Sunday, December 5, 2010

That's what it's all about

A lot of people ask me why I run?  What's the point they think?  Why waste your time doing it?  To those same people I pose a completely opposite question.  Why don't you run?  To me, there is nothing better than going out for a run.  Many people find this hard to understand.  I have been presented with those questions many times before.  Unless you're a runner yourself, you'll probably never understand.  I could probably compile a list of a thousand reasons as to why I run.  If I had to give an answer as to the biggest reason why, besides the amazing impact it has had on my life, the energy I have each day, and a newly discovered, more focussed mindset I've obtained; it all comes down to one thing.  That "thing" culminates in less than 900 seconds.  That "thing" is what it's all about.  That moment also comes only after 18 weeks of exploiting my weaknesses, mental anguish, physical punishment and self discipline.  That moment only comes maybe once or twice a year.  What I'm talking about is that window of time between roughly the 25 mile mark of a Marathon and a few minutes after the race.  That's the moment I live for.  You might ask yourself, "what in the hell could make you want to go through the rigors of the icy, snowy, blizzard like conditions that Michigan has to offer or 10 x 800 meter repeats on the track as your heart pleads with you to cease your tormenting behavior".  How can all of this be worth it?

Well, it's hard to explain, but it is overwhelmingly worth it.  There is no feeling that I get from everyday life that compares to the feeling I get when I am closing in on the final stretch of a Marathon.  Knowing that I put everything I had into my training; the countless miles, 5:00am trips to the gym, endless stretching and ab sessions, a strict diet, a cessation of a personal life.  At that moment, when I'm running past the 25 mile marker-it all becomes worth it to me.

 There is something intriguing to me about the "mystique of a Marathon".  Sure, I love running 5ks, 10ks and even half marathons, but they just don't compare.  Every race you run, you have a goal, at least I do.  In a 5k you can go out too fast and suffer the consequences for a mile or two.  In a 10k you can do the same and the consequences grow greater.  In a half marathon pacing becomes increasingly important or you are subjecting yourself to outright torture for countless miles at the expense of going out too fast.  However, a marathon is the ultimate test.  If you go out too fast in a marathon, you pay like no other.  If you go out too fast in a marathon, it's not if you will bonk, but when you will bonk.  Hitting that wall is one of the most painful experiences a human being can endure.  That is why it is essential to run a pace that will get you across the finish without hitting that wall.  However, you don't want to finish the race knowing that you could have ran a lot faster.  What's the point?  I could easily go out and run a 3:30 marathon, but for what reason.  I don't run to finish, I run to put every single ounce of energy I have, every single moment of training i have endured on the line.  It's in those 18 weeks leading up to the race that you learn so much about yourself.

You start to get an inkling as to how quickly you'll be able to run the race as you go through ups and downs, physically demanding runs, bitterly horrible runs, cold runs, hot runs, mentally draining runs, and countless other aspects of training.  It all comes down to one final decision made by you, "how am I going to be able to to run the fastest race possible?"  If you go out too fast, it will kill your time in the end and you'll be infuriated.  If you out too slow, you won't feel an overwhelming sense of accomplishment.  You will then present yourself with "what if" questions.  However, if you listen to your body and trust your heart and mind, you will make an impeccable decision.  Even, if it's the wrong decision, you have only yourself to blame; you can only take what you've learned and get better.

It's that feeling I live for, it's the reason for which I run.  It's the reason I devote my existence for 18 straight weeks, just to experience those 900 seconds on race day.  It's worth it to me, that's what it's all about.....

Go Run,


"To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift."
-Steve Prefontaine

1 comment:

  1. I love running. It's a metaphor for life. When life presents me with difficult situations, I have resources of patience and resolve that comes from running. I took a detour and tried triathlons, but quickly returned to running.