Why I Run?…. Part II

On my most recent evening run my mind did it’s normal thing. A million different thoughts on a million different subjects. The primary one was the thought of why I run. Last year I posted on this subject, and as I thought about it during this most recent run, I felt compelled to write about it again.

I don’t run to be the best. I am not breaking land speed records or battling with the elites. Heck, in the year and a half running I really have only placed once in my age bracket and that was during a small town 5K. Don’t get me wrong, I do have personal timing goals. I know if I finish a 10K at a specific time, I want my next 10K to be faster. I know my PR for a Half Marathon and that is the time I am shooting to beat during my next one. But I am not driven by placing in a race. If someone has never run a day in their life and they beat me by time then I will applaud them and do not somehow lose any personal self worth.

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For me, I run to test my abilities. I have written before and as the title of my blog states, I am just your average Joe. I picked up running late in 2013 as just kind of something to do. And in the last year and half I have completed runs to see what I am made of. That is what running means to me. It is about seeing what you are made of and what you can accomplish physically.

For the past 2 calendar years I have always set myself to achieve one main goal. In 2013 it was my first Half Marathon, 2014 was a triathlon and in 2015 I am working towards the Chicago Marathon. I run to see what I am capable of physically. Before I started running I hated the idea of it. I had dated people who ran and never understood it. I tried it a few times and could always remember how much it sucked. At some point that all changed. I can’t say I “love” running. Don’t get me wrong, I very much enjoy the community of it all, and completing races. But at the same time I can’t say I sit here counting down the hours until I am out on the pavement.

For me it is all about feeling accomplished. Looking back at all my runs and saying I did this, or I did that. If I never break a 7 minute mile or start a race at the front of the pack I will be content. But if years from now I can look back at Marathons, Half Marathons, Triathlons and other events I have run I will be beyond satisfied.

Along with these events I complete, the running community is probably the best I have joined so far. Runners just get it. They understand the pain and struggle it takes to complete goals so they are there to support one another. Even if they have never met you. Whether it’s on Twitter or Facebook, I have connections all across the country who I am bonded with because they know how frustrating running can be and how you need to keep a positive outlook. To this day I have yet to meet what would be considered an “internet troll” when it comes to the running community. It is a very inclusive and welcoming world.

Having said all that, those are the reasons I run. Crossing finishing lines of any race is such a rewarding feeling. Knowing I have sacrificed so much time and seeing it pay off is such a rewarding feeling. And the people I have connected with over the past year and a half have shown me that this world does not need to be filled with negativity and hate. It is possible to surround yourself with positivity that makes you a better person.

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