Lately, as I've been upping my mileage, training harder (lifting 2-3 times per week at the gym), cross-training, and really focusing for my upcoming race, the Umstead 100 Miler. People seem to be more aware of my training because it is taking up more time. ("Sorry I can't meet for drinks that late - I have to be up at 5:30 a.m. for training." "Oh, I've just been busy running lots." "Can we make it after 5p.m.? I'll be running all day...yeah, from 6am through 4pm. Yeah, that long.")
And then I get the inevitable question:
Why do you run so much?
I love it. I love running more than almost anything else. Running is the time in my life when I'm happiest, freest, most alive. Sure, some runs suck (like running a slow half over the weekend in Central Park wasn't fun, nor was a recent 3 hour run in pouring freezing rain), but running is ultimately, at the core of me. It's who I am. It all comes back to running.
Do you have a moment in your life, or something in your life, that makes you feel so amazingly happy? Perhaps when you hold your beloved child. Or waking up in someone's arms that you are in love with. Or while eating a delicious dinner made for you by someone wonderful. Or maybe watching the sunrise or sunset from the beach. Or kissing someone you're in love with (the kind of kissing that makes your knees go weak). Or an airport hug of someone you love so dearly. Perhaps when you were dancing last weekend, or in the midst of Burning Man around wonderful people. Riding your bike? Getting married...all those things might make you feel wonderfully happy - or not.
It's individual, what makes you completely happy. Running is my drug. It makes me happier than anything else. If it didn't, why would I do it so much?