Monday, February 13, 2012

For the Love of Running

In celebration of Valentines Day, I wanted to share my top ten reasons I love running...I put my Ultra spin on it for fun. For those of you that know me, you would swear I am married to the is why :)

10. The Release- Other than sex (not to be too graphic) running offers a mental release like no other. It gives you the chance to figure out problems, sort emotions and relieve stress. It pushes your body to its limits and can give emotions like no other. You get to have that same silly smile on you face as you do post coitus!

9. The Bonuses- Yes you can find that six pack that got lost in those college/post college years and fit into the skinny jeans again. My legs have never looked better in skirts!

8.  The Anticipation- Those minutes prior to the start of a race where your heart pounds and a thousand questions go through your mind...Even if I am just watching a race, my heart still races. My favorite memory is standing on the line at States for Cross Country and Sciota Downs and the 2,000+ spectators in the stands were so silent you could hear a pin drop...then the gun fires and they erupted with noise. Nothing is more exciting...yes my heard is pounding at the thought of it :)

7. The Accomplishment- Crossing the line after any distance is such a feeling of accomplishing what you spend hours, months and miles planning for.

6.  The Discipline- What it takes to get it done requires focus that a lot of people just don't have. Its something to be proud of when you are out running the streets at 4am.

5. The Pride- Decorating your walls with those finishers awards are like gold...its like a self-fulfilling shrine. Bragging rights for a long, long time with all the hardware. My favorite phrase is when someone says "you ran how many miles?" nothing makes me beam more!!

4. The Health- You can run circles around the average Joe, climb a set of stairs like a cheetah and log miles like a gazelle. The doc happens to be very happy with my HR, Cholesterol and BP :)

3. The Volunteers- Racing volunteers (especially in Ultras) are some of the coolest, most selfless people in the world. It says a lot when someone will stand around for 12+ hours just to hand out a cup of soup or make sure you have hot cocoa when you finish. Staying positive when its 35 degrees in the middle of the night is not easy to do but time and time again I have seen it and love it!

2. The Runners- The people who spend hours on the trails/course with you will become some of your closest friends. There is something magical that happens when people accomplish great distances together. It forms a bond that is unbreakable and respected through the entire running community. There is a aura about Ultra people that is contagious and I have caught the bug!!

1. The EATING!! (and drinking)- Yes it is a well known fact that we Ultra runners love to eat and with all the miles we log, and we can hide that in our needing to "fuel" for/during races. Attend a local Ultra and inevitably someone will ask where the beer will be after the race. Where else can you consume a cheese burger at 4a and not think a thing about it or pick up grits (thank you Weymouth Woods) at the aid station smothered with butter? Forget the gu's and bananas, bring on the Pizza!!

These are my reasons for my true love of running...may you find yours in whatever your passion is! Happy Valentines Day everyone!