Why I run

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.

Happy running!

Why do you run?


  1. says

    Beautifully written. I loved reading this! So inspirational and straight from the heart. I may cry easily, but your words were touching. It always amazes me what running can do and you are proof that all you need to do is get out there and do it. Happy Running to you :)

  2. says

    Awesome post! It’s amazing how much we all run as an escape or a way to keep ourselves sane!

    Good luck in October! I’ll be looking forward to reading about it.

  3. says

    This is such a great post! It’s amazing how many different answers there can be from one sentence “why do you run?” !!! You’ve encouraged me to write a post about why I run :)

    Thanks for being so open & your encouraging words!

  4. says

    This is an excellent post!
    Until I started running this year, I never truly understood how deep running can affect one’s life both spiritually and mentally. I know why I started running, I know the goals I want to accomplish, how I can use running to help others, and I know I enjoy it – but there’s just so much more that I really need to sit down (or run) and think through.

    Thank you so much for sharing.

  5. PhroYo says

    Thank you for sharing!! I run because I can. I haven’t joined a charity team for my first half marathon (maybe I will next time), but I pay attention to people. We tend to go through life passing things, people, places by without really looking around taking it all in. I listen to stories of people who used to be able…able to take care of themselves, dress themselves, etc and because of some health issue or sudden ailment, they can’t. So many people out there who wish that they could just have one day of “normalcy” but because of some disease or condition, they have to depend on others. I run because God gives me the ability to…because I woke up and everything was in working order. It’s my little way of saying Thank You, I’m grateful. :)

  6. Hubby says

    Amazing post love. It was difficult for me to read, but I agree with all your reasons for running. PS – YOU ARE WHY I LOVE RUNNING :)


  1. [...] I also remember how run down all those runners looked.  Once again, knowing nothing about running a marathon at the time, I couldn’t quite grasp what kind of shape they were in at that point in the race.  I had a lot of fun cheering on the runners and passing out water with my friends from my team, but I can say with confidence that I definitely did not feel even the tiniest urge to run a marathon myself someday.  It took me a long time to find that I enjoyed running enough to want to run a marathon (more about that in my Why I Run post). [...]

  2. [...] Why do you run? The answer to that question can vary from day to day. Right now, I run because I love how I feel when I run and after I finish a run. I love that simply running a few times a week keeps me healthy, in shape and able to keep up with a busy toddler. I run because I’m training for my 3rd marathon and I want to feel prepared on race day. I wrote a post about why I run and you can see how my purpose has evolved over the years: http://the-running-mom.com/2011/08/why-i-run/ [...]

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