Running is great. Running will make you look and feel great. When you are a running runner, you will wake up early every morning to run. You will jump out of bed early and you will throw on your new sweat-wicking technical outfit and you will cruise down your driveway into the dewy pristine dawn. And after your run, you will not eat that piece of old fridge-pizza for sad people; you will eat fruit. You will eat organic fruit. And it will be fruit that you have cut up the night before into motivational shapes. Because running runners plan ahead. And running runners do the plans they planned, like cutting kiwis into lightning bolt shapes, even if it’s 2 a.m. and you’ve been hiding in the closet for the last three hours under a blanket. And you will not be worried about that dog that maybe was looking at you pityingly while you ran past its yard. You will not wonder if you looked embarrassing in your ultra hi-vis shorts; instead, you will stare out your front window into the risen sun like a winning winner, and you will throw back your head, say, HA-HA, and flex your taut, confident quads.

How running a half marathon can
cure your crippling anxiety and depression

Okay, so you’re a runner. You’ve been a runner for weeks. You’re doing calf stretches and you’ve googled “electrolyte” and you’re taking an endurance optimizing vitamin every night at 7 p.m. You have bought two pairs of tight shorts in the most fun color schemes because you are the most fun, and you are having the most fun. You have bought a super-fun hat that says LIVE LOVE RUN!!, and you have bought a hand-held thermo-adaptive water bottle and sunglasses with special polarizing features because you are an early-morning runner who is constantly backlit by the searingly perfect light of fricking dawn. If you are still feeling anxious, that is fine. That is okay! That is not a problem—you should not think that is a problem! What you should do is immediately sign up for a half marathon. You should run a half marathon, and then you will be a runner with a medal. Medals always make people feel good and happy forever.

How running a marathon can
cure your crippling anxiety and depression

It’s not that the solution isn’t working; it’s that you need more solution.

You should home in on an arbitrary set of wildly ambitious race-day goals with the precision of an expensive attack dog. You should train meticulously, and then you will harden into a tendon person that can run for hours without feeling anything like tiredness or regret or doubt. Tendon people don’t experience doubt. Tendon people are too busy high-fiving admiring bystanders. Tendon people are too busy winning to think about that thing they said at that middle school commencement party. Tendon people are too busy rounding the final turn of 26.2 miles of affirmative confirmation of their personal worth and value.

Tendon people don’t worry about that sweating problem that crops up in social situations. Tendon people are too busy achieving their dreams. Tendon people only say HA-HA! at parties and drink bio-specific sports beverages while thinking about how they have surpassed all their own elite-level expectations.

How signing up for an ultra-marathon can
cure your crippling anxiety and depression

It’s honestly embarrassing that it’s taken you so long to realize that this was the answer all along. It’s actually a little upsetting. But it’s okay because as soon as you get yourself a headlamp, running poles, a hydration pack, and a space blanket it is on. As soon as you start elevation training and literally vaulting yourself over actual mountains, you will feel accomplished and able to talk to people at the supermarket. Don’t worry, it’s going to be fine—it’s going to be better than fine. It’s going to be epic. You are definitely going to be happy and confident forever as soon as you finish those hundred-odd miles.