Friday, March 9, 2007

The inevitable list...

“All men should strive to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why.” ~James Thurber

The question I’m asked quite frequently (following closely behind “Are you nuts?”) is “Why would you want to run a marathon?”. Why, indeed. Since I’m an engineer, I think in lists. Thusly, I present: Caroline’s top 26 reasons to run 26 miles.

  1. Just to see if I can really do it. Aim for the stars, shoot for the moon, etc, right?
  2. Team in Training really is a great organization. Since I’ve started this quest, I’ve had so many people approach me to tell me stories of their loved ones who have battled leukemia and other cancers. Cancer has touched my own family, and giving of my own time and energy is a great way to honor those who have battled against these diseases.
  3. Re-read #2. I can’t say this strongly enough... I am humbled and inspired by the stories I’ve heard and by the struggles that my own family has been through. I consciously think of them when I’m struggling up a hill or over a few tough miles. I’m blessed to have my health and the physical ability to do this training.
  4. Do you have any idea how well you can get to know yourself on a long run? I’ve had the most random conversations with myself and deep thoughts in the midst of a long run.
  5. Summer’s coming. That means swimsuits. A girl’s gotta be prepared.
  6. Oh, the fabulous amount of food I can eat. And the guiltless carbohydrates. (Carbs = Fuel!)
  7. Camaraderie of belonging to a team... making new friends with like-minded individuals who like to push themselves physically.
  8. Bragging rights. And that big shiny medal they put around your neck when you finish.
  9. Because at the end of 26 miles, that celebratory beer will taste mighty good.
  10. I have a wee bit of a competitive streak (thanks Dad). There’s a lot, Ok, a ton, of things I can’t win at: golf, tennis (umm.. make that ANY sport requiring hand-eye coordination), bowling, thumb wrestling.... But I can definitely out-run a few folks. (I dedicate #10 to my wonderful brother.) :-)
  11. We are lucky to live in one of the most beautiful places in the country. Running the central coast allows me to appreciate just how spectacular nature can be.
  12. It feels good to be healthy... more energy, better skin, happier demeanor... running keeps me healthy on the inside and outside.
  13. With all the craziness that is our lives... work, home, family, general chaos... it’s pretty super to get a few hours when its just me and the pavement. (Uh-oh... starting to sound like a Nike commercial over here.)
  14. I always thought the “runners high” was a big fat myth that other runners talked about to non-runners. Nope. It exists, its fantastic, and it’s worth the miles you’ve got to put in to find it.
  15. Pancakes. (See #6)
  16. I hear San Diego’s nice in June.
  17. And San Diego has a groovy zoo! I love zoos!
  18. You can get rid of a ton of aggravation and stress by pounding the pavement. I can attest to this firsthand.
  19. Running’s a pretty cheap sport. A good pair of shoes is really all you need to get started. As is inevitable though, there are lots of accessories that I suddenly “can’t live without”, but at its core, it’s a simple, inexpensive and convenient way to be involved in competitive sports.
  20. It’s the right time in my life. 2006 was an enormous, hectic, crazy year for me... it’s time to settle down, focus on “me”, and do something good for both my community and myself.
  21. Because this:

Looks incredible. I cannot wait to be one of those people!

  1. I will hit the big 2-8 six days before the race. What better way to kick off a new year (and have a good excuse to eat a whole lot of birthday cake).
  2. I’ve been so completely awed by the support from friends and family that I’ve received already... I can’t let all you good people down now, can I?
  3. Did I mention the pancakes?
  4. I’ve now got a legitimate reason to read Runners World without looking like a poser.
  5. Because it feels oh so good to stop.

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