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Why I Run...

Posted by D Wagner May 12, 2011

I have been reading many books on running lately and I am currently reading Bart Yasso's "My Life on the Run". I am struck at how inspiring these runners are. Reading through these books has caused me to do a little soul-searching of my own. I am asked a lot about how I got into running and why I run. Anyone who has ever asked me that question can vouch for the fact that there is an initial silence that comes from me and then saying what I believed to be true at the time which is something like..."Oh I used to run and I wanted to get back into it" or.... "I think I was bored one day and googled different races and decided that might be fun".... It wasn't until I did some real ugly deep down soul searching that I realized why it is I do run.

 

I run for many reasons. I run to give my dad and I a common ground and a way for him to be proud of me. I run from my demons which have consisted of drinking heavily in my past. I run to deal with my past. I run to give my mom and her family the proverbial middle finger for all the times they have thought and said I was nothing. I run because I love the way it makes me feel and look. I run to escape my bad days and celebrate my good days. I run because one of these days I WILL qualify for Boston. Most of all I run because that is something that will never let me down or disappoint me. Most people in my life have either left me or disappointed me in a huge way. Running is very theraputic for me and much cheaper than a therapist!

 

I think in the past I was ashamed of saying why I run. I am surprised at the amount of runners who started running as a way of therapy from whatever demons it may be that they have. I am not ashamed anymore and I have embraced my life as it is. Running has given me a new outlook on life and in many ways saved my life. Running saved me from my dark days and even darker nights.

 

So....why do you run???

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Whew! I'm still living off my high from running the U of I half marathon this past Saturday. The weather was pretty good. The only real obstacle was the wind that was blowing out of the E, SE at 15-25mph. I barely felt it. I finished with a surprising time of 2:04:20.

 

Leading up to the race my training was not where it normally is going into a half marathon. I hurt my knee and was out of commission for about 3 weeks and then I was sick for about a week. So all in all I am very pleased with my time. I went into the race more calm and relaxed than I have ever been going into a race. I did not put the extra pressure on myself of having a time goal for this one. I took off in the 2:05 pace group. Within a mile I passed them and began running my own race. I felt great! I looked down at my watch every once in awhile to see what my pace was and I was averaging anywhere from 9:10 per mile to 9:24 per mile. At mile 6.5 (roughly half way point) I did a body check to see how everything was holding up. I was happy to see that it still felt pretty easy and my body was holding up. At mile 10 I saw my mother-in-law and she handed me my last pack of GU. I started to feel the effects at this point. My legs were getting heavier and it was getting more difficult to propel my body forward but I still wasn't hurting in any way.

 

Then, I remember seeing the stadium and it feeling like we were running around it forever. All I remember thinking was, "My God, where is the entrance already???". At that point I was ready for it to end. I came into the stadium and crossed the finish line with a smile of my face. I had finished in 2:04:20 which was my 2nd fastest time in a half marathon. I never expected to do so well!

 

I do have to say that from last year to this year the U of I half marathon/marathon has improved dramatically! They have done such a great job with improving the race. The course was better than I expected and this race will definatly be on my race calendar every year.

 

Happy Running!

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