The Art of Running

The Art of Running

On Sunday, October 30th, I woke up at my normal weekday hour of 5:00 a.m., but instead of going for my morning run, I was headed to (arguably) the second largest marathon in the United States. The Marine Corps Marathon had over 30,000 participants laced up and ready to run at the crack of dawn on this unusually hot fall day. I was excited to start running, and even more excited to know that people would be cheering me on every step of the way, including my internship site, Teens Run D.C. Although this marathon was the largest I have run, it was not my first.

 

 

There have been a lot of health and scientific studies of why people run long distances, and keep coming back year after year to run them once more. So, I thought I would share my two cents of why I run, sometimes for longer than the golden 26.2, and why I keep signing up for more races each year.

 

It’s Painful

Judging by this header, you are probably wondering why this is the reason I LOVE running long distances. A lot of times when people are trying to get in shape, they go out for a jog, and when they think that their respiratory system can’t take one more step, they stop and walk, to catch their breath. However, the mind gives up way before the body, and when you are not used to physical discomfort, the mind forces your body to stop. I run long distances to feel discomfort, to basically get a sense of why the human body is built the way it is. In modern times, everything is comfortable. As long as you have a little money, you never have to feel discomfort. Don’t get me wrong - I love being able to lay on a couch and watch a whole season of my favorite show in one sitting. However, I would argue that I enjoy it more than a person that does not exercise. Feeling discomfort and pain through exercise allows you to enjoy the comforts in life because you can appreciate the act of sitting more.

 

Running for five or even eleven hours at a time is no easy jog in the park. Regardless of how far I have run, there is always a next level. I have run a few ultras, and plan to continue to run more. When I finish a long race, I am physically fine, but emotionally desolate. Most runners would agree that this is how they feel afterwards. This is what reminds us we are human, and the impossible is reachable if you are passionate enough.

 

Professional Advice

I have had the incredible opportunity to interview a few professional runners while I've been in D.C.  Some were born talented, others fought hard for success in their careers. Regardless of their past, they all had basically the same advice for an eager twenty-two year old intern. Think about your greatest passion, and find a way to turn it into a career. Some of the pros I interviewed were sitting in a cubicle at a corporate office before they hung up the suit for a nice pair of running shorts. Others pursued running as a career since high school. They all agreed that you are never too old to change your career, and you should always do what you are passionate about. I truly take their advice to heart, and I do believe that with enough hard work, anyone can achieve their dreams.

 

I am not sure what I am most passionate about at this point in my life; however, I am extremely passionate about running. For the next few years, I will focus on that, and see where life takes me! If running has taught me anything, it has taught me that you only have one life, and you should pursue beyond your discomforts and reach for your full potential.

 

Happy Trails,

Hannah


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