I completed my first Cherry Blossom 10 Miler on Sunday. My first race in my own city! I now have three half marathons, one ten miler, and a Spartan Sprint under my belt, with 5Ks and 10Ks sprinkled in as well. And I foresee more races in my future (a marathon perhaps???), but I don’t love running. I don’t even like it. I actively dislike it.
So why do I spend
hundreds thousands of dollars on races and traveling to said races? Why do I mentally torture myself to train (or really, not train) before each one? Why do I spend hours doing an activity I don’t like?
There are a few reasons:
- I like the “day of” race event. Not the running. That part royally sucks, especially when it means an hour or two out on the course without stopping. But I enjoy taking pictures with my friends, pumping each other up, swapping music ideas, discussing post-race plans, or figuring out our pace to run together. I always do races with people – my gym squad (#6amCPcrew), my boyfriend, my DC friends, my besties from home – because it makes it more enjoyable to wake up at an ungodly hour, potentially in the cold, to run a race I paid for months prior.
- I like feeling accomplished. Crossing the finish line feels amazing. Each time I run a race, I’m somewhat amazed that I’ve done it. Years ago, I couldn’t fathom doing intense workouts outside of tennis practice. And I sure as hell did not feel the need to run more than the forced gym one miler. During my first half in February 2017, I wasn’t sure I would make it. During my second half in November 2017, I was amazed at my PR. During my third half in February 2018, I ignored my longer running time because I ran with a foot I injured 3 weeks before. Each time, I had a different reason to feel accomplished, and each time it felt really good. That feeling wipes away all of the disdain I feel during the actual race.
- I like testing my mental fortitude. I’m not saying I’m the fittest person ever, but I regularly workout and (usually) eat pretty well. In the last three years, I’ve lost weight and changed my lifestyle, so I know I can physically go out and jog 13.1 miles with minimal training. I’ve done it (three times to be exact). And while I’m not the fastest, I get it done, and in pretty decent time if I do say so myself. So the hardest part is not the physical activity, it’s keeping my mind in check. It’s easy for me to say “Brynn, you’re not doing great. Let’s stop” or “Come on girl, everything hurts. Time to walk” when I really am just bored and / or feeling achy. When I can force my brain to listen to my ratchet AF playlist and not my internal mean thoughts, that’s a win. Now the next step is figuring out how to keep my mind positive during 26.2 miles, if I decide to try it! (LOL who am I?)