I read Born to Run a few weeks ago and I really enjoyed it. It almost brought me to tears by the end because I was so invested in the characters. It sent me on a journey to rediscover why I love running. The last 6 months or so I have lost motivation in most aspects of my life and running was no exception. I still ran, but it was very mechanical and just because I knew I needed to do it to keep me going. Why did I need to run? I had forgotten. I remember someone asking me about why I run and I didn’t have much of a response. I said something about loving it that contained virtually no substance and I came away wondering why I love to run. I couldn’t answer that question and in August I could hardly force myself out the door anymore. In September I discovered Born to Run. In the book they talk about all these people who LOVE to run. They were people who discovered a passion for running that fueled their lives and I knew I could relate. Yet, I couldn’t at the moment. It was more I knew that at some time in my life I could have related.
The book gives a lot of information and some research about long distance (ultra) running, trail running, and barefoot running. I had been extremely skeptical about barefoot running before and I am not sold to the point that I will be out there barefoot all the time but I have tried it. I would like to try more trail running, though nothing too steep. I have no ambition to become an ultra-marathon runner, or even a marathon runner, but I do believe I was born to run. I don’t think the book was purporting to have all the answers, and I liked that. I felt it really was just trying to show a side of running that hasn’t been mainstream, and ask some important questions.
In the middle of reading I ran a half marathon, and it was my slowest to date. I had become pretty focused on getting a faster time but ended up being happy to finish as well as I had. I asked myself again, why do I run? Still no answer. I didn’t run for a week after I got back from my race and in that time I finished the book. Finally, I went out and ran 3 miles without a gps and without my ipod. The weather was beautiful and I was just happy. I couldn’t stop smiling and there was nowhere else I wanted to be. I had been stressed earlier in the day but that didn’t matter. I could think more clearly and even forget what was worrying me. I remembered why I run. I knew why through all those hard times I kept telling myself that I need to run. Running is freeing. It’s a time when I take control. It clears me of strong emotion and lets me just be. It’s a time when I conquer my body and my mind and listen to my spirit. Running keeps me sane, keeps me focused, and returns me to center, but only if I let it. I’d made running about the time and made it into something I had to do instead of letting it be something I want, need and love.
I'm glad I didn't give up on running and that it's still here for me.