I just ran, and it felt great!
I was anxious leading up to the big race (Eugene Marathon, I ran the half), but I cannot tell you how happy I was when I crossed the finish line.
It was encouraging to see people of all shapes and sizes running; it fed my inner nutrition/fitness-crazy self. How cool is it that people from all walks of life and from all across the world can come together to compete?
So, as a tribute to the Eugene marathoners, and because my legs are so sore that I don’t want to stand up from this computer desk, I’ve compiled a list of the top FIVE reasons to Run (or TRAIN for a scheduled “race”).
1. Training keeps you accountable. There were many Friday nights throughout the course of my training, when I wanted to go out to eat and have a bowl of ice-cream and a glass of wine, but knowing that I had to be up for my Saturday “long-run” at 6 am (choose a time that works best for you!) helped me make wise decisions the night before. Nobody likes running after they eat garbage–so training helped me keep my eating on track.
2. Training gets you into shape! I’ve always been “thin”, but there’s a big difference between a person who looks “skinny” and a person who is lean, toned, and totally in shape. It’s hard to be out of shape when you’re running 3, 4, 7, 9 or (for the truly daring) 20…miles a day! (Of course, it goes without being said that eating well is crucial to being in shape.)
3. Races give you an excuse to travel! You bet I’ve looked up races in Hawaii, Boston, and Quebec! Why not see the world while doing something amazing for your body?!
4. You feel SO GOOD when you cross the finish line! So my boyfriend played a few sports in his day. (He’s like a superhuman athlete.) And he hangs out with some other exceptionally talented people who are used to competing in big arenas. Me? I’ve never felt like I excelled any particular sport, but when I crossed the finish line today, I felt like I could outrun even the most skilled distance runner. In my head, I was at the Olympics. And it totally rocked.
5. You get a medal! Okay, maybe this is extra cool to me because I didn’t play sports in high school (unless you count yoga?) but how great are medals?! I may be in my twenties, but that baby is totally going on display.
6. You become a part of something amazing. Today I watched a boy in a wheelchair cross the finish line for the marathon. I saw a 12-year-old cross the finish line for the half-marathon. I saw people in their teens and twenties, and people with all white and “silver” hair. It was amazing to see so many people (over 8 thousand) run for their health. I loved it.
7. Unity! There was so much unity between runners and viewers today. It was such a blessing to see so much support, love, and encouragement.
8. After you run, you can pretty much eat whatever you want. Okay, I’m a proponent for healthy food (as you know if you read this blog!) but after you race, you can afford to have a margarita. (Yes, that’s exactly what I did. It was delightful.)
So, do yourself a favor and sign up! http://www.marathonguide.com/races/races.cfm is a super valuable resource. (My next race will be the Portland Marathon, all 26.2 miles. Any runners interested?!)