Monday, November 29, 2010

Why Do I Do This to Myself?

During the race last Thursday as I watched the average pace on the Garmin tank during the third mile, I caught myself thinking, "Why do I do this to myself?!" And no, I wasn't asking why do I go out like a bat out of hell only to die a miserable death in an uphill windy middle mile. I was asking why do I race. Why do I train? Why do I search for a By40 goal? What's the point?

I let it go during the race out of self-preservation--I wanted to get to the finish line as quickly as possible and pondering such heavy potentially imponderables is not conducive to that task. But since the race I've been pondering.

I guess on paper, competitive running is a pretty selfish endeavor. You spend gobs of time and money to mold and shape your own body to do one thing: run faster. There's no saving starving children or catalyzing world peace or curing cancer or giving much back to society at all. It's kind of a strange ocd exercise: to what extent can I control my body and will it into what I want it to be? How much pain can impose upon myself and live to tell about it? How self-disciplined can I be?

While there is some truth behind those feelings, I know there's a lot more to it than that. I know running makes me a better person: I'm happier, less stressed, stronger, more self-disciplined and more confident because of running. Fo sho!

I feel like I need more of a reason to do it. If I want to go for some lofty goal, I feel like I need a higher purpose than just achieving for the sake of achieving. Why do you run and train and go for it? Is it all about you or is there something bigger than drives you?

And with those deep thoughts, here are last week's numbers:

M: 4.25 with the 2x BOB averaging 8:21 pace. Had to take both kiddos to the pediatrician for shots in the morning and it was pouring so opted for a shorter afternoon run once the rain passed and the kids calmed down.

T: 8 with Parsley and our BOBs.

W: 6 including 6 x :20 pick-ups with the 2x BOB. Pick-ups with the BOB are fun.

Th: 11 including 5 mile race in 32:50.

F: 4 very slow with my sister pushing just #2 in the 2x BOB. Super windy. Legs super crusty.

Sa: 12.12 with Z, averaging 7:48. Very lack-luster, but got it done.

Su: 7 alone with no watch. Glorious day! Started slow and finished fast. Great run.

Total: 52.37

Weight: Lost .5 more lbs despite the holiday. So close to my favorite jeans!

1 comment:

E-Speed said...

I've been wondering the same thing...