I often get asked why I run long distances. Why do I choose to put my body through so much pain? I usually struggle to respond because there's no simple answer to that question. In fact, there are dozens of answers which rotate through my head depending on the circumstances of my life.
|Sometimes I asked myself the same question|
Here, in no particular order, are the reasons why I run.
1. Because I'm competitive and athletic options are limited when you're a short dude with no fast twitch muscle fibers.
|Pictured: one of the many athletic things I can't do|
2. Because I love spending time outdoors and a 12 hour run on single track is a great way to scratch that itch.
|Especially if it's with someone I like|
3. Because it helps me process the thoughts in my head. I mean think about it. How often do you get to unplug from the world for more than a few minutes at a time. No phone. No internet. Alone with your thoughts.
|And passing photographers|
4. Because anything worth doing is worth overdoing, and as far as addictions go, running is fairly benign.
|This hurts less than a hangover|
5. Because some day I won't be able to run. I could get hit by a bus tomorrow, or I could live until 100 and run every day until then. Either way, the amount of time allotted to me is finite, and I intend to make the most of it.
6. Because I get to meet new people and spend time with old friends. The running community is one of the most positive and welcoming groups that you'll ever find.
|These people are all pretty cool|
7. Because I get to be alone. This probably sounds like it contradicts the previous point. Well it does. Life is all about finding balance, and running strikes an excellent balance between community and solitude.
|Quiet morning run at Round Valley Reservoir|
8. Because it keeps me in shape. Let's be honest here. The reason why most of us exercise is because we want to look good naked.
|It doesn't make me any less awkward though|
9. Because it's easy to be sort-of-good at it. At least compared to other sports. At any given distance, a mid-pack runner can run about half as fast as world record pace. 50% of a world record is equivalent to some average Joe hitting 36 home runs in the MLB or throwing 27 touchdown passes in the NFL.
|Pictured: another thing that I can't do|
10. Because it's hard to be really good at it, and that gives us all something to work toward.
|I will never be as fast as this man, but that won't stop me from trying|
11. Because a little bit of suffering is good for the soul. Most people would be better off if they felt a little more discomfort in their lives. After experiencing a heinous climb at mile 85 of a race, you realize that the minor annoyances in life aren't so bad.
|Pictured: a large amount of pain|
12. Because it lends itself to analysis, and I have an unhealthy obsession with Excel spreadsheets.
|Behold my insanity!|
13. Because you get out of it exactly what you put in. Obviously genetics are a huge factor, but in general, runners who work harder perform better. There are no shortcuts. You can't cheat the clock. No excuses, no matter how valid, will improve your time.
|But my feet hurt real bad!|
14. Because beer. I don't know why, but ultrarunning and craft beer are inextricably linked together, and it's a match made in heaven. Plus, the amount of calories I burn from running mean I can drink beer guilt free.
|Shower beer is best beer|