1. One of my very favorite things about running is seeing new runners get excited about running and watching them achieve and surpass their goals! It is so fun to see them make progress and realize that their goals are attainable. It makes me remember those first few running achievements of my own and how they felt, and reminds me of why I started running in the first place: because it's fun.
2. That post-workout exhaustion high. It's a paradox, how tired I can be and how good I feel anyway.
3. The bond of being a runner. Some of the best and fastest friendships I have made started upon finding out the other person runs. My husband and I ran together before we started dating. I swear you can join any stranger's running conversation and be welcome, simply by saying, "Oh, you run? I'm a runner too!"
4. It feeds my competitive side, and I am my own biggest opponent. I'm the kind of person who can get way too competitive playing board games. I try to keep it on the down-low though, so as not to alienate my friends.
But in running, you don't have to hide it. Because (friendly) competition is the point, right? And especially with myself. I want to beat my own times and distances even more than I want to pass the person ahead of me. But only a little more.
5. It's always new. If I have a bad run, I can rest knowing tomorrow's will be better. If I'm bored with my neighborhood, I can run somewhere else. I can meet friends to run, sign up for 5Ks, trail runs, or color runs, do some speed work for a change of pace, or take my music or an audiobook along. When non-runners tell me, "I wish I could run but I just get bored," I wish I could show them it doesn't have to be boring! But maybe that's something you have to find out for yourself.