I am a very poor advocate for running. I have not, to my knowledge, attempted to talk anyone into trying it. Certainly, I have never suggested that anyone run more than they enjoy, that they, in other words, consciously train. Nor have I suggested that they seek out race goals. Doing a 5K does not make you more fit than the person who trains similarly, and yet does not race. And although I love stupid-long distances myself, a marathoner or ultrarunner is no "better" a runner, athlete, or person, for having done earned the title. I trot along idly every day because it is gratifying to me. It imbues my days with meaning. I train beyond that because I am a competitive person and the answer to my "why?" must invariably be to do more, faster, better. But mostly I do it to visit that headspace which I have found no other path to. I do not pretend that there is cosmic significanc...