Why I Run

I am a runner.  I love the adrenaline, the challenge, the feeling of fit.  In the midst of the Olympics (how AWESOME is the human body at it’s peak!?!) I have spent time pondering the “whys” of exercise.  Granted, I was sitting lazily on the couch while Michael Phelps powered through the water, Gabby Douglas flew through the air with speed and agility, and the women marathoners finished at break-neck speeds.  But my brain was working really hard.  :)

I may not be an Olympian.  Or even close to one at that.  I face my own challenges, follow my own training schedules, and push my body to it’s limits.  It’s not always easy.  Or pretty.  In fact, more often than not, I turn tomato red in the face and I’m pretty stinky when all is said and done.  Not to mention being sore post-workout.  SO WHY DO I RUN?

1)  HEALTH:  I feel so much better when I run!  I feel strong, light on my feet, and more energetic, like an improved version of me.  I bounce up and down the stairs, play more with my children and am more willing and eager to go enjoy the beautiful mountains that surround Salt Lake.  I can better meet the demands of daily life.  Cholesterol is great.  Blood pressure is better.  Weight is down.  Fantastic.

2)  THERAPY:  When I hit the road running, all I have is my ipod and the scenery giving me a perfect opportunity to clear my thoughts and refocus.  The longer the run the better.

3)  STRESS BUSTER:  When life gets intense, as it often does, I run.  There is no better way for me to burn off some steam and come home level headed.  When my middle child was 2, I was having a bit of a rough day when he looked up at me and said “Mommy exercise?”  Kids are so perceptive!

4)  OUTDOORS:  Running gets me outside!   Fresh air, sunshine, chirping birds, blooming flowers, fall leaves, crunchy snow, waving to neighbors, off road trails, scenic runs through the mountains or on the beach- the world is waiting for you to explore it, one step at a time.

5)  FRIENDSHIP:  Outings with my running besties are fabulous adventures- can’t even tell you how many giggle fits Somer and I have had.  A running buddy is a friend through and through, no conversation left unturned, the more miles the better.  And a true friend knows when to talk, when to listen to steady foot falls, and when to power on the music.  More running friends always welcome.

6)  CHALLENGE:  I love a good challenge.  A new obstacle to face, a new course, a new distance- just because I am a grown up doesn’t mean I should stay stagnant.  Sometimes running hurts.  Sometimes the last thing I want to do is hop out of bed early to run when my bed is so cozy.  By pushing through those tough moments I become stronger mentally and in the long run, physically.

7)  MEMORIES:  Call me crazy, but some of my fondest memories have been while running!  Running in pouring rain (talk about cleansing!), running under the full moon, the silence of running on fresh snow at 6am when most of the world is still curled up in bed and sounds are dampened, taking my boys on a 5k run with Holi festival chalk exploding in the air, wildlife sightings, and visiting with cherished running friends as the miles melt away…  All of these moments are close to my heart, beautiful memories I can’t wait to make more of.

Take it from me, running rocks!
Get off the couch today, it is SO worth it.

PS- I haven’t always been able to run.  After my 2nd baby I found myself horribly out of shape and 65 lbs over my goal weight.  I huffed and puffed only walking a mile.  I was depressed and tired and just plain sick of being depressed and tired.  On my next mile walk I ran one block.  Then two the day after.  Little by little, block by block, I built up my miles and dropped the pounds.  You can do it to.  You are worth it.

And finally, a giveaway.  My all time favorite pre-workout energizer!  No synthetic sweeteners, natural vegan ingredients.  And just plain awesome.

Rules of Engagement:

1- You must be a follower of this blog, if you don’t know how to do that, there is a “Follow blog via email” button at the top column to the right. This contest is open to all followers, ALL AROUND THE WORLD. Can you feel the love? 

2- You must like this post (click on the title name of this post, then go to the bottom of the post just above comments and push the like button), 

3- You must tell me in the comments below what keeps you moving!

Giveaway ends Monday, August 13.

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48 thoughts on “Why I Run

  1. All kinds of exercising with running winning top priority. I love the feel of being stronger, toner and especially that great feeling that I accomplished something!

  2. I have to tell you, I wish I felt the same way about running that you do. My wife is a runner, and she want me to be one too so badly that sometimes I wonder why. I get out occasionally. I can run about 3.5 miles, at a snail’s pace, without trouble, but I never like it. I went about 6 months 2 or 3 years ago where I enjoyed it, but ever since then, I don’t know what happened.

    So I guess what gets/keeps me moving is my bride. She refuses to let me be any more sedentary that is necessary, and, to be honest, I hate it and love it.

    • Your wife rocks. I’ve never met her but love her already. :) Maybe runnings just not your thing- maybe biking, swimming, yoga, or martial arts? The possibilities are endless. I did have a riotous good run with some soccer leagues a couple years ago- SO MUCH FUN. What moves you?

  3. My love of running goes through cycles, which right now is at a low point. Maybe this will be a kick in my pants to go out and start running more.

    • Life is all about cycles, no reason why running shouldn’t be included! I too cycle, usually depending on my health/injuries, busy schedule and family needs. Sometimes it is all I can do to pick back up and get in the groove again. I never regret it. Remember- the first week is always the hardest. :) Good luck- you can do it!

