With a fair amount of criticism, acrimony, and general negativity floating around these past few days on various social media about the state of ultrarunning, I thought I’d share some of the things I love about running in general, and ultrarunning in particular. (I tend to shy away from calling myself an “ultrarunner” — I prefer “runner” instead — but there are several aspects of ultras that I definitely prefer to the shorter distances). Anyway, most of these things apply to running in general as well (in no particular order):
1. No matter what it is that is stressing me out/bothering me/etc., that problem is always more manageable — if only even a little bit — after going for a run.
2. Is there a better feeling than hitting that sweet spot in a run where you feel like you are floating and can just run forever?
3. I like to compete. And I like to work hard. I’ve made this point before: an ultra is the fairest sport out there. It doesn’t discriminate by race, gender, or really even genetics. The harder you train, the better you do. I like that . . . a lot.
4. I get to run in places like this:
5. And this:
6. And, of course, this:
7. And while we’re discussing pics, running gives Alex and I the opportunity to take our daughter to some pretty amazing places and post obnoxiously-cute pics of her, like this:
8. Along with Alex, she even helps crew for me on training runs:
9. Running is a hell of a lot cheaper than hiring a therapist.
10. I’ve met most of my best friends through running. (Also, see No. 21)
11. There’s something awesome about crossing the finish line of a distance race, such as a marathon, for the first time. For me, that feeling was multipled by about a thousand the first time I ran 100 miles.
12. Justifiable laziness on weekends, after finishing a long morning run :)
13. When the opposing counsel in a case hears about my running, they are usually a bit thrown off and don’t know quite what to make of me. I like that :)
14. Speaking of work, being a lawyer is one of the least healthy professions out there. It’s nice having a hobby that allows me to see my abs!
15. Have you seen what the sky looks like in the middle of the night in Death Valley??
16. Training on the Rickenbacker in Miami, and passing cyclists on the way up the bridge.
17. Does anything taste better than a cold beer after a long, hot run?
18. Nicknames. Sometimes, I feel like I’m back on my college baseball team with all the nicknames out there (“Peacock,” “Bacon,” “Smooth,” “Squirrel,” and on and on)
19. Watching other people finish ultras is something that never gets old. It usually brings me to tears watching someone finish his or her first 100 just before the course cut-off time.
20. The chance to make a difference. While runners can be prone to overstating their own importance in the grand scheme of things, it is definitely possible to make a difference, through raising money for charity, inspiring others to get off the couch, etc. I’m very excited to be running Badwater in a few weeks, and particularly excited to use that race to help raise funds for the Sylvester Cancer Center in Miami, as well as to help draw attention to their amazing programs. For more info, see www.davekrupski.com
21. Finally, and most importantly, I love running because it’s how I met Alex back in 2008. She was coaching a marathon training group in Phoenix that I used to run with years before that, and I had just moved back to Phoenix, so I decided to meet up with them. The rest, as they say, is history… :)
So, why do you love running?