Friday, July 31, 2009

Part III – Why I Run? Vanity.

I continue to run because it continues to be easy and in part that is the truth. However, I left out the other reason I continue to run. My motivation for continuing to run – day in and day out, why I want to a life-long runner, and want to be the woman who runs through pregnancy and kids in jog strollers and gray hair – is vanity.

As a disclaimer: I am not the runner who brags incessantly about my running and racing but I am exceedingly proud of my running. I may not bring up running in every conversation but if it does come up, I have a hard time turning off the desire to going on and on about the races I have coming up, the races I’ve done, the races I dream of running, my times, and my training.

I love being the girl in the office who runs marathons and runs to work on a weekly basis. It makes me very proud that “runner” is a label people use to describe me. I may not walk up to people and introduce myself, “Hi, I’m Becki. I’m a runner and I run marathons” but that doesn’t mean I don’t relish it when other people introduce me that way.

Part of the reason I wake up and hit the pavement before the sun comes up every morning is because there is a chance someone might ask me, “did you run today” and I hate saying “no.” The reason I run today is so that I am able to run through the milestones I mentioned earlier – pregnancy, kids, gray hair. I want to be the little old lady who’s winning age group awards for the 71-79 category.

This makes it sound like I run for other people, and that is obviously part of my truth; however, I also run for my own selfish reasons.

Running makes me feel good. It makes me feel accomplished and satisfied. Running makes me look better and more confident. I weight less, smaller sizes fit me, I eat better but can allow myself to eat worse, and I can run faster and farther than I could when I started. All of this is a result of running and I hate to think of it going away if I stop.

I’m running scared but I am running.

In some ways I hate admitting this last reason for running because I continue running for all of the “right” reasons – I love the feeling of gliding along the bike path before the sun comes up, I am proud to have trained for, started and finished 3 marathons, I feel powerful and strong after a good, hard workout, and the self-esteem boost at seeing my times improve; these are all unbeatable and not for vain reasons.

However, it is important to me to realize that I can turn these “ugly” motivators in to a beautiful run. I may start out thinking of what other people think but after the first mile or so I am running under my own power, for my own reasons. Vanity may get me out of bed but the love running is what keeps me going.


Amy@RunnersLounge said...

I think it is good that you have so many reasons you run. Because when one doesn't do it for you - there are others!

Keep running,


Becki said...

Thanks Amy. I agree, having many motivators is the key to consistent running.

Morgan said...

You said it brilliantly! I think we all run for vanity on some levels. I def want to be the pregger runner and the little ole lady runner too... I want my kids to catch the running bug and I want to inpsire those around me... Great post!

Becki said...

Thanks so much, Morgan. It is nice to know that I'm not the only one who looks forward to running through the different stages of life!

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