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You set off with enthusiasm and excitement, looking forward to the challenges ahead. The running feels easy, you feel free and the sun is shining, it’s a perfect day! (and you are only running 5K)
Then suddenly the clouds roll in, it turns cold and you are faced with a huge hill to climb. You have two choices, give up and accept defeat or push on, knowing that it’s going to get tough but you will get there and taste the exhilaration of achievement.
If you’ve ever heard the term “Runners High” and doubt that it exists I’m here to tell you that it is absolutely true. I’ve read the science and felt the euphoria of feeling invincible at the end of a great run when you feel like there is nothing that can stop you!
Throughout the journey of life you will have plenty of the sunny 5k days. But you will also have your share of the dark and cloudy long run days when every step is hard and the finish line feels like it will never come. Despite what you see in social media everyone has these challenges in life.
So when I sat down and actually thought about WHY I run the following came to mind:
- It’s my favourite thing to do!
- Freedom and relaxation – it clears my head.
- Stress relief
- Tuning out the “noise”
- Feeling fit, strong and independent.
- Inspiration and clarity (must be all that extra oxygen in my brain)
- Mindfulness – be in the moment and experience nature.
Running helps to deal with negativity and stress. It’s not about winning, it’s about personal satisfaction and challenging yourself.
Twenty years ago I was only running 5k events which after being a sprinter seemed like enough. But then something changed and I was drawn to the challenge of ultra marathons. Maybe seeing the words the “ultimate challenge” and also reading about an ultra marathon runner raising money for charity flicked a switch and changed my life.