Sunday, April 24, 2011

Why Run?

For the past several weeks, I have been struggling to decide what running means to me, why I run, do I like to run, what purpose does running have in my life…

I have been running for the past few years. It started out as just an exercise routine but then as I continued to increase my mileage a friend urged me to sign up for the B.A.A. Half Marathon that runs through the Emerald Necklace each fall.  So I did, why not I thought?  To prep, I even jumped into the Falmouth Road Race.  Those first races, I pretty much just did on my own.  I had a little bit of help but not that much structure and on race day those hills seemed so hard.  But I loved it in the end.  I guess my competitive, Type A personality shone right through.  It was not the best time or my best race, but I finished and I was so proud, I guess that is when I became hooked on running. 

Through that whole winter, following the BBA marathon, I continued to run on my own, hoping to complete another half marathon in the spring.  I am not going to lie. I am not one of those runners who loves running in the winter. I am not that intense.  It is cold! It is snowy and it is icy.  On a snowy day, I would rather hit the treadmill than go outside.  No matter how many layers I sport, it is never good enough, I am always freezing. But that first winter I toughed it out, only to get injured at the first inklings of spring.  At that point, I thought I would never walk again let alone run.  I could hardly sit in the car because the pain in my knee was so intense that I felt every bump.  I remember at one point my friend and I went to a Bruce Springsteen concert, yes, I am a Bruce-NJ loving fan, even now here up in Boston.  At that concert, the vibrations from the amps were so intense that I could not stay at the concert. It hurt my knee way too much.  But after much aggravation and a very very long depressing spring, I found my physical therapist.  And by following his lead of three months of rehab, I made it through and by September I was back.  And faster than ever!  From there I completed my first 10K, which led to more 10Ks, a 10-miler, the Disney Half Marathon, the Boston Run to Remember, the Rutgers Half Marathon, the Squirrel Run (5 miler in Quincy) and the Falmouth Road Race.  This past October I was to complete my first marathon but this past summer I studied for the Massachusetts and New York bar exams and well, the running suffered.  When I ran the 5-miler in Quincy in June, I ran it in 38:13.  From there, I began studying, and my running went downhill.  I watched my times decline and ultimately knew I needed to take a break from running.  

Thus, this past fall, I did what I considered heartbreaking, I took 8 whole weeks off. I just did! No running whatsoever. And it was hard! Harder than hard, but it let me re-examine myself, my life and just enjoy life.  But by the end of fall I knew I was ready to go back…or was I?  I returned happily to running, but I felt amiss.  There was just something off.  It came to a head a few weeks ago, when I set out to complete 9 miles.  It was a cold morning but I wanted to get my run in before the rest of my day started.  I set off and immediately I knew it was not going to end well.  By mile one my hands were frozen and painful, and my neck (I am currently suffering from a neck injury) was stinging in pain.  By mile 3, I was in tears, I had to give up.  At that point, I thought that was it, no more running! I just could not do it anymore. I did not want the long training sessions, the dread of a lonely long runs, the obsessive weather checking, the early morning drives into and out of Boston to train.  I just could not do it anymore!

Than I decided something…what if I stopped being so hard on myself and let myself have more fun with running…find friends to run with, enjoy the run, talk with others, and relax! And you know what, it made all the difference.  I have now been running with my friends and am back and ready to go.  This weekend, after all the marathon magic and finally finding some great people to run with, I made the determination that I am going to run that Marines Corps Marathon, that I can do it and it is something that I have always wanted to do! So Marine Corps here I come.  But I have got a ways to go and after reading so many amazing blogs lately I thought what better way than to become more social and in-tune with the running community than to start one of my own and see where it takes me…so we will shall see…. I hope that I find some more wonderful running friends through this blog and continue to find the joy in running as well as help others who experience similar things and go through running cycles and phases…

My first question:  how do you like to run? Do you like to run by yourself, with groups, with a friend?


  1. welcome!!!

    so glad that you found my blog. and i love your story. i really do thing that running comes and goes in waves. and i've learned that if i ride the waves...running when i love it and taking a break when i don't.... running has been there for me.

    i DO love running with people. i wish that i had more people around here to run with. having people to run with motivates me more than any personal goals i have.

    anyway...welcome to the community :) and i'm super jealous that you live in boston :) its my favorite place on earth!

  2. thanks dawn! i sent you an email let me know if you get it (not sure if it went through...)