Why do I Run?

Bennie and I out for a run in January 2017

Do you know why I run?


No, not what most people think.

Some of the reasons might be:

  • weight-loss
  • improving/changing your mood
  • social engagement
  • competition
  • and so many other things that I have heard or read about why people run.

After a LOT of thought and reflection about why I run and have run all these years, I think that I have finally figured out why.

Drumroll please….

  • because running is hard and can be unpredictable in my otherwise fairly predictable world.

WTF are you talking about Harold? Have you gone completely bonkers – again!!!

Whoa, stop and think for a minute…before you hang me upside down and start dunking me in the pond.

I really believe that the biggest thing that keeps me running is because it is not easy to be a runner and I say that in all seriousness.

Photo from February 2017

Runners all joke around about how running is “other athletes sport’s punishment”, bragging about getting outside to run on a day with 0*F with a real feel of -15*F  or when the last Storm of the Century came through, but I still got my run and all the other environmental things that Mother Nature throws at us.

Then add in the amount of self-discipline it takes to keep stepping out the door most days, stepping on the hamster wheel of death to get in a run or “how much it hurts to run a fast arse race and so on.

I know that for me running is always work, hard work and a challenge. Even on those rare days when the stars align and you have “one” of those runs where everything comes together, I know that I am still working hard.

However, in a perverse way it meets a need in my life to do something that is difficult and is not predictable. Each run that I do there is an element of the unknown – when I set off I do not know how the run will go, will it be great, good, meh or will it be drudgery, misery and one that I want to quickly forget.

Photo courtesy of David Colby Young


No, there are no guarantees about what will happen during a run. Each one is unique, even when you run the same courses you always run.

When I think back about how many days would I rather have done something else other than run in the morning before work, during lunch, after work or even believe it or not on my days off.

When I stop and look at it – Probably none.

Why do I say that?

I might tell you that I wished that I had done this or that, but that would be a lie, the truth is I did have all those other options and I made the choice to challenge myself that day…

By running

I have a sneaking suspicion that I will keep challenging myself for as long as I possibly can and when the day comes that I cannot run anymore — well let’s hope that day never comes, whilst I am above ground.

How about you, why do you run?

One thought on “Why do I Run?

  1. Great thoughts – and true. This crap is NOT easy … I was out on my ‘subzero saturday’ run and while I was absolutely loving it, one time when the wind nearly blew me over, I had to laugh at myself – this is hard stuff and I am a fool for being out there! But yet – I love that about it.

    Yes I do it for the fitness, weight control, for the de-stressing, for the introspection, for the mental focus and problem-solving (I sometimes think ‘running’ should have been given partial credit on a patent application of mine!), and so on.

    People talk about ‘me time’, and for me there is no ‘me time’ that could compare to all of the things I get from running!

    But when you pound out the miles day after day it is easy to forget all of that. Thanks for the reminder!

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