Why Do YOU Run?

I started running and I started this blog in January of 2011.  I actually started this blog strictly as a way to keep track of my running and to keep myself motivated.  I just read my first post; I forgot I had signed up for a half marathon and THEN started the Couch to 5K plan. I made it to the end of the plan, I did not make it to the half marathon.  And in 2 and a half years, I’m still not regularly running a 5K.  My average at the moment is a 2 mile run. I guess I should be ashamed of that fact, and sometimes I am, especially publicly.

But privately, I’m thrilled I’m still running at all.  I’m not the type to stick with something. I am the type to see I’m getting better at something, freak out that maybe I should be pushing harder, and then stop altogether. I’m also fairly shocked I’m still keeping up this blog but I still enjoy it. Hmm, maybe I’m maturing. Probably not though.

It makes me wonder, why am I still running? I like the way I feel after a run, like I actually did something.  Like I’m following through with something even though no one is making me. But that’s never made me stick with anything before.

There’s something special about running.

I remember when I was a kid I went running with my dad a couple of times. He told me to run on the asphalt, not the sidewalk because it was better for my joints.  I don’t even know why I remember that so vividly, we only did it once or twice.

Even then I wanted to be a Runner. I have no idea why.  No one I knew ran, my dad only ran those few times that I can remember. I never saw running in the Olympics, watched a single race, or tried out for track in school. It was just something I wanted to be.

I spent most of my life around Phoenix, AZ and if that is a hotbed of running I never saw it. Brutally hot in the summers and too cold in the winters, it wasn’t a great place to do anything outside.

Then I moved to Florida and everybody here runs.  Still no one I know, but I pass runners every time I leave the house. I drive past people who must be doing ultras, people who must be new to running, people who must be 80 running.  They can do it.  Why can’t I?

But the question remains. Why do I run, even when it would be easier to just not, even when I know I don’t run far, I don’t run fast, I will never be a great runner or even good at it?

When I was little I wanted to be a veterinarian. I wanted to work for the Peace Corps. I wanted to learn karate and be a ninja. I wanted to live out of a backpack and walk across the country.  I wanted to be a runner.

Then I grew up and I had kids. I became a technical analyst, not a veterinarian. I had to have a degree or some useful skill to join the Peace Corps. Although my dad was a black belt I never learned karate. I do wear lots of black though. (Kind of like a ninja)  I can’t pick up and hike across the county (yet) but I can go outside and run. So I run.

Why do you run?