It's the night before my first half marathon. My husband Scott and I are both running 13.1 miles in the am. It just so happens also be my 37th birthday. We have talked about doing this for years and now have quit talking and are going to do it- or at least that's the plan. It definitely helps that we are running right beside the beach and ocean on the beautiful emerald coast. We have not exactly "broadcasted" this news to the masses, but when we have told people, we receive varying responses. They can pretty much be summed up in about 3 different ones: "Wow, that's awesome- I've always wanted to do that!"
or "I remember when I did my first half" and then they go into stories about their races and/or a little friendly advice.
or (by far the most common . . .) "WHY"? For many people running 13.1 miles sounds quite miserable. And part of me totally agrees with that. So I've been pondering that question a little and want to attempt to answer it. So that when I am asking myself at mile 9- why in the world are we doing this? I can give myself some answers. (I do lots of talking to myself while I run)
I run because I can. Ok I know that sounds so simple but many times when I am running and exercising I think of people in my life that would give anything to be able to run. I think of friends with Lou Gehrig's disease, paralyzed friends, cancer patients, people with severe obesity and on and on it goes. None of us are promised tomorrow. Yes I have lived a healthy life for 37 years but there is no guarantee that will continue. So I run because I am able to run. God has given me my health for today and I will make the most of it. I've always been amazed by athletes and what the human body and mind can do. So I look forward to pushing mine tomorrow to accomplish something it never has accomplished before. I run because it takes me back to younger years. I was an athlete all throughout jr. high and high school. I had a coach that believed in running. He believed in running for conditioning, training, endurance, and for punishment. If you were an athlete at my school- you ran- like it or not. You ran bleachers, you ran suicides, you ran stairs, you ran laps,you ran the straights and walked the curves. I could not even attempt to begin to calculate the mileage that my teammates and I completed in a season. So now when I run,although it's tough and I do not have the speed and stamina that I once took for granted- it takes me back to a younger, naive and simpler sweet time in my life. And no matter how old I get I think I will always hear Tommy Gunn in my head as I run. "Gun lap, baby!" And I know Terri and many others would agree. I run because it keeps me sane. I cannot tell you how much more energy and how much clearer I think when I run. I pray as I run, I remember things I need to do that day, think of friends I need to call, get ideas for parenting and writing. There is definitely something to those natural running endorphins that nothing else can match.
I run because If my body can be the home for and deliver 3 baby boys- it can do anything! Enough said about that! I run because it reminds me that I need to rely on something bigger than myself. Running is a reminder to me that I don't need to try to do life on my own.I need my Lord and Savior every minute of the day. Without him I am nothing and I can do nothing. Running for me is a spiritual experience. There is something about being outside, praise music in my ears, lungs grasping for air, pounding the pavement, and being in a little bit of pain that is a true worship experience. May sound weird but it is for me. My heart is usually full and thankful after a good run.
I run because-"when I run I feel His pleasure." To steal a beautiful quote from Eric Liddell in the great movie Chariots of Fire. If you don't know what I'm talking about you should YouTube it.