Why Am I Running?

Late last spring, I was reading The Happy Runner. I had finished my first ultra (a 55K) a month or two before and wondered, What’s next, and how do I want to get there? David and Megan Roche have a fantastic philosophy and approach to running that focuses on process over results. The book included a series of questions, and at the time, I put the answers into a draft post.

Not long after, I hired a coach (recommended by David) to help create some focus and structure while I took a little break from big goals and thought about what I wanted to do next. Now I’m working toward my next major goal—a 50 mile race (in June).

Today I looked back at what I wrote last spring. And I don’t think there’s anything to change now. I just picked certain priorities for the time being.

Here’s what I put down last year (with current commentary in italics).

Three affirmations

  • I am strong
  • I am stubborn
  • I move with purpose

Long term goals

  • Run a 100 miler – In my mind for 2021; using a 50 miler this year as a building block/test)
  • Push my speed – can I BQ? – I’m waaaaaay the heck off from this… but I picked up a half marathon PR—by almost 6 min, down to 1:53:38—without training for time. So maybe it’s doable? Plus by the time I might be ready to focus on speed, I’ll probably be in the next age group, so that buys me 5 min 😜

Why do I run at all?

  • To stay healthy – definitely, and it’s not just about physical health
  • To be a more present person in my life
  • To build strength & confidence
  • Also to listen to podcasts 🤣

Why do I run today?

  • To process stress – This is a driving motive each day. After I was promoted recently, I even scheduled running on my calendar to be sure that I don’t let work crowd out this critical activity.
  • To counteract a day of sitting
  • To take a break from everything
  • To have fun
  • And to listen to podcasts


Why do I race at all?

  • To test myself
  • To have fun
  • To experience running with others
  • To set a target/focal point

Why do I have those long term goals?

  • To explore my limits
  • To appreciate what my body can do
  • To connect more deeply with my body, mind & community