What’s your running why?

Knowing why you do a thing you spend lots of time doing takes a moment of reflection and personal analysis for most of us. For me it does. 

Thursday 7am Run Intervals group from last week! Thumbs up for running!

As I’ve mentioned, I have made running one of my top 3 focus areas for 2022. I spend at least three days every week running. That ends up being at least five hours of time each week, not including figuring out and then driving to where I’m running, picking out my run clothes, making sure I have my nutrition and hydration dialed in and so forth. 

I’m part of the run club Run Minnesota and our coach Danny Docherty recently asked us to “write your why.” I decided I would share the questions and process of considering my run why with all of you.

In 2022, my plan is to run at least two and maybe three half marathons and to run in two ten mile races. That adds up to four and likely five longer distance races this year. I realized I 100% don’t have my why boiled down to a concise statement. I have lots of reasons, but not something concise. 

Danny encouraged us to take five minutes and think about a few questions.

High school leadership

When I taught high school leadership, I asked students to visualize the events they wanted to create for the school. We did group visualization sessions. I asked the students to lay down on the carpeted floor and close their eyes. I put on instrumental music and I led them on guided visualizations. I asked questions about the event we had coming up in a few months. I gave lots of time for them to let their imaginations go wild. 

I encouraged them to imagine what could happen. After the visualization was over, I had them get in pairs or trios with a piece of paper to write or draw what they’d visualized. Then we’d gather back as a whole class and they shared what they’d imagined. The end result was that over and over again we put on amazing, inclusive, fun school-wide assemblies, well attended dances and other school activities. 

Taking time to visualize is time well spent. 

Danny’s questions for us are:

What do you enjoy most about the process?

What are you looking forward to?

What are some of your goals?

How will you be challenged?

I set the timer on my phone for five minutes and I thought about the five events I plan to do. 

Here they are:

Highlights from my five minutes of visualization about my running why

Coach Danny and Mari at the first Tuesday evening run
  • I like the shirts they give us for entering the race. 
  • The medals they put around my neck when the race is over is an affirmation of putting in the hard work to earn the medal.
  • I love running with others in the middle of the street.
  • No matter the weather, it’s fun to be out with others who care about moving their bodies.
  • I love training with my friends, new ones and ones I’ve had for many years. 
  • The laughter while running fuels my heart and soul.
  • I want to run a steady 12 minute mile pace for these events. 
  • I have a stretch goal to see if I can get just a bit faster, maybe an 11:45.
  • I love going to the workouts when the coaches are present as they push me to go faster and try harder, especially at the speed, hill and other specific workouts. 
  • The feeling of accomplishment when the race ends makes all the training runs worth it.
  • The habit of running three times a week helps me manage my diabetes with more ease. 
  • I am reminded that I am worth taking care of my body by running.
  • I like tuning into my body and feeling my strength as I move through the air.
  • Entering races reminds me to keep weight lifting. 

The next step Danny asked us to do was take some time to hone down our visualization to 100 or 200 words that will be our why. 

I took a few minutes to find my words and here is my why. It happens to be 78 words.

Mari’s Running Why for 2022

Run Why taped to my computer screen

I am running five long races in 2022 for my mental, physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.  I feel good, happy and part of a community when I run with my friends, new and old. I enjoy the challenge of pushing my body to run as steady and as fast as I can for long distances. I am a year round runner.  My body is strong and capable. I am worth itMake it happen Mari!

It feels good to have taken the time to figure out my why for the events I’m doing this year. I’ve taken Danny’s advice and printed out my why and I’ve hung it a few places so I see it on a daily basis. Especially for the moments I lose my motivation and don’t want to go to one of my 7am runs.

How about you? Do you have a why for the event(s) you are doing this year? If not, I encourage you to take a few moments and get clear. You are worth it. 

Thanks for reading and for being connected!

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