Being a successful runner takes a certain kind of person. It takes someone who is self motivated and can see the bigger picture. There’s no shortcuts and there’s certainly no secret to becoming a faster runner. It’s just a lot of hard work and running. You have to put in consistent mileage week after week which means sticking to the schedule and staying injury free. Not everyone has the attention span to run everyday for a race that’s going to happen in three months. It helps if you’re a little neurotic or have OCD, because then it becomes self satisfying.
Over the last four years I’ve found that runners, as a generalized group, are pretty good people. Running for hours breeds (or attracts) a certain kind of introspection that not everybody can relate to. It gives us time to ponder life and goals when other people are sitting on their couches rotting their brains on Jersey Shore. It pushes us to our limits and leaves us emotionally raw and physically spent. It’s humbling. There’s no self-consciousness or filter worrying about how we look or how we’re perceived. Races like the marathon push us to a degree of suffering that you can’t understand until you’ve been there. And there’s a camaraderie in finishing, an unspoken connection with people you just covered 26.2 miles with. Even though you might pass them on the street and never speak to them otherwise, you know what they’re thinking and you can relate to what they’ve gone through. We grow from these experiences. We get to step back from our commercialized structured society into something more natural and honest. I’m proud to be a part of this.