Why do you run?

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Sorry I’ve been offline recently.
It’s been a loooong almost-month that was supposed to be restful. The plan after the marathon was no running for two weeks, lots of sleep, catch up on my social life.
In that order.

Instead a round of illness flew through the family. It left me untouched but towards the end I was hoping for a smidgen of flu, or a skerrick of a tummy bug just so I had an excuse to stay in bed for a bit. I was exhausted!

No such luck unfortunately. All right, fortunately. But still. You know you’re not a happy camper when you want to get sick just to get off the merry go round of life for a bit!

I realise I was very stressed, but that, no running and my woeful marathon finishing time all conspired to make me feel closer to chucking this running thing in than at any time since I started.

I did run a couple of times in the third week – last week – but only 7 or 8km, nothing much. Then last weekend I tried for a bit longer. On only my third run since the marathon I managed 14 whole kilometres before I had to call home and get hubby to pick me up.

An overwhelming tiredness of both the body and soul had conspired to sap the last bits of any motivation I had to get myself home under my own steam.

Everything I had been thinking about for the past few weeks began to overwhelm me.

Did I mention I had a half marathon looming on the horizon too?  

My body wasn’t doing much but my mind was working overtime.
I was so slow, I was never going to be fast, or even able to run with good form.
Why was I wasting all my time and energy on this hobby when I could do something I was good at instead?
I’m good at swimming. Really quite good actually. I could join a club.
I’m good at writing too, I could put more energy into that.
And I am SURE my family would at least like me to practice getting better at tidying the house and cooking them nice meals instead of laying on the couch before going to bed at 8:30 every night.

What I wasn’t good at was running. Also, it’s unlikely, given my age and, er, lack of natural talent, that I will get much better or faster anyway.
So what was the point?
How dare I – who was so slow – think I had anything to say about running?
I can’t say I had totally given up. I certainly planned to keep on running. I’m nothing if not stubborn. But I was definitely reconsidering my longer race goals and the amount I time I spent doing all this.

Then I read this Coming last at Salomon Trail Series Race 2

And it was as though a light had been switched back on.
I remembered why I started MY blog. For the simple reason that sometimes you don’t need to be inspired so much as reminded.

That your efforts count, even when they won’t result in you standing on top of a podium.

That it’s not about beating others.

That it’s not about running the whole way, or getting faster every time.

Instead I remembered that before I tried to go further and faster I just really enjoyed doing.

Being there in the moment.

The beauty of the places I run through. The interesting things I see, the places I discover.

 So I opened the front door and stepped out into the dark morning.

It was 3 degrees, with fog so thick that the trees were dripping. My suburb had been softened round the edges; tram bells sounding much further away than they were, the crashing of the rubbish trucks muted, their flashing lights all fuzzy. I couldn’t see anyone else through the mist, just hazy streetlights and frost-tipped lawns.

It looked magical.

Then I went for a run.

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