"Round and round and round we go, where is stops don't no one know. If you find a love you better let'em know, or you both get washed away."
- Tom Cochrane, "Washed Away"
Here is a question for you to consider; Why do you run? Further why does anyone run? Heck, why do I run? Ok, that is probably too many questions to ask as the response would be lengthy but let's consider some reasons people run. They could include to become more healthy, to lose weight (these two are probably related in most cases), to be part of a team or to achieve a goal (like winning a race or just finishing - my goal for my first half marathon).
For me, why I started running originally was based on a race that is run each September in New Hampshire (and across the country in other locales at other times of the year) called "Reach the Beach." I was part of Team Guzman, a group of guys that are alumni of Providence College and like brothers. As I started running last year, I finally got up to 3 miles where it was not so painful and then I broke a toe. Now that was a killer to me and caused me to miss the race. After watching my replacement and the team kill it, I became emboldened to run the next one - which is coming up this September.
Initially the training was tough and as the euphoria of the race started to wear off, I was losing motivation. Then I noticed the weight was coming off. And then I realized that perhaps I am running not for a race but for my health! So over the last 9 months, I have run everywhere and in 2015 alone, I have rang up 461 miles (and 80% of them since April). Once I realized I could run more than 4 miles without passing out, my goals started to change.
The goal then became completing 5, 6, 7 and more miles each time. Then I had the big idea of running the Newburyport Half Marathon and I pushed even harder. Once finishing that race my goal became even grander - completing many half marathons and doing them under 1:30! I ran my second half last month (Old Port 1/2) ans while I did not break 2hrs, I still have my eyes on a third come October or November.
So as my decision tree evolved from Reach the Beach to Bettet health to much greater accomplishments, I find myself evaluating again my goals for running. Sure, I have my eyes on some long runs in October and November. Sure I want to be healthy and lose more weight. But like a circle, that goes round and round, I find myself back to my goal of last summer...do well for Team Guzman in the Reach the Beach Relay. Only a month away!
Brendan McCarty is an owner of the McCarty Seasons Condo and also an former athlete hoping to be one again. Running the world in hope of becoming more in shape and a better person. This is his blog.
Half Marathon Routes completed