This is Why I Run

So it should come as no surprise to you that I’m training for a half-marathon.

This morning, I was really working hard to convince myself to get out and run 8 miles. The weather was A. MAZING. and I knew that already and was excited about it. But I wasn’t excited about running my usual route. And it took me an hour to try to find another route before finally settling on heading out to one of my other favorite trails. It’s an out and back flat and basically in the woods.

Of course, I hit a couple several some walk breaks. And the fifth mile was the longest. But it was during that mile that I was walking a bit and heard a man’s voice from behind me saying, “Come on, girl. You’re doing great. Keep going.”

He was a complete stranger. And he never had to say a word. Most of the runners I passed or that passed me today said hello or just nodded and waved. And that’s typical. Usually it’s during an actual race that the strangers encourage you and you encourage them.

But that’s what I love about the running community. I mean, sure. You have your elites who are super competitive. But even those folks are encouraging of their competition. Hell, half of them even train together.

And then you have the rest of us. We train and we run and we fight to keep going for a medal or a shirt or a beer or to prove something to ourselves, to become better, to have a new goal, to do something different, to be with friends. And we all understand what that journey can be like or what it might mean. And we run not to beat people but to be with people.

When I’m running–at least in a race–it’s no surprise to hear words of encouragement. But it still makes a difference every time they come.

And so today I walked a few more seconds and then kept going with the run. There were a few more breaks, but I finished those 8 miles faster and stronger than last week.


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