November 13, 2012

William Memorial Route 66 Run

As the Williams Route 66 Marathon ( sits just a few days away from me, my thoughts are swirling all over the place.
It's been two years since I ran this course.
Two years since my very first half marathon.
I was spoiled from that experience, it really doesn't get any better than Tulsa in November when it comes to street races.
The crowd is encouraging.
The scenery is beautiful.
And the bling? Well...let's just say that the Rt66Run has the best medals around.
Now that I am back in the area and currently injury free...I knew that it was time to run this half marathon again.
But as race day approaches...I'm asking myself a familiar question...

Why do I run?
I ask myself this question periodically. 
Sometimes I ask it on a short fast sprint when my lungs are gasping for oxygen and my muscles are longing for reprieve. 
Sometimes I ask myself the question towards the end of a long stretch of pavement, miles away from where I started and miles away from where I'll finish. 
Why do I run? 
The question has been asked in those moments when I'm looking for inspiration or motivation.
Moments when I am lacing up my shoes and have no desire to battle the elements. 
I ask myself that question as I push my body forward, fighting gravity, fighting my physical boundaries, fighting injuries, fighting wind...I ask myself that question as I fight for the run
I run because I need the fight. 
I need the struggle of the run.
I need to prove something to myself.
I run for sanity.
A long, hard day is best followed by a long, hard run.
I run because there is no feeling like comparing times from one year to the next and seeing how they have improved. 
I need to know that my body can be strong.
Knowing that I trained myself for a sport that I've never been naturally good at has taught me determination and perseverance. 
Running gave me the courage to know that I could do impossible things. 
I see so very literally how that has transferred onto the black and white pages of my life. 
Internships, college, jobs, even skydiving...I faced them with more courage because I already knew that I could do hard things.
When I run, there are so many things that I cannot control.
I cannot control these factors, but I am learning how to work through them. 
And when I succeed?
When the sweat is dripping into my eyes and my muscles are burning?
When I have exhausted every fiber of my being?
I am satisfied. 
Satisfied in knowing that I have given it my all.
Satisfied in knowing that for today, it was enough.
Satisfied in knowing that I have faced the elements and adjusted my stride to match their force. 
Sometimes the elements win, but even then, I walk away desperate to learn how to persevere in the face of adversity. 
Why do I run?
I run because it is more than a physical activity and a quick way to burn calories. 
No, there is so much more to this sport than exercise. 

I run because I was created to run.

Follow my running journey through all of the challenges of injury and the encouragement of a team through these posts below...and stay tuned for my report of running the half at the Route 66 Marathon coming in just a few days!

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