Just want to touch on another factor that attracts me to running. It is the honesty of the sport. Pat Carroll often talks/writes about it and we all know that there is no faking a new PB.
I got thinking about this recently watching the news and dealing with people at work. The news can be spun and it depends how you look at the efforts people put in at work everyone has their own interpretation on value. Running is the polar opposite.
It's simple and clean, you either run faster or harder than the last time or you didn't. Running into a strong head wind, like I heard Clairie did recently, does not serve as an excuse for slower times, in fact, most runners, Clairie included, are just as happy or happier with a slower hard run than a faster easier one.
I'm sometimes stressed in my everyday life trying to sort out what is "the truth" and what is bullshit but running relieves me from that. I know what "the truth" is. The elation you feel after a good race comes because, I reckon, you have the certain knowledge that you did your best. It's beyond the judgment of others.