At a recent RunVerity workshop I asked the group “why did you start running?” I got some brilliant responses but then someone asked me…Why do you run Verity?
I turned 50 earlier this year, and these large birthday milestones are usually a time of refection. So I reflected on my running journey and I started thinking about why I run and why I run so much.
I started running 20 years ago when I was 30; a few weeks ago I was looking at some stats on my running watch and it told me that my VO2 max (the maximum or optimum rate at which the heart, lungs, and muscles can effectively use oxygen during exercise) was in the “superior range” for a women in my age category 50-59! Wow!
My fitness range age is that of an excellent 20 year old. Again, wow! (although I’m not sure what an excellent 20 year old is). When I was 20 I was literally smoking 20 cigarettes a day, not sure I would be classed as an excellent 20 year old back then.
What has running given me over those 20 years? It has been the most wonderful friend, at times a critical enemy that has made me feel worthless, it’s been a tough journey and boy have I learnt a lot. It’s been a roller coaster of invincible highs and ulmighty lows but I wouldn’t change any of it for the world.
I run because it makes me feel powerful
The hardest part of running is not actually the running itself, the hardest bit is getting your trainers on and heading out of the front door, we know this. And at times this is no different for me. So what gets me out of the front door? I run because it empowers me like nothing else does, I run when I am tired, angry, upset, sad, happy. It makes me feel better, each step gives me perspective, makes me feel strong, I can go into myself where it’s just me and a dialogue of thoughts that I share with the road/trail/hill. Sometimes it’s not pretty, I’ve cried on runs, I’ve screamed with frustration when things weren’t going right in my world, the wind would take my anger and diffuse it softly into oblivian, I’ve organised my thoughts, repaired dilemas and created solutions to problems that I just couldn’t see a way out of before my run. It re-chargers and re-sets who I am.
I’ve had adventures with runners, been part of teams, run with the bestest of friends, run solo and run with my ever loyal furry friend. I’ve seen parts of the world that I would never have seen before, I’ve got lost, given up, phoned my husband to ask him to come and get me when I’ve had enough. I’ve grown in confidence, developed tactics that help me achieve not only in races but also in life. Running has connected me with so many other runners and people who I would never have met.
I’ve never regretted taking up running and can honestly say I’ve never regretted a run, yes some have been hard behond belief but I owe so much to running, it has given me my superstrength and has made me one tough woman.