Thursday, May 3, 2012
Still in love
I'm running the largest half marathon in the United States of America on Saturday morning. With 35,000 of my closest friends. This will be my fifth half marathon. For some reason, I'm feeling just the slightest bit nervous about it. I am more prepared and more comfortable in my abilities this time around than ever before--but I still feel the butterflies.
I'm the kind of person that needs to get to the bottom of things. I think a lot about why I feel nervous. Or anxious. Or seemingly afraid of something that is completely within the realm of my abilities. Why do I care so much? Why am I so on edge?
The more I dwell on it, the more I think has something to do with the opportunity to experience the fruits of my labor. As a runner, you are constantly working--pushing yourself, adding miles each week, dealing with pesky injuries, trying to race against yourself (and the clock)--and it's only when you stop and think about it that you realize how far you've come. Running a timed event is an opportunity to record the fruits of your labor in a more permanent manner.
I find that people who don't run tend to be overly impressed with runners, saying they "Could never do that" or they "Wish they had the motivation/willpower to run." I always tell people the same thing: You could do this if you wanted--and it's never to late to start.
I don't think highly of myself because I run. And I don't think I'm better than people who don't run. I run because it makes me happy. I run because it's cheaper than therapy. I run because it makes a bad day tolerable. And thankfully, I have dear friends that make even the worst runs an enjoyable experience. At this point in my life, I'm more miserable without running than I am with it.
But more than anything, I think I feel those butterflies because I'm still in love with running. I get that teenager-y, flustered feeling about it because it means something to me. And it's beyond thrilling to be surrounded by thousands of people that feel the same love that you do--that's what races like marathons and half marathons are really all about. A group of people, with the same deeply seeded love, all in the same place together. It's an exciting experience.
Plus, it looks like it has the potential to be a scorcher in Indianapolis on Saturday. Which is not exciting.