At any moment, we can lose sight of everything we worked so hard for and want to give up completely. I learned so long as you keep moving, you will find your way and new strength. The day I learned that very lesson was one of the most pivotal moments in my running. I was 26 miles into my 2nd 50 miler when the wheels came off and I found myself was trudging along trying to find the strength to go on. There were still hills ahead that can and will crush the freshest athletes. My family would be waiting for me at the only crew aid station around mile 33 to 35. At the moment, I forget which it was, but during my trudge one thing became clear that might be where my race would end.
Not sure if it was from poor nutrition, lack of will, or bad pacing but I was in a bad patch. This was not a new experience these but the feeling was tied to my roughest races to date. In those moments, my legs felt drained and my mind followed- losing all hope.
“I am just not a good runner!”
“Maybe I will quit, instead of climbing the last hill?”
“I was just not prepared for this race.”
“There is no way I will ever get to that finish line without a lot of suffering.”
And the one thought that counts. “I just have to keep moving.”
It’s hard to believe that these thoughts could exist when I was still in 13th place but that changed quickly. I had to convince my mind and my legs they could move and then run again. Once they did they moved with new hope. 2 miles later, I was running downhill faster than anyone else on the course and climbed through the field and that last hill to a 6th place finish.
That was in a race and I admit it is a lot easier to get re-energized when your time is being watched by everyone you know. What is much harder to overcome: the same negative thoughts when nothing is on the line. I found myself in a state this last month in a state of being unmotivated. It’s been hard to get out the door to do solo training. If there is a group to run with, I will be there every time, but I more showed up to be there for them and ended up caring less and less about my journey. I found myself exercising and sleeping less. I eventually was run down to the point where I finally got sick. Now here I am almost well, trying to remind myself of the why I run. So here in the most original and motivational way possible here are some reasons I run.
I run to relax. I forget about all the crazy things that might worry me and run me down.
I run to be disciplined! There is nothing that can make me more focused than a good run.
I run to be creative! I can find answers to more problems in a long run than sitting still.
I run for and with my community and friends.
I run because I really love trail shoes.
I run to watch the world wake up.
I run to see the sunrise, watch the rain fall and find all of nature’s hidden secrets.
I run to find my strength.
I run for the pure joy.
I run to find my way.
I race to dig deeper than ever before.
I race to prove how much I have grown as a person.
I race to achieve my best and inspire others to do the same.
Keep moving and Strength will follow.