Do you remember your first pair of *real* running shoes? Not those sleek + flashy Nike sneakers you adore now — we’re talkin’ the clunky, New Balance *mom shoes* so beat up from miles of training that they hardly resemble the way they looked when you bought them. What about your favorite high school track spikes? Or the shoes that would get you past the finish line at your first 5k, half, or FULL marathon before you’d finally have to retire them for another pair? Between the hours of training, carbo-loading, + pinning ourselves with race bibs, it’s easy to forget what we’re running for or why we even started in the first place — but, whether running is a new hobby or a life-long passion, it never fails to test [+ shatter!] our own limitations.
For every hill climbing, legs burning, wheezy, exhausted second we spend running, we know that we are becoming better. We run through rain, snow, sun, + lots of sweat. We run for the days we can’t wait to get out the door + the days when we can barely drag ourselves out of bed. We run for our own sanity because sometimes a ten-mile loop is the only way to solve a problem or to simply stop stressing for a moment. In a world where nothing is ever truly in our own control, our bodies won’t let us down if we train + care for them properly. We run because the only other option is stopping.
If you’re part of the #runCHAARG long distance crew, there are certain things you know to be true:
1] EVERYONE BRINGS THEIR DOGS TO RACES
Was that a labradoodle at mile 10? Can we take one home with us?
2] THE BEST FOOD IS FREE FOOD
Actually, when you’re running 20+ miles per week, any food is the best food. But, you can’t beat those free post-race bananas, either.
3] CRAMPS, BLISTERS, CHAFING, + BLACK TOENAILS ARE EXPECTED
Yep, we might be insane + the pain is totally worth it : )
4] YOUR NON-RUNNING FRIENDS SAY THINGS LIKE…
*You run for HOW LONG?* *Why do you wake up so early?* *Don’t your legs get sore?* *How is that fun for you?* ++ we simply reply that they don’t know what they’re missing!
5] THERE’S NO BETTER FEELING THAN CROSSING THE FINISH LINE
The ultimate sense of accomplishment + exhaustion that somehow makes you want to sign up for your next race immediately — we wouldn’t trade it for da world!
Run on, fellow CHAARGies : )
++ Alyssa M // UConn CHAARG