Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them.* For me and my running, I am the "achieve greatness" type. I am not born fast or with the body and metabolism to be a particularly skilled runner. As a six foot plus type with a "large frame," I am more suited to weightlifting (which I detest) than running. That, coupled with a complete knee reconstruction in my right knee (repair of 3 torn ligaments) twenty years ago, means I am just not physically gifted. But few are. I am also (in the running context) not a greatness thrust upon me type. I choose to run, not because of some forced circumstance.
That leaves "achieve greatness." I think the vast majority of runners are in this category. And what that means to me is that my success or failure is in my own hands. It is a cliche to say that what you put in, you will get out. Thus even though every run isn't through fields of blooming sunflowers overlooking the ocean in Carmel, every run builds to something else. Builds the base, the endurance the speed, the physical power to achieve the things I want to achieve. And my goals as to what I want to achieve are pretty undefined. Yes I would like to BQ at some point. But for me that means a 3:20 marathon. That will be hard, and I doubt I can hit this year; perhaps next if I have two solid years. For me, though, in 3 years the BQ timegoes to 3:30, which is more realistic. But am I running to BQ? No. I run because it makes me feel strong and confident.
I haven't written the "Why I run" column or post yet, despite blogging for 2 years. And honestly, those posts are my favorite posts when I see a new blog. I haven't done it because it seems so personal and so singular that I am not sure anyone would care. In a nutshell, I was never much of an athlete, but I could always run long distance, but I never seriously pursued it in high school track or anything ever organized; my first organized race was a marathon.
So, all of this rambling serves as reason why I do the training, the workouts, the treadmill, the late nights. It is to help me reach my greatness, whatever that may be.
*The actual quote from Shakespeare's Twelfth Night is: "Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them."