See, the truth about running is that it's not much fun. And it really doesn't get funner either, the more you do it. I estimate that 99% of runs pretty much suck while you're actually running.
We're kinda out there chasing the dragon, like a heroin addict looking for that amazing feeling they once had when they shot up. Or the gambler plugged into the slot machine looking for that pay-off they once hit so long ago.
I also liken it to having a baby and enduring the tortures of labour and delivery, swearing that you would never want to do that again, only to find yourself cooing over the little bean, and planning another, forgetting all about how truly bad that experience was.
Or similar to getting a tattoo. While they're scraping away at your skin, you tell yourself "never again!" as you hold your breath each time the needle hits. Later that day, you're excitedly planning your next one.
The pay-off of the baby and the beautiful tattoo is worth more than the memory of the pain in getting there.
So, we had a great run once. We found that zone and it was incredible. And strong. And easy.
We feel so good after a run is over (because the friggin' run is over!) that we forget about how challenging it was, and we instantly start looking forward to tomorrow's run.
As I struggled through my run today, I contemplated the dynamics of Bikram Yoga. Being in the hot room for 90 minutes through a Bikram class without the real option of leaving is a mind game very similar to that of running. It is the mind that we must conquer. In the Bikram studio, in the 115 degree heat, if given the chance to be able to push a button to eject yourself from the room immediately or pull a cord to release a bucket of cold water onto your body, how often would you exercise the opportunity? (and how difficult would it be not to??). Fortunately, they take those options away from us, leaving us only to overcome the mind. (And anyone who has ever done Bikram knows that NOTHING feels better than the end of that class!!)
In running, our relief comes to us by walking; by stopping. And that option is right there! We could choose to stop at any moment.
And some days (okay, most days!), I have to tell my mind to fuck right off; that stopping isn't an option.
And (this is the kicker right here!) that I'm strong, and capable and amazing and can push on through and just keep going. I gotta believe.
I guess THAT'S why we run. Because how friggin' empowering is that???