5 Reasons Why I’ll Be Running This Week

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I hate running.

I love fitness. I love lifting weights, playing some sports, and making noticeable gains. But running just isn’t for me.

I would say in a year of weight lifting I might feel sore a few times, and every once in a while a joint will bother me for a week or two. But it’s all nothing when I consider the benefits I’m getting despite these few physical risks.

This is very much not the case with running.

Running for a Half Hour

If I run for a half hour one time, first off: I’ll hate it. I get little to know pleasure from the experience. But worse than that, I will be sore all throughout my legs and might be forced to do less exercise for the next several days. Basically I’m making everything worse for myself.

Yet I just signed up to run a 5K at the Jerusalem Marathon.

I guarantee you I’m not a masochist… but this does feel like a taste of masochism. Why in the world would I do this to myself?

1) I Need a Win


I need a win. Life has not always been kind. And lately staring in the face of unemployment and a handful of other life difficulties has just left me craving for something I can point at and be proud of.

No, a 5K is not an enormous accomplishment. But it’s an accomplishment nonetheless. It’s an opportunity to say, “Hey, I was able to do that.” And when I consider that I’m a non-runner, who’s not getting any younger, with a bunch of chronic leg issues, I’m looking forward to remembering this as an enormous win I could forever be proud of.

2) Marathon in My Future?


The second reason I want to do this is in preparation for an eventual marathon.

I have a long bucket list. And I’m pretty certain at some point in my life I will look with pride at all the things I accomplished.

But I’ve got a lot of years ahead of me, and the list will not likely get harder. I can master a handgun, shoot for blackbelt in a martial art, or work hard to achieve a PhD at any point, even after I’m older and retired. But the possibility of running a marathon just seems more and more unlikely each year.

Every time I’ve attempted to run, I found myself injured and in a lot of pain. Now I’m 45, and can’t really picture a world in which I can keep trying for much longer.

So I’m running a 5K. Hopefully I’ll finish and I’ll be strong enough to get back in the game just a day or two later. And when I have an opportunity, I’ll go longer. Then longer. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll work my way up to that elusive giant marathon goal.

This might be my last attempt. I don’t want to remove anything from that bucket list. I never have, and I don’t imagine it’ll feel good to do so.

Fingers crossed for this exciting adventure ahead of me!

3) Running is So Damn Hard


I want to master my physical self. I want to be strong, flexible, and have incredible endurance. But getting there isn’t and can never be easy.

Somehow or other, people understand they’ll never get really strong by lifting up five-pound weights and they’ll never get flexible if when trying to touch their toes, they don’t push past their knees.

Yet when it comes to endurance, they think they’ll magically become thin and fit through mindless hours on a recumbent bike or an elliptical machine.

Now, I have no problem with these devices. They have their time and place. They’re far easier on the joints than running, and it’s also good for anyone who wants to be in great shape to have variety in what they do. Not to mention, if you turn up the resistance, these can be great exercises.

But I think the main reason people choose these over running is because they are easy. Running is not. When I do those exercises, I feel like I can go all day. I won’t even break a sweat. But with running, I want to die after just five minutes.

And it’s that difficulty that makes it important.

It just seems obvious that if you want to increase your cardio capability, you need to do things that challenge your cardiovascular system. Running is a huge challenge. And one I want to overcome.

When it comes to endurance, people think they'll magically become thin and fit through mindless hours on a recumbent bike or an elliptical machine. Click To Tweet

4) Running to Become Great


Running is also a vital component of just about every sport.

You might loath running, but if you like playing soccer, basketball, or baseball, you better be good at it.

I hate running. I truly do. But I enjoy most athletic competition. And I understand intuitively that my disdain for running puts me at a distinct disadvantage. If I want to be great or even pretty darn good at any athletic endeavor, I’m going to have to embrace running. I’m going to have to treat it like any other skill worth mastering.

5) The Mental Factor

Finally, there’s a certain mental component to running that I can’t ignore.

I noticed this in my first practice run in preparation for the 5K. If you asked me before the run, I would say for me success was going to be 20% endurance and 80% do my calves hold up. But I no longer think that. It’s not that these components are irrelevant. They very much are.

But I noticed that I legitimately wanted to quit literally dozens of times along the way. I didn’t quit… but I really wanted to.

What does that mean?

What I think it means is the cardio is all there. I absolutely can finish this 5K. I might even be able to meet or even exceed my expectations. What I’m not necessarily sure about is whether I’ll have the mental fortitude to push through to the very end.

The mental component is everything.

So the numbers for me are more like 5% cardio, 10% calf survival, and 85% mental strength.

It’s not a physical task. It’s a mental challenge. If I conquer the race, I’ve essentially conquered myself.

And that’s the best reason I can think of to fight through until the very end!

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