I seriously think that running is a sickness. The more I participate in the activity, the more I want to participate in the activity. Me! One who HATED running. And here I am, five half marathons in, two marathons and one half on the books for the fall (with another one possibly in January) and planning the big hurrah for my 40th birthday in September 2016 – the Marathon du Medoc in France, which is a true 26.2 mi marathon that celebrates the essence of life through food, wine and physical activity (yes, there are 23 aide stations that have wine, both red & white, fois gras, cheese and so many more delicious French treats….). But I digress.
Yes, I am addicted to this sport and what it represents. I am coming to face that fact as my schedule (and that of my husband’s) is increasingly planned around my training and races. Thankfully, my husband gets it and is fully supportive. And to some degree is an active participant in it by bringing me water during a long run, running the last few miles each Sunday on those longs runs, getting up early to be at the start for any races that I do, financially supporting my racing habit and more importantly, telling me how proud he is of my effort and accomplishments in the sport. And because he is supportive and encouragement personified, I continue to run further and faster, wanting to earn the support he provides so selfishly and without hesitation.
In the past few weeks, it has hit even harder as I have followed other runners accomplish their first marathons, achieve hard fought PR’s in half marathons, finish endurance runs of 135 miles (Harvey Lewis, I’m looking at you!) and simply lace up for no reason other than to run and enjoy the day. With being a part of the cheerleading team for these races and efforts, I have gained even more enthusiasm for my next race, The Marathon, as I know there will be a whole community of my friends who will also be online and in person encouraging me to grab that opportunity and earn my medal. The rush is real, and if I felt the rush simply by following online posts and comments, I know how much more it will mean when I am the one in the running shoes, standing and facing the challenge that only I can overcome. It takes the hard work on my part to be physically ready for the race, but in regards to the mental aspect of it, having a whole bunch of people who are in your corner wanting you to succeed is a huge boost that will help carry me in the moments when I feel like I can’t go any further.
Other signs I’m addicted to running:
1. I have more pairs of running shoes in my closet than all other types of shoes combined
2. My laundry is 75% running clothes
3. I have planned (several) vacations around a race
4. I am currently registered for more than one race
5. I am already mapping out my races for 2016
6. I tear up when I see other people posting about running successes
7. My medal rack is completely full…and then some
8. Almost every conversation I have with anyone includes talk of running – even just a mere mention of it
So yes, I am addicted. And I can’t say it is a bad thing. With so many negative feelings and events in the world, I think that running is something that has brought so many positives into my life: time with my husband, physical well-being, a whole bunch of ‘virtual’ friends and a lot of encouragement (both giving and receiving) and the positive self esteem that comes from setting a goal and achieving it. I’m not sure if I want to continue with the longer distance running after my 40th birthday; I may simply drop it down to half marathons as a rule, but whatever I decide, I have found a passion for a sport that I never liked before. And if there is a cure for this addiction? I don’t think I want to know about it. Because for once I am actually pretty happy that I have taken something so far. It has taken me to places I never imagined I would go, and for certain, I am not finished yet!
Are you addicted to running? What was the final piece of the puzzle that made you realize it? (Use this handy quiz to help you determine if you suffer from a running addiction, too!)