Friday, March 11, 2011

Why I Run

The other day a coworker asked me  if I was still running  and if I still liked it. My answer was yes, but it really got me thinking about why I run. 

 I know initially it wasn't the love of running that kept me going day after day.  It was the drive to achieve a goal I had set for myself to prove that had control over something.  When things in my life are going crazy and I am affected by things outside of my control I find that I really need to have something in my life that I can control and running is that for me.  

I first started running when I went through my divorce over 14 years ago.  It didn't start as running, it started as walking every day for an hour.  I had three young children and of course they needed to come with me, so I had the oldest one ride her bike and the other two in the double jogging stroller. It was a great, inexpensive activity for the four of us and we had some good times on those walks. It was a great stress reliever too and if you've ever been through a divorce  you know there is a lot of stress involved.  To speed up the walks without sacrificing distance, I began jogging parts of it until eventually I was able to run the entire length.  I never thought of myself as a runner even though I had played field hockey and basketball during middle and high school, but that running was part of the sport, not just for running sake.  So being able to run 2-3 miles nonstop was very empowering!  It gave me something to feel good about during these troubled times. 

As I settled into my new life as a single mother with a new career as an elementary teacher my time was tight. The daily escape of a run, became a luxury and one that eventually got squeezed out. It became more and more challenging to find time to run, as the kids got older and weren't as agreeable about tagging along and schedules filled up with all of their activities. I don't even remember it happening.  One day I realized I hadn't run in a while and then I felt like it would be too hard to start over. 

That is until 2 years ago when I decided to start running again. I had been walking and thought I would just walk the rest of my life and I would be satisfied with that, but I wanted to know if I could run  again.  It was much harder starting the second time, because you feel like you should be able to pick it up easier since you did it before, but it doesn't work that way.  My mind's expectations far exceeded my body's performance.  

Once I got past the initial struggle, I realized how much I missed the feeling of accomplishment I get from running.  It makes  me stronger physically and mentally.  Busy lives don't allow for much quiet time, or me time, but running does.  I do my best thinking while I out there hitting the pavement.  

Now don't get me wrong, I don't look forward to running everyday. I still like it better when its over, but I like all that I get from it. I have learned a lot about myself, it helps me stay physically fit and helps support my sweet tooth. I have met some great people and accomplished things I never knew I could do like running a marathon and doing a triathlon. 

Some days I think I keep running because I am scared of what will happen to me if I stop, but something has to keep me getting up and getting out there.  I have found a great deal of inspiration from other blogging runners who motivate me to be my best.  I feel like a runner now and I like that I can call myself that. 

What made you start running?  Why do you run?


  1. I've actually been meaning to blog about this and this has made me decide that I will be writing about why I run very soon.

    But in a nutshell I run because it makes me feel good. I was never athletic in high school or college. I run because it makes me feel so awesome that I can do it in the first place. What I love about running is that all that matter is how I feel when I do it. There is always going to be people that run faster than me. There is always going to be people that run slower than me. But as long as I keep doing it and I feel good about a run. Thats all I care about.

    It was really hard to call myself a runner too. While I have been running consistently for the last almost a year. I wasn't able to call myself a runner until recently.

  2. I loved reading this. For me, running a 5k was one of those bucket things and then somewhere along the way, I fell in love. Plus, crossing that finish line just felt so damn good.

  3. I didn't really like running in high school, although I played field hockey. Like many people, I got into running in an effort to lose weight. I hope I can do it for a long, long time!


What's on your mind?