Running is rewarding.
I'm not talking about bling, although I will admit that it is a great feeling to have a medal placed around your neck after running a half or a full marathon. But I don't run for the bling.
I'm not talking about physical fitness, although at 52, it's pretty awesome to be in the best shape of my life. Not to mention being able to eat all the food!
I run for the reward of that feeling of accomplishment of setting a goal and meeting that goal.
I run for the reward of learning how to push myself when I don't feel like I can take another step.
I run for the reward of knowing that in the end, I gave it my all and did my best. Because I don't do anything half-assed--on or off the road.
There's no reward in giving up, in quitting.
"'Cause sometimes you just feel tired, Feel weak, and when you feel weak, you feel like you wanna just give up. But you gotta search within you, you gotta find that inner strength. And just pull that shit out of you and get that motivation to not give up. And not be a quitter, no matter how bad you wanna just fall flat on your face and collapse."
-Eminem 'Till I CollapseYes, this song is on my running playlist. I find motivation wherever I can.
They say the joy is in the journey. And that's true. But there is no sweeter feeling than crossing the finish line.
Achieving those goals isn't easy. I don't know about your training, but my training is tough.
I run 4 days a week. When I'm training for a race, one of those days is speedwork. Another day is a long run. The other 2 days are "just" a run. There's some reward during the training too. Like that day 4 weeks ago, when I blew my speedwork out of the water. I finished in the pouring rain but when I looked at my splits, I felt like the sun was shining on me. Was that speedwork session a fluke? Apparently not, because I've had 2 more just like it. And I'm seeing that speed on the road too. Getting faster? That's rewarding.
|It might not look like it, but I was pretty miserable in this picture.|
A few years ago, I couldn't complete a half marathon without taking walk breaks. I couldn't imagine running 13.1 miles without stopping to catch my breath. After I started cross training with Becky, I developed more endurance. In September 2013, I ran my first half marathon without stopping. It wasn't a PR, but finishing that race so strong was so rewarding. That race felt so much better to me than the one I ran 2 years before and PR'd--but stopped 3 times. And now? Not only am I rewarded by running a half marathon straight through, I'm running them fast and achieving PRs. That's rewarding.
Running 26.2 without stopping to walk? Unimaginable. Until last fall. Besides redeeming myself by running the race I knew I had in me, I paced it well and only stopped once to use the portapotty and to fill my water bottles every hour. Oh, and give a few hugs to spectators. That finish? Talk about rewarding....
The race I ran this past weekend, where I went out too fast and could have crashed and burned? I dug deep and pulled out some mental strength I didn't know I had. Battled through nausea and tired legs. Shut down those voices that told me to walk, the ones that were telling me "I can't". Finishing strong and never giving up--that was my reward.
Oh and feeling good enough to drink a beer at the finish line? Icing on the cake. Yep, that's rewarding too!
That's why I run. For the rewards.
Why do you run?
I'm linking this post up with several linkups. Normally I don't but the themes overlapped! The theme for this post was so well timed for me...who knew?
Tuesdays on the run with MCM mama, Run the Great Wide Somewhere, and My No-Guilt Life all want to know: why do you run?
Deb Runs is hosting Wednesday Word. What is rewarding to you?
And my ladies Diatta and Sheila host Workout Wednesday! Go over to their blogs to see what everyone is saying!