Finishing a long run is special. No matter what happens the rest of the day, you feel good. After a long run, everything feels right in the world.
I try to remember this as I dread the next two weeks of half marathon training. I’m behind, and I haven’t been running much, certainly not enough to be confident in my PB aspirations.
I found this old article in The Guardian that summed up my feelings about running so perfectly. Running is illogical. It forces you to get out of bed when you’d rather be sleeping. It makes you run in the rain and the cold when it’s easier to sit in a pub and complain about the weather. It’s hard. And it’s even harder to explain to someone why you do it. But, according to Sport England, running is actually one of the most popular sports in the UK, with more than 2 million people running at least twice weekly. So there must be a reason why we do it.
The problem is, for many, the reason isn’t tangible. Yes, there are some that run to lose weight or get fit, but for many, the reason is a feeling. And that’s a lot harder to describe convincingly to those that have never experienced it.
The author says it best: “running brings us joy,” and the will to run is innate. We’re not meant to sit behind a desk and stare at a screen all day (she says, as she sits at a desk and types this sentence!). I liked this quote:
…if we push on, running harder, deeper into the loneliness, further away from the world and the structure of our lives, we begin to feel strangely elated, detached yet at the same time connected, connected to ourselves. With nothing but our own two legs moving us, we begin to get a vague, tingling sense of who, or what, we really are.
Beautifully articulated, isn’t it? OK, OK. I’m clearly feeling very esoteric today. I’m trying to remember why I like running in the first place because I’m feeling like it’s getting increasingly harder to get out the door. But even though starting is harder, that feeling when I finish a run is always the same. That’s why I do it. It’s not the races or the goals or the numbers. It’s that feeling of awesome. That always stays the same.
Aaaah. There we go. I’m suddenly feeling a lot more motivated to get out there…
19 days till race day!