what motivates me to run

I stopped after work today to buy Epsom salts and Icy/Hot compresses. After soaking my legs in a hot tub of the “salty” water, I applied the strips of the Icy/Hot to my legs–along the area where the awesomely useful yet ridiculously painful IT bad exists.

For a brief moment, I thought, why?

Then, I sat down to catch up on news and came across an article in one of the running blogs I read about how to remain motivated to run.

Running sucks.

It really does.

In order for me to run and to continue to improve, I have to stretch, foam roll and heat/ice compress for at least an hour day. I’ve pretty much accepted the fact that my Friday nights (the night before my long runs on Saturday mornings) are going to be a continuous marathon of stretching, rolling and compressing until November (my first half marathon).

This article went through ways to motivate yourself to get off the couch and to run several times a week. And I had to laugh. At this point, my bigger problem is telling myself that I cannot run.

I had to talk myself out of running hills this afternoon with the threat that I would possibly destroy any chance I would have of completing my 7-mile run on Saturday.

So where does this come from?

Two places, I realized.

First, running is the only thing that I do that is 100% about me. It’s also mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually the healthiest thing I do for myself. I stopped getting sick. My stress levels are way down, and I’m overall happier. Everything I do to run—including the prep work—requires no thought. And for someone who is constantly thinking, that’s such an awesome break. I even think about why not sit on the couch or read a book. But honestly, I don’t focus on those things. When I run, I have no choice but to clear my mind. Clear it or get hurt is what I tell myself.

And the second thing is that I’m ridiculously competitive–with myself. I love watching my split times. I love pushing myself farther. I’m not even that good, and I love it.

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