Rare is a day that passes when I am not told that I am crazy. This sentiment often comes in response to one’s discovery of my little “hobby.” Now this crazy label may be accurate, but I would not attribute it solely to my love of running. I like to attribute my fun-ness, a much more accurate portrayal of the often misunderstood term crazy, to genes and downright good luck. How fortunate am I to be touched in such a special way? Those that know me will follow this post. For others of you, just hang in there, and try to interpret my sense of humor.
How is it that I could possibly enjoy hours of running, sometimes a full work day’s worth, of pavement/trail pounding? Well here’s a little secret, I don’t know! Ha, had you there. Actually there are many reasons why I love lacing up my running shoes. For starters, I love being outside. The natural world is full of beauty unlike any other. It can never be synthetically recreated. For example, on about mile 32 of my 36 mile run to the beach, I descended a sizable hill during which I experienced the highest high imaginable. The kind where you have chills, and tears well up in your eyes, as you ride the perfect wave of emotion. I savored every moment of the high knowing that it wouldn’t last forever. As I took in my surroundings, the cloudless sky and spring landscape, I felt immeasurably thankful to be engaging in something so perfect. My mind was clear and in sync with my body. That was a feeling worth running for hours to obtain. Really.
I also run long as challenge. Can I go beyond what others define as normal? What will I find when I do? Every time I have pushed myself beyond the parameters that have been established as societal norms, I have managed to come out on top, and feeling pretty damn good with the end results. Again, good genes and good fortune have helped.
Another key reason I will cite for my love affair with the long run, is the adventure that crops up along the way. Anything can happen out there, and it often does. From finding road side porn and treasures to bring back to my kids, to almost being run over, it’s never dull. I also enjoy the thrill of entering business establishments reeking of sweat and hard work in an effort to obtain means of nourishment, hydration, and excrement relief. The quizzical and disgusted looks I have earned still make me chuckle. My favorite memory thus far however is of a women who was concerned that I was taking oxygen. Apparently my hydration pack was mistaken for a means of obtaining fresh air for my tired lungs! Don’t worry, I did explain that my pack contained only water.
So there you have it. I love to run for hours because of the highs, the adventure, and sense of accomplishment. I run long to push beyond, and discover more about what my body is capable of. I run long for a strong body and mind. I run long for the memories and time with friends. I run long for solitude, reflection, and connection. I run long to escape and to be present. I run long because it feels good to have passion flowing through my veins. I run long because I can……………