My next half is coming up on me (it’s already next weekend!), and the few weeks I’ve had to train for it (it won’t be a PR but should be respectable sub 2) have had me thinking. We runners do some crazy stuff! I thought about the term “I’m only half crazy” that people have coined and the frequent mentions by family and friends that they think I’m bat sh*t crazy for running as much as I do (though they respect it).
Other runners reading this know what I’m talking about. And it’s not an insult to us.
I mean even before race day, we are willing to sacrifice our evening to lay our “perfect” race outfit, earbuds for the “perfect playlist”, hat or visor, sunglasses, compression sleeves, moisture wicking socks, our race bib and pins, sneakers, race fuel and hydrating system for the sport that supposedly costs nothing to do – just go outside and run, right? Ha!!! And then, the morning of a race, we stand in front of a port-a-potty 2-3 times with our insides turned out because of nerves with thousands of other likeminded runners feeling the same way. Crazy, indeed. All before we even toe the start line. And once we hear the gun go off, the butterflies fade away and we get into a rhythm, but throughout the race the voices come to us, you know them, the ones asking you “why did we sign up for this?,” or telling you “this was a horrible idea,” or “I’m not prepared.” We are certifiable.
And yet, we finish the races. We revel in the accomplishment. AND we sign up for more. We wake up at 4 am. We train in sub freezing temps and 100 degree heat. We run injured. We run sick. We run haggard and tired. We run when we know it’s better to rest. Why?????? Why are we this way … this crazy?
It’s for that sense of accomplishment, victory, success. We love the challenge. We love the goal-setting and most importantly, the goal-achieving. But it’s also I think because we like the structure, the order and the control. Running is our way of maintaining control in lives that are out of our control. (that is the die-hards… like me, and a lot of you). Just my thought, anyhow, and one that’s interesting to contemplate. It’s a certain type of person for sure.
So the next time someone asks you why you “HAVE” to go run, or suggests that you stop running because you get injured to much, or God forbid isn’t interested in listening to you talk about running, just realize that they just aren’t our kind of crazy.
On a serious note, why do YOU think we, runners, are this way?