Ten things I love about running

Most of you could probably come up with ten reasons you love running without even thinking. I have to think. I have to really think. The truth is that I find running hard and quite often painful. I don’t feel natural at it and I always feel slightly ashamed of myself as if I SHOULD be doing this so much better but somehow I just can’t. So, why keep doing it? New Year is a time for reflection, and I want to undertake another big running challenge in 2016, so I decided to inspire myself by focusing on the positive.

Here are the ten reasons I love running.

10. It feels so amazing when you stop. I am not sure if this is because it hurts a lot when you are doing it, but that feeling of coming in the door, red-faced and sweating but full of self-praise and smugness at having done it, is hard to beat.

9. The kit. I like running kit. All sorts of kit. From Sweaty Betty vests to Nike leggings to Adidas everything, I really get a buzz out of putting it on.

8. Endless trainers talk. Following on from the kit, I have found that I can talk to people ad infinitum about their trainers. A happy hour with a stranger on the train can be spent discussing the ins and outs of a simple shoe.

7. Water tastes so good. Because I run a lot in the heat, cool water is the thing I fantasise about (one of them) when I am on a long run. Warm water is better than nothing, but cool….

6. Cake reward. Yes I know I shouldn’t but I do and it always tastes really good.  None so good, however, as cake with the Groovy Greaves after a run over the hills with Naomi and Billy the Running Dog.

5.You get fit quick. It may be hard and hurt but it does bring your fitness level up very quickly.

4. The Flow. For me this is an almost mythical state. I feel it very rarely, but when I do, it is extraordinary. I felt it running through the desert in the moonlight in Ramadan and also on the last stage of the Marathon Des Sables, coming over a slight hill and down into a Oued. Both memories are imprinted forever.

3. The community. Runners are generally really nice people. In fact, they are pretty fantastic. They are welcoming, encouraging, kind, and fun to be around. All types, shapes, sizes but all with an understanding of what it means to run.

2. The suffering. I have to push myself even on a short, easy run. When it comes to the long, arduous ones, I go to places that I didn’t know existed. I feel like I am being forged. I come out a different person, a better person.

1.The Adventure. You put on your shoes, wherever you are in the world, and off you go. I have run along dual carriageways as dawn breaks in Tblisi, the Hezbollah district of Beirut after dark, the heartbreakingly beautiful hills of the Peak District and the Sahara Desert in Morocco. I ran slowly and not with grace, but I ran. I hope to run more.

Happy 2016 everyone. I wish you strong legs and lungs!

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8 comments on “Ten things I love about running

  1. Charlie on

    Solitude, inspiration, perspiration, time to think, weight loss, physical well being, company, availability, being part of it, fulfillment.

  2. SKY on

    Hi Alice, I just saw your Morocco to Timbuktu documentary on the BBC (great programme!) and am now looking at your blog. Great to read about your running adventures! I caught the running bug about 7 months ago, and am finding travel + running to be a pretty good combination! The most ‘exotic’ place I have run in so far is the old city of Valletta in Malta. Your writings have definitely inspired me to seek out more interesting places to run in!


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