A couple months ago I signed up for one of my favorite races, the Seattle Seahawk 12k. The first time I did this race four years ago I was training six days a week for my second half marathon. I considered it an important part of my preparations. I had a blast.
Last year I was once again signed up and missed the run because two weeks before the race I got sick and couldn’t recover in time to participate. I was bummed. In the weeks leading up to the race I’d once again been running six days a week and felt pretty strong.
The thing is I’m a terrible runner. I’m slow and look awkward when I run. At my fastest a little less than four years ago I ran at a ten minute mile pace, with the occasional 9:30 mile mixed in.
Oh and another thing, I hate running. It is mentally and often physically painful. I have never once felt the “runner’s high” so many of my runner friends talk about.
You might wonder why in the world I do it. I do it to prove to myself that I can. I can make time for myself. I can do something that makes me feel stronger. I can ignore the voice in my head telling me to stop.
I also do it to show my kids physical activity is important. I do it to show them how to set and work on achieving goals. I want my kids to see me sweat. I want them to see me push myself. I want them to know that when life gets tough it’s okay to give yourself a pep talk as you struggle through.
This week as I did speed work, hill repeats and ran my first four mile run in over a year I was once again reminded how much I hate running. I remembered how much hard work it takes and how much easier it is to sit on the couch and read a book.
But when I logged my workouts into dailymile and saw my lifetime stats I smiled (1,000 miles logged to date in 301 workouts). And when my son rode his bike as I ran my four miles yesterday I loved spending time with him. These are just two examples of why I love running.
Just think, if I hadn’t had four miles to run yesterday, I probably wouldn’t have spent 45 minutes with my son. And that time is precious and just doesn’t happen often enough.