This morning I read a blog post on Blog of Impossible Things about how to start running. Joel recently ran his first ultramarathon, just a two years after starting to run. Pretty amazing!
But what struck me as I was reading his article was this section:
It’s true. We really do need a reason to run… no matter what that is for you. This week I have been struggling with my motivation to get out and run. But reading this article made me feel excited again.
Right now, my motivation for running is tackling this new distance for me — the marathon. Like Joel, I think doing this is about seeing what I’m made of. Two years ago, I ran my first race — a 5k — and it made me so excited about running races. I loved being out on the road with so many other runners! A few months later I completed my first half marathon, but it took a lot of believing in myself to do it.
Although I have never really disliked running, I didn’t think I could run more than a few miles because of my previous knee injuries. In training for that half marathon I pushed myself so far past what I thought I could do. And even then, I didn’t think I’d ever run further than that. Once I had made it through a few half marathons, I realized, “Why not try to further? What is stopping you?”
So, I run because I can. Because I love how it feels to push my body to new limits. And because you never know just how far you can go unless you try. Don’t set limits for yourself. If you have to, make small steps along the way. Believe in yourself to get through those tough times. In the end, you will be so proud of what you have accomplished.
So tell me… Why Do you Run?
This weekend I went away for a department retreat. We have a bunch of new students who just started the program, so I think it was a great way for them to get to know each other as well as some of the older students.
I was able to squeeze in a short jog on Saturday AM — 3.5 miles with my friend Matt. We decided running at 5000 ft elevation is definitely harder than running at ~200 ft like in Sacramento! I don’t have a photo, but it was a beautiful morning and the crisp air in the mountains was wonderful!
My favorite part of the weekend were the challenge courses that were run by the camp staff. We were split up into groups to work on team building, communication, and just general getting to know each other activities. Saturday’s activities were used to prepare us for the more challenging ones on Sunday. The goal is to push your boundaries and to literally challenge yourself either emotionally or physically.
The two high ropes activities we did on Sunday were climbing this awesome tower, and a two person “multi-vine” high wire walk. Check out these photos!
For me, these activities were awesome! You have to trust your teammates to support you, and trust the mechanics of the ropes and wires to be stable. I was able to make it up the “Giant’s Ladder” on the right side of the first photo. It was so exciting because the last rung was about 5.5′ apart — taller than me! The high multi-vine was 30 feet in the air. It was critical to work with your teammate to make it across.
I believe it is important to believe in yourself and push your limits. Try things you are afraid of and you just might surprise yourself…. whether that’s learning a new language, trying to cook when you don’t think you know how, or signing up & training for a new race distance.
Have you challenged yourself recently? Besides this physical challenge this weekend, for me starting this blog has been a challenge. Helps me to push my limits with writing and putting my thoughts on paper.