Sunday, November 16, 2014

Why I Love to Run

Running is hard. As much as I say that I love to run, there are moments where I absolutely hate it. No matter how hard it gets, though, I know that I could never quit running.

This past weekend, I went with my teammates from the running club to Nationals in East Lansing, MI. We drove over 5 hours to run in 20-30 degree temperatures to compete against schools from all over the country. The top 7 runners from each school competed in the A race while the rest of the teams competed in the B race. Since I'm definitely not the fastest person on my team, I competed in the B race and it was an experience I will never forget. Lining up with over 200 girls, I ran the fastest I've ever run. My first mile came in at 6:45 and I maintained an average pace of 7:18 overall for the 6k race, placing 92 out of 214 runners. While this is not all that impressive in the racing world, I am so proud of myself for my time. What I'm most proud of myself, though, is how I never gave up or slowed down. My quads ached with each step and I had so much time to think about exactly what I was doing and I hated myself for voluntarily trying to run as fast as I could for 3.72 miles. But I stuck through the two laps around the never-ending golf course in the freezing weather, my nose dripping and lungs frigid with the cold air. There's nothing better than that feeling of crossing the finish line and realizing exactly what it is you have just done, no matter how much you hated yourself while you were doing it. That's running for you.

Words can't even begin to describe how happy I am that I decided to run my freshman year of college. In the three years that have passed, I have run two half marathons and too many races to count. When I was in high school, I could have never imagined being able to run 13.1 miles or running a 6k with an average pace of 7:18. Running has become my passion and I am so happy to be able to call myself a runner. Sure I have bad days and races are incredibly challenging on both the body and the mind, but the rewards from running are worth those hard times. There's nothing better than finishing a challenging race or achieving a new PR. My body is so much stronger thanks to running and, by running everyday, I know I'm leading a healthier lifestyle than I've ever had before. Running has made that difference. I've only been running for three years, but I know I have many more years as a runner ahead of me. I can't wait for the races and the miles to come.

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