Stupidhead me thought that running another ½ marathon right after the Rock n’ Roll ½ Marathon would keep me motivated through the fall. So I took one person’s advice (see poll results) and signed up for the Woodrow Wilson Bridge ½ Marathon. Worst investment of $90 bucks EVER. I better get a goddamn gold lined fleece jacket to make this one worth it cuz it most certainly won’t be my time.
WHY, WHY, WHY, do I continually feel the desire to sign up for races that I really don’t want to run? I mean, I guess that’s a rhetorical question but now that I ask it…I really sorta should ask myself, “why?” What is it that I hope to achieve by running these races? I feel a little stumped asking myself that question right now…I think initially I thought the question was going to be a good transition into writing something about how important it is to be consistent with your running so you can have a good race blah blah blah blah…but the more I think about that question, the more I’d like to know why….
- Why do I get up at the crack of dawn on Sunday morning to get in a long run?
- Why do I rush home on Tuesday and Thursday nights to get my practice runs in?
- Why do I feel like complete shit if I don’t rush home to get my practice runs in?
- Why do I purposely stress myself out for a whole week prior to a race worried about not being able to finish the race for which I signed up?
- Why do I brave the near black ops tactical logistics needed to even get to the race on race day?
- Why do I put myself through the borderline OSD pre race rituals I have before each race?
I wish I could say I had some profound reason as to why I do all this but the sad thing is….I don’t. I guess, just off the top of my head, I could say it feels good to challenge myself; to push myself to see what I can accomplish….but really, if that was the case, once I finished the race, I’d be done…unless my next challenge was to get a better time. If that’s the case, I’m in luck cuz my time can only get better…my small incremental decreases in my mile minute times will leave me with years of opportunity to “get better.” But, I don’t think that’s the only reason….
I started running (many many years ago), because it was a quick, easy, inexpensive way to try to get in shape. You don’t need a lot of money, you don’t need to be a star athlete, and you don’t really need any special gear, you just need the motivation and a pair of shoes (unless you’re one of those hippie aholes who thinks it’s better to run in your bare feet; and that proves my point even more sadly).
So that’s why I started…but that still doesn’t really answer the question why I continue to run and most importantly, why I sign up for these races….
Well, I’ve been racking my brain since last night trying figure out what my real reason for running races is…and the problem was, I WAS searching for some profound reason but honestly the simple truth is, when I’m done and I’ve crossed that finished line…and I’ve run a good race, for a brief moment I’m a badass. I know it’s only in my own mind…and in the grand scheme of things I always finish in the last 1/3 of the pack but the rest of the runners in that race mean nothing to me when I cross the finish line..it’s my own glory of finishing something I started and it is that feeling that keeps me going.