I love reading other runners’ blog posts about why they run so I thought it was about time for me to tell you why I run.
When I first started running, I was in high school. I ran because I played field hockey and they made us run. I hated it. It was something I dreaded. I did it anyway because I had to. Every summer, I’d run with some of my friends from my team so we could try to stay in shape and be ready for the hell that was pre-season.
I ran on and off in college, mostly on the treadmill. I ran on the treadmill because I went to the gym with my friends and exercise was a social activity, plus a way to keep that added college weight from creeping up on me. I went through phases of consistency with my running, but I think I was holding myself back by staying in the gym. It wasn’t until my junior and senior years of college, that I ventured outside and hit the pavement.
That’s when I started to run with a purpose. I ran because I wanted to see how far I could run. I liked building up my mileage and knowing I could come back to my apartment and day I just ran 3, 4 or 5 miles. I didn’t try to go farther than that because quite honestly, I didn’t really know what I was doing yet to know how to build my endurance. I remember one of my roommates (whose sister is an incredible marathon runner and Ironman athlete) teased me that she was looking forward to seeing when I’d run my first marathon. I scoffed at the idea. There was no way I was going to run 26.2 flippin’ miles.
Then I graduated from college and decided that maybe running a marathon wasn’t that crazy of an idea. I went to an information session for Team in Training and signed up for the Marine Corps Marathon in the Fall of 2006. I wanted to make a difference and I wanted to run a marathon. I found a way to do both. I ran to help find a cure. When I was struggling through the marathon and a cancer survivor stopped me to say “thank you” for running with TNT, I kept running for them.
After the marathon, I needed a break from running – both physically and mentally. I had dealt with a few injuries during my training and I was also just burnt out. I was in my first year of grad school and decided I needed to focus more on school. I got back into running again a few months later because I wanted to stay in shape.
After my husband and I got married, we knew we wanted to have a baby right away. Unfortunately, things don’t always go they way we think they will. I suffered two miscarriages. I wasn’t running before I got pregnant each time, but I ran again after we lost our first baby. Running was my therapy. I was running away from all of my pain. Did running help? Nothing can take away the pain of losing a baby, but running was an escape for me. It was an escape from the couch in our apartment where I cried so often, it was an escape from the unknowingly hurtful comments people made to me about my lost baby, it was an escape from everything.
I started running again after my sweet little miracle Zain was born. I ran to lose the baby weight. Once Zain was old enough, I started running with him and running was a fun activity for us both.
So here I am now. Why do I keep running? I run because it keeps me healthy. I run with Zain because I want him to be a part of my healthy lifestyle. I run because it’s still my therapy when I’m having a bad day. I run because it gives me more energy throughout the day. I run because I love how I feel after finishing a double digit mileage run. I run because I love running. And I run because I can make a difference by running a marathon for a charity (I’m running the Baltimore Marathon with Team Fight for The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults – donate here!).
As time goes on, the reason I run has changed and I’m sure it will continue to evolve. That’s one of the things I love about it.
Why do you run?