I wondered this myself, before I started running. WHY on earth do people drag themselves out there and try to go thirteen miles, or twenty-six miles?? I saw them out there, laboring sweatily down the street- it didn't look fun. I heard friends talk about their latest race or fastest time and thought, "uhhhh, and?" Then at some point battling through various issues and illnesses I woke up one day and just wanted to be *able* to do it. I wanted a taste of that free, light feeling I saw one day as some college-age dude arrived and the park and just lit off down the path like he was weightless. So I came up with a plan, walked out the front door and just resolved to love every minute of it.
Plus, now I can run far enough to get medals. Medals are super cool; where else outside second-grade soccer and Nobel achievement can you lay your hands on a *medal*? I can't get enough of that.