I got asked the other day if I would share what motivates me to run. I thought long and hard about it before answering. You see when I first started running, I was motivated to cross something off my bucket list. To be able to said I did something. I used it as a way to lose weight. I signed up for my first half marathon a month after I did my first 5K. I thought Disney Princess sounded like a blast. I didn’t fully understand what I was going to put my body through. So, I didn’t train properly. When it was all said and done, I had put my body through the worst kind of hell that it wasn’t prepared for. I’m talking.. couldn’t walk normally for a week!
I forced myself to train for it two years in a row. Hating most every minute. You see, I was doing it for the wrong reasons. To lose weight or to prove to others that I was a runner.
I ended up signing up for Savannah last year with some friends, and trained with Kelsie and had that small group of support. I started to love every minute of it. Somewhere along the way, I stopped running for others and started doing it for myself. I found that I was less stressed, a better mom, and a better wife when I ran. I stopped feeling guilty for running.
It’s become a part of our lifestyle as a family.
I have run 4 half marathons in the past year. It’s insane to think about.
Do I have days where I don’t want to run? Sure. I do it anyway. That’s one of those things that changed. I used to find excuses to not run. Now, I just try to run faster and get it over with on those days that I am not feeling it.
I quit trying to explain why I do these crazy things to most people. They don’t understand why I would want to do that.
It takes a lot of dedication and determination to be an endurance athlete. You have to be willing to give up on sleep, dinners out, or just laying on the couch.
It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of running.. PR’s and distance goals. But I try not to get sucked into that. I try to have fun with it so I will continue to enjoy it. I love planning a new race outfit, or finding new music to run to.
Sometimes I want to be alone when I run, other times I want to be with a group.
One of the things I’ve learned is how important it is to not compare yourself with others. I run my pace. I run to beat my previous best time. Sure I could run as fast or as far as XYZ, but I’m not willing to sacrifice that much of my sleep or time with my family. I do what works for me.
I have no desire at this point to run a full marathon. I would much rather do a half ironman instead. I am far too ADD to handle only running for over 4 or 5 hours.
Running has given me so much. More confidence. A different outlook on life. It tapped into a part of my brain that I didn’t know existed.
I guess the point is, my motivation for starting to run and why I continue to do it are totally different. I continue to run, because it is a part of me.
What motivates you?