People, in general, are quick to offer advice and opinions. Sometimes we appreciate it and sometimes, not so much. I am fortunate enough to have a husband who always gives the right advice and precisely the right time. Last week he sent me an email with a little inspiration. It read as follows:
This is a good plan for life in general. If you have two choices, choose the harder. If you’re trying to decide whether to go out running or sit home and watch TV, go running. Probably the reason this trick works so well is that when you have two choices and one is harder, the only reason you’re even considering the other is laziness. You know in the back of your mind what’s the right thing to do, and this trick merely forces you to acknowledge it.
I’m not sure who originally said this, but what a powerful idea. That same day I listened to a podcast with Ben Greenfield and Mishka Shubaly, a recovering alcoholic/drug addict turned ultra runner. Shubaly’s description of running followed right along with Mario’s Tuesday morning inspiration. He said running is hard. For him, it’s not about getting a runner’s high, because he doesn’t. Instead, it’s because running is hard that he does it. He does it for the feeling he gets after the run, for that bliss and exhilaration. What stuck with me the most was when he said, in life, always do the hard things first. It makes the “high” that follows so much more.
Now that I think about it, I think that is why I run. Running is not an easy sport, especially as you try to run faster and go farther. During these hot, humid summer days, I am realizing this more and more. My mileage is increasing, my workouts are getting longer and harder, my level of food consumption has increased exponentially, I can never seem to drink enough water, and thanks to the humidity, I’m getting chafed a lot more than normal. None of this is really fun or easy. (Well maybe the food part.) But I do it for that feeling I get the moment I hit stop on my Garmin.
A few days ago someone was telling me about a book called Cardio Kills. Then I was kindly reminded how running was ruining my joints. Honestly, those books and those comments will never phase me. I do what I do because it is hard. I do it because I feel pretty bad ass knowing I can run during a flash flood, or run a pretty fast 5K, or run 15 miles in 100% humidity and come back looking like I just jumped out of the pool. And one day, all that pain and suffering will be worth the awesomeness I’m going to feel when I run a 3:05 marathon. I just have to do the hard stuff first.
Happy Trails and Happy Running,
Running Update: So far this week I’m up to 33 miles. I’ve done two speed workouts, a midweek long run of 9 miles, and I have 15 miles on Saturday. Next week I have my first double workout, which is a new thing for me. Can’t wait!