Why do we do this? A Half-Marathon Race Day Thought

Why do we do this?

It is a question that provokes a different answer depending on which part of the running cycle it is being asked, at least for me.

Long distance races require so much preparation, sacrifice and training. On the weekend of the race, they require strict dietary and sleep control. During the race, at points, your body feels like it can’t push any farther. After the race, your body is sore and tired.

Why do we do it?

During various points of the race cycle, I can tell you exactly why we do it. At other times, I can’t remember at all. Today, one day post-race (this was written a day before it was posted), it is easy to say I can’t wait for my next one – because I know it is at least five months away. Yesterday, I was certain I had just completed my last half-marathon.

It comes down to just dragging yourself out there. It becomes a challenge to overcome, a mini-victory to hold close to your heart.

Yesterday wasn’t about the run – it was about waking up at a time that I’m more used to seeing going to bed than waking up, struggling through the desire to skip the race, and ignoring the fact that (to me) it was cold. I had no desire to set a PR. I hadn’t even trained for the race other than my normal workouts. It was just something I signed up for because I like to torture myself by doing things I hate doing, I suppose. The allure of a race that I would dread was appealing. I gave myself the excuse that it would teach me something. It definitely taught me that a cold run wasn’t something to dread but to celebrate!

Yesterday reinforced a few things:

  1. It is always better to show up than miss out.
  2. I really liked running in the cold – I will now try this more regularly.
  3. I’m lucky and thankful for the opportunity to participate in an event like this.

Below are a few other reasons “why we do it”. Please share any of yours as well.

  • Prove to ourselves that we can.
  • Overcome the overwhelming desire to quit.
  • Raise money for cancer research.
  • Remember a loved one.
  • Push ourselves farther than we think we can go.
  • Burn 1300 calories before lunch.
  • Give ourselves a huge goal to work up to that required months of daily commitment.

About the13thmile

I am proud to now say I am a half-marathon runner! Three half-marathons qualify for that status, I think. I blog about about running, nutrition and sometimes some other stuff. I share my research, tips and experiences with you, and am inspired by the supportive running community! I enjoy connecting with other runners, and hearing about other people's running experiences. Feel free to reach out if you have ran marathons or half marathons in the past!
This entry was posted in Mental Toughness, Race Day. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Why do we do this? A Half-Marathon Race Day Thought

  1. Brandy says:

    The feeling you get when you cross the finish line and post-race high!

  2. Dave says:

    Yep, I like burning all those calories before lunch. Makes the double Whataburger taste all that much better. My second half is in a week-and-a-half at the White Rock. Glad to hear yours went well.

  3. Congratulations on Philly. I’m so happy to read this post sort of having running blahs with no race scheduled until April. I needed a reminder.

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