We all run for different reasons.
Some of us run to be competitive. Some run to be healthier, some want to run their first marathon, their 100th marathon, achieve a marathon PR, get a BQ, etc. There are a million reasons that someone is inspired to lace up their shoes and go for a run.
Likely the reason that you're running now though, isn't the same as when you started. Your life changed, your running changed, and your why changed.
That's not necessarily a bad thing. Everything in our lives evolves. Our careers, family, hobbies, interests, most things change over time. Sometimes though, as part of those changes, we lose our why for running.
We keep getting out the door, running races, training, working with our coach, but maybe the passion is a little less, and maybe it feels a little more like a job. Maybe it's a little harder to get out than it used to be, more difficult to lace up the shoes and change into our gear after work.
I think most of us have been there at one time or another, we've lost our why, we've lost our perspective on why we grind day after day; through tough workouts, tough conditions, and through the monotonous process of training and getting better at running.
That's OK. It's OK to be unsure sometimes. But in these moments it's important to reflect, and reframe what your why is for continuing to pursue this sport. For me, my why used to be that I wanted to run fast, get PR's, and compete nationally, but that why has changed substantially. It's taken a little soul searching, and a lot of banging my head against the wall, but I have found a new why, a new reason to get out, a new reason to keep doing all of the little things. Finding that why has made the process so much more enjoyable and has given me the freedom to meet myself where I'm at now, and not to force my running to be something that it's not.
Your why and your process of re-finding should be entirely your own. Maybe pushing harder than you've pushed before inspires you and becomes your why. Maybe it's racing a new distance, or trying a trail race, or going for that BQ. Maybe it's using running as an escape from the monotony of day-to-day life, maybe it's running to live in the present and find peace and meditation.
There's no better time than the present to go through the process of finding your why. Leave the headphones at home on your next run and spend some miles thinking through your process, what you love about running, and rediscover your why.