Perhaps I am looking for a single answer that will explain to the person (asking the question) why we do, what we do. As if there is a sentence that can encompass all that is involved in running. The simple answer would be to say: "I enjoy it." Which is true, but it leads to a follow up question: "Why?" That is usually accompanied with one of two looks:
- Disgust. Like I just spit up baby food all over their shoes and they have nothing further to say to me.
- Actual interest. This is where I fail to elaborate and ruin an opportunity.
I could ramble on with individual half-sentences to try to explain what goes through my brain on a 5-hour run and what your body experiences when you push it to the limit... and then push it past the limit. My answer lies somewhere in between the pure enjoyment of running and the struggle to go faster and farther. I love the feeling of getting to mile 13 of a marathon run and knowing the real test of the race has not even begun yet. Or the feeling of your body going through the motions on an easy run and your mind somewhere else thinking about a difficult decision you have to make or something random like do elephants sneeze?
Since today is National Running Day, maybe I'll try and come up with a solid answer over a short run tonight... but then again, I've been running for almost three years and have yet to have a "go-to" answer.
Share why you run in the comments below, maybe your perspective will shed some light on a question we all get asked at one point or another.