Why I Love To Run Reason #2: The Ability to Challenge Myself

When I ran my first marathon, I had no clue what I was getting in to.  I knew that I was grieving and that my friend passed away from Lymphoma. I knew I needed to do something to make this disease go away.   I discovered the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society had an endurance event fundraising arm called Team in Training.  So I signed up to run the Dublin Marathon.  At the time my goals were to finished the marathon and complete my fundraising obligation.  I had run only one 5k and never ran more than six miles.

I had no idea that running would become an addiction.  I think at least part of what causes the addiction is the ability to challenge myself.  Every race is an opportunity to run faster than I did the time before.  The first 5k, Half Marathon, Full Marathon, whatever, is always about finishing but the second, third, fourth, and so on are all about beating yourself.

But all runners know getting better is not always an easy climb.  Not every day is a better running day than the day before.  Sometimes you get worse before you get better.  But that is part of the challenge.  It is about pushing yourself through and completing the run even when you are not at your best.  That is what builds the mental toughness that is needed to become a better runner.

I love that running gives me the ability to challenge myself physically.  I love the challenge of trying to figure “how fast I can go for how long”.  But I also love the mental challenge.  When I run I can be my own best friend, when I am running well.  But I can be my own worst enemy when I am running badly.  For me, the mental challenge is to eliminate the negative and always be my biggest supporter.  It is a work in progress.  🙂

Thank for following. One week till London!

Dawn

 

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