Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The allure of an endurance sport

I am often asked why I run so much or get comments about me being a crazy runner.  To be very honest, I do not have a clear answer as to why.  I love being able to do what most people can’t do, I enjoy running and it helps keep me in tune with my body, more level headed and relaxed.

When I decided to run my first marathon in 14 years, it was because I wanted to see if I could do it again.  After running my last marathon in 98, I dropped out of the sport and kinda just let life happen.  I went to work for IBM, I started traveling, the kids were getting older and I started coaching.  Could I have kept running, sure I could, but I chose not too and got lazy when it came to taking care of me.
Once I decided to run the Dallas Marathon in 2012, things started to change.  I was even more focused on my health (I had already lost 50lbs) and I got very excited when I completed distance landmarks during my training.

Since that race in December, (I ran faster than my very first Marathon in 95) I decided that I wanted to see if I could run a 50K Race (31 miles).  Since I wanted to keep travel cost low, I decided I am going to run the Fort Worth Cowtown 50K in February.  But wait, I just ran a summer Marathon (I PR’ed that race), and I have the San Antonio Rock and Roll and the Dallas Marathon to run beforehand!  Is this crazy?  Maybe, but why not.  What I am finding is with proper training and good nutrition; your body can do almost anything!
I see others around me doing Triathlons and Cycling but that is just not for me.  I do not have that burning desire to do anything but run.  While I do enjoy lifting weights and adding in the extra cardio at the gym, running is my thing for sure!

I like to follow athletes like Rich Roll, Scott Jurek, Dean Karnazes, Vinnie Tortorich and Jeff Galloway.  These athletes have accomplished some amazing adventures and truly inspire me.
I often hear endurance athletes talk about how running long distances makes them feel alive!  In this convenient world we live in there are very few things that truly challenge us physically.  I think it is the call to do something outdoors that takes great endurance and mental toughness to see it though that makes us feel like we have accomplished something.

While I love driving fast cars and jumping off 118 story buildings, those things are short lived.  In 30 seconds or 10 minutes they are done.  Running however takes time, it is a lifelong journey, a commitment to a goal that can only be achieved through hard work and dedication.
Why I am not encouraging everyone to join the ranks of a Marathon runner, I do encourage you to find your passion, find that one thing that makes you get up and head out the door with the energy of an energizer battery.  This is what makes us strong and better human beings!

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