feelings in the world and I just feel really relaxed and content after I run.
I enjoy the daily dedication it takes
Day in and day out. It is definitely a grind. I have to eat a TON of food because I’m burning so many calories, then I have to go to the bathroom constantly because of all the food. I need to get enough rest to recover. I need to get up super early. I know one woman who got up at 3 AM to get her runs in before work.
There is definitely a balance. I can’t do this all the time, but occasionally it feels really nice to know that you just ran 20 miles on a Saturday morning before most people are out of bed.
I like to eat
Seriously. I love food. Because you are burning so many calories you have to eat a ton. Once my roommate was measuring how many calories I ate for one of his exercise physiology classes and when we went out to eat at a buffet, he calculated that I consumed 5,000 calories. Yeah.
I love going to new cities that I have never been in before! It is so exciting and new. It gives me an excuse to travel somewhere. For all 5 of the ones I ran, I didn’t have a car and some races didn’t have public transportation, so one time I “borrowed” someone’s bike to get to the starting line that was 4 miles aways. (Just kidding. I tried to, but it was locked, so I had to run to the starting line! Talk about an adventure.)
I love being able to see cities in a unique way that you don’t get any other way than running the streets. I think running is a great way to get to know/feel of your community.
It feels good to accomplish something hard
During my first marathon, at one point I would have rather died than finish. It was that painful. But I finished! It felt good to know that I can accomplish a hard thing like that.
I failed on my first attempt to qualify for Boston, and it felt really great to qualify for that. It is a sweet feeling because I knew how hard I worked to get there.
I can keep “moving forward”
I never thought of this until a girl shared why she loved running with me. She said she loved that despite what had gone wrong in her day/life, if she was running, she was still moving forward. Literally. I thought that was such a beautiful way of describing why I love running as well. No matter what happens in my life, it is one really positive catalyst. My high school coach said motion creates emotion, and running helps motivate me to accomplish other things in my life. The times in my life where I haven’t run have been the times I have been most unhappy and lazy.
I like to compete with myself and try to beat my PR (and my friends PR)
I love to compete. It’s fun to compete with myself and try and beat my Personal Record (PR). I also love to try and beat my friend 😆
Everyone should run a Marathon
Yup. You should do it. It will be the best decision you ever make. You will feel fantastic! Not only physically, but spiritually and emotionally. It feels so good to accomplish something so hard, and there are so many life lessons that I have learned from running Marathons (watch for a future post on what those are).