Regular readers of this blog might wonder what changed in the time between Committed: The Quest to Run 100 Miles Begins and the previous entry when I was questioning why I run. The answers are many, and I hope to provide them over a series of short posts.
I Run to Explore New Places
Running allows me to see places I would probably not get to otherwise. In early December I ran on a trail only 20 minutes from my apartment and got to see parts of the mountains here I had never visited before. I wrote about my experience during that run and the insights it provided me on the Dirtbag Way. It was a true adventure, and yet I was home by early afternoon. As a hike it would have taken me all day to complete the route, and unfortunately these days, I don’t often have that much time to spare. Running allowed me make the journey in only a few hours.
While traveling, running has given me an excellent opportunity to get to know my surroundings. A few years ago while visiting Portland, Oregon I looked up some running routes using Map My Run and discovered one that took me 10 miles almost entirely on greenways and allowed me to traverse downtown and the parks that line both sides of the Willamette River.
Running the Bryce Canyon 100 will be a great way to explore a new environment. I will get to see the sun rise and fall over the canyon walls, and run under a canopy of stars during the depths of the desert night. I will experience Bryce Canyon in a way that few others get the chance to.
For me running is about exploration, and that journey is not limited to the physical world I am traveling through. More importantly, running creates the opportunity for me to explore my inner landscape. I get the chance to know my internal peaks and valleys, learning along the way what my body and mind are truly capable of. Though this exploration can often be difficult and uncomfortable, it is also filled with moments of supreme joy and wonder, and those times make the journey well worth the effort.