Thursday, August 30, 2007

Why I Run
Reason #3 - For The Emotional Experience

Every year, during peak marathon training season, inquiring minds always want to know. “What do you think about on your long runs? Don’t you get bored and run out of things to think about?” In the past, since the question almost always seem to originate from a non-runner, I’d give a cursory “no”, smile, and walk away. But as I was asked this same question by a friend last week who seemed genuinely interested in the answer, I began to give the question more thought and became intrigued. Why don’t I get bored with running on the same roads in the same park at the same time every week? Why don’t I ever get bored? Maybe I’m the weird one?

After fixating on the question for a week and almost resigning to the implication that I was a totally nut job, the answer came to me after my most recent 16-mile long run a few day ago. It was an awkward feeling actually. Physically I felt fine, having ran a good distance at a good pace with barely any residual soreness or fatigue, but psychologically, I was tired and exhausted. I couldn’t figure out why until I was in the shower a bit later. As the cool comforting water splashed over my face, I suddenly felt an intense flurry of emotions overwhelm my senses; remnants from what I felt at different points of the run. Suddenly, I remembered being anxious, angry, happy, frustrated, envious, confused, depressed, delighted, arrogant, dangerous, cautious, hungry, indignant, tickled, defiant, triumphant, and peaceful at specific points during the 16 miles. I poignantly remembered laughing my head off at some guy riding his bike with no hands while picking his nose, and then being moved to tears (or maybe it was just my sweat) at the same point on the course one lap later when my grandparent’s favorite song came on the radio. It was then, that I realized that it’s the gamut of emotions, not the miles themselves, that makes the long runs memorable and fun.

Some people say it’s the boredom that makes them not want to run. I say it’s the boredom that makes me not want to stop.

1 comment:

aham23 said...

diestance running is new to me and i totally agree that the miles bring the emotions for me. nice post. later.

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