  4. I love running! It’s funny how much I used to hate running until about 2 years ago, but I changed my mentality about it and became hooked. I competed my first 5k last year, such an adrenaline hit, can’t wait for more races! Lately the soles of my feet have been hurting me, making my runs shorter, any suggestions?

    • Good for you! Have you had your feet checked by a sports specialist? My doctor uses a combination of chiropractic work, sports taping, orthotics (I needed more arch support), and when damage has been done, he uses FSM, Frequency Specific Microcurrent, therapy to speed up healing. Finding a doctor who understood the mechanics of running made a world of difference for me. Heal up quickly and enjoy the road!

  5. Okay, thanks to your sappiness above I pounded out 3 miles with hills tonight. I ran so hard and fast that I nearly vomited when I got home. Radical! (Really) Love you and your running guts. Thanks for helping me get my head back in the game.

  6. By now I think it’s mainly habit that keeps me moving! If I didn’t work out in some way each day, I think I’d feel like a lump and the fear of starting myself down a path of non-movement is enough to keep me at it every single day! I schedule a month of work-outs in advance in my google calendar so that I KNOW when I’m working out and what I’m doing each week so I get a good variety in.

    • I sooo get the lump of fear- what if that 65 comes back? Ack! The horror! And it is so much easier to get out every day when it is habit, there is no question of whether or not I should/want to/feel like it. It just is. And btw, the planned variety a month in advance is genious!

    • Barb, you just can’t beat that feeling! A friend and I did a trail run in the mountains Saturday and I could help but glow for the rest of the day! :)

  7. This is exactly what I needed to read. I have taken the past week off of exercising without a real reason; I simply didn’t feel like myself and I couldn’t find the energy or the time to squeeze in a workout. (No excuses). Of course, it became a terrible spiral because not working out makes me even crazier and I wind up feeling worse overall. I’m going to think of this post when I finally kick my exercise drought today!

    • Kick it! Kick it! Nothing like a run to beat out those crazies. ;) After a visit to the lethargic dark side, you just may find yourself supercharged with the new motivation and energy you’re hoping for.

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  9. Very nice and uplifting article! I tried different kinds of exercises, but my favorite has been swimming (home renovation wish: 25 meter indoor/outdoor pool!) I do other stuff now, and my motivation comes from knowing it’s always “me time” when I exercise. The DVDs I watch have someone shouting, “I know you can do it, push harder!” and though I’m gasping for air I really focus on one more push-up, one more jump, one more something to the point where I whimper and whine, make funny noises and want to cry…but it’s a good thing! :D

    • Ooooo, indoor pool. What a dream! It took me most of my life, but I finally found a pair of goggles that don’t leak for me and it is like a whole new world has opened up for me. I love the relaxing stroke counting, steady breathing and feeling the power of a flip turn. Funny how we can consider pain a good thing, the results are so worth it. I’m curious, what are your favorite workout videos?

      • I have 4 Jazzercise DVDs (did them 3x/week) and Leah Sarago’s Ballet Body collection (upper body, lower body & core, did 1 or 2x/week.) I posted about this last Wednesday and several people were interested, I was so happy! These are great workouts, but I wanted a change of pace so switched to Insanity, and am on the tail end of the second week (I’ll post about this soon!) I will say that I really loved the change of pace and it’s a killer butt-kicking workout! I used TYR swim goggles, not sure which ones but they were around $15 and had a mirror-finish. They worked well for me and I tried to coordinate my swim cap/goggles with suit, haha! I miss swimming so much, and you’re right, the stroke counting is so relaxing, and flip turns just made laps more “professional” looking! I just love the feel of being enveloped by water…sigh, I miss the pool!

      • Good for you! Those sound like tons of fun- I usually tend to lean towards brutal pain videos like Insanity and Tae Bo Boot Camp, I think you have the right idea. TYR are my favorite goggles too! They are the only ones that will worth with the tall bridge on my nose. And I absolutely love that you match your goggles to your suit, a girl after my heart, :)

  10. You named all the reasons I love running! It seems like your experiences and feelings about it are very similar to mine.

    I feel I’ve come to know myself better by spending that time with myself every day. Knowing that I’m creating a stronger, healthier me, in body and soul, keeps me heading out every morning even when I’m tired and groggy.

    I look forward to the feeling of peace that I get when I finally slip into my rhythm, not having to pay attention to my breath anymore, but can just enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of the early morning. I know that I will be a happier, calmer person when I return from my run, and that in itself is a huge motivator.

    It makes me happy to know that other people feel the same way. I feel a kinship with every other runner on the planet, especially when I read something like this and realize that we’re in it for the same reasons.

    This was a really inspirational post. I like what you said at the end – “you are worth it.” Sometimes we just need to be told that. Thank you. :)

  11. Excellant post. We humans are born to run. I feel at one with nature when I run through the rainforest or along the Coral Sea. I love that anyone can do it too. It’s cheap and very enjoyable sport too.

    • So very true. I watched a really cool documentary that talked about the human body and animal bodies, analyzing gait and bone structure to determine which were meant to walk and which were made to run. And lo and behold, we were built to run! As for the Coral Sea and rainforest, those will definitely need to be added to my running bucket list.

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