This past week one of my classmates asked me a question that I have often pondered myself: "Why do you run?" And with the Salt Lake City Marathon rolling by this weekend, it seemed like quite a prevalent question to ask. This question has a whole subset of topics to ponder along with it that immediately spring to mind. Why do I endure the pain, the suffering, the occasional feeling that the run will never end, that my legs and feet feel like blocks of lead? For many people the best part of running is when they get to stop, and sometimes I find it hard not to agree. Considering all of this, I had no immediate response to the question that started all of this thinking.
So I decided to try and answer it myself, and am still in the process. I got a good start from the book Once A Runner by John L. Parker, Jr, a novel about a collegiate runner who is on a quest to break the four minute mile and eventually beat the world record holder. And one quote does a lot to sum up my feelings about running, even though I'm not as fast as the miler in the book and am not winning as many races as he is: