An inner athlete's manifesto.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Why You Want to be a Runner

1. Chances are, you've realized that you're a little nuts anyway--why not go the next step and sign up for a race? Runners get up at five, sometimes four in the morning, to run marathons and the like. I'm sure you've done crazy things, too. It was a chilly morning in Queens when I realized that running provided a sweaty outlet for all of us lunatics; there we were, lined up for blocks at six am, waiting for shuttle buses to take us to the start of a half marathon. The only other people around that early on a fall, Saturday morning were people going to work. They looked at all of us like we were crazy. Hey--they were on to something.

2. Running is SO effing popular right now. The NYC Marathon grows in numbers every year. In 2010, over half the participants were running their first marathon. Forget the fact that Oprah and Lance have ran marathons, your friends are doing it, and your friends used to be the laziest people you knew until they started running. Get off the couch.

3. You already have a lot in common with runners. They like the same things you do--wine, pizza, beer, burgers...that's four things already you can discuss when you join a local running group. Sure, we take running seriously, but beer tastes seriously better after putting a good five miles in.

4. Running gives you a sense of achievement and pride, no matter what the distance. Runners, like you, are sweet on the outside with a competitive core tucked in the grit of their shoes. Runners Ego is the small smile we have when we realize we ran a faster 5k this week than last week, or when we finish at the top of our age group. Runners at all levels experience a sense of self-worth and satisfaction when they sit in front of their eggs and pancakes at brunch and know they've earned it. And there's nothing more satisfying than the moment you run so much, you become a running mentor to someone just starting out. "I ran my fastest yet," someone recently said to me. I beamed as though a kid had just given me a drawing to hang on the fridge with a magnet, I was so proud of my new running friend. :) That so makes running worth it.

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