Why I Run

Six months ago, on December 26, 2013, I did something that shocked pretty much everyone who has ever met me.

I went out for a run. {Read more about my life on the run here.}

Today, it's exactly six months, four races, and a couple hundred miles later, and I'm a changed woman. Running has been, without a doubt, the best thing I've ever done for myself. Aside from one nasty little habit, I was still healthy before I ran — ate clean, worked out, practiced mindfulness, set and kept to healthy boundaries — but the sense of whole wellness I have now trumps it by a long shot.

There are so many reasons I started my life on the run: I'd always wanted to try it as a meditative exercise; it's a workout I can do at any age, at any place, wherever I am; I needed to introduce a cardio routine into my life; the list goes on.
But now, six months later, those pale into comparison to what keeps me on the road. Why do I run?


Before I ran, the time I spent outside was largely at the mercy of other friends who had to be pried out the door for adventures, patio cocktails, and hikes. Now I never need a reason to spend hours with the great outdoors — just my running shoes.

Long, solo runs with nothing but my favorite playlist have replaced brooding in my apartment, venting over booze and bad food, and aimless drives as methods to clear my mind and lift my mood.

There are few better ways to merge charity with looking after my own health.

Every step I take is proof that I can do anything if I care enough to start, and to keep trying.

Each time I feel like giving up, I learn the depths of my strength and willpower.
I never knew how strong my mind could be until I started running.

Even though I've been working on meditation for years, it tends to come so easily on a run. Running is the only time where I truly feel stillness and silence in my mind.

Each injury or running pain is a chance for me to pull back, reflect, listen to my body, and regroup.

I have never been more aware of and in tune with my body as I am now that I run.

The running community is one of the kindest, warmest, most welcoming groups of people I've ever encountered.
Feeling welcomed by the running community has reinforced to me the importance of removing toxic influences from my life.

Running has shown me who in my life is waiting to see me fail, and who is cheering for me louder than I ever knew.

As a goal-oriented person, I have never set — and smashed — as many personal goals as I have in the last six months. Case in point: At Sunday's race, I was outwardly hoping to just break my PR. Inside, I was dying to get below 28:00. You know what happened there.

Every mile I run is a mile I never thought I would conquer, and shows me how capable I never knew I was.
Every time I add a run to my calendar and watch my mileage grow, I'm overcome with a sense of accomplishment few things in my life have brought me in the past.

Each run I set out on tests me, challenges me, and rewards me all at once.

Runner's high is real.

As is the high when Boston Marathoners tell you that you "have what it takes to be great."

I never thought I would be able to honestly say the words: "I'm in training for a half marathon." BOOM.

Running forces me to maintain other healthy habits, especially those that have been challenges for me all my life.

If I hadn't started running, I would still be a pack-a-day smoker.

For these and for so many more reasons, I run to be the person I feel like I was supposed to become.
I run because every step I take helps me to know and be my best self.

_____________________________________________________

I don't write this to pat myself on the back for managing to run a couple of 5ks. But because I'm cheesy, today feels like a special day. A day worth commemorating. And a day worth pausing on and looking back so that I can say... holy shit. I think I'm a runner.

It feels like I've been running my whole life, yet it feels like the past six months just flew by. I can't wait to see where I am in another six months, and where this journey takes me. I wonder what else I can do...

What makes you feel like your best self? If you run, what keeps you out on the road?

Comments

  1. Love, love reading posts about why people run! They're some of the best inspiration for me that I've ever found! Love this!

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  2. Aww love this! This is why I started as well. I also started a cleanse and clean eating which is new to me! I feel so good this week and I only started on Monday!! I feel energized and like a new person really ...Great post girlie. Motivation to run is always a good thing!

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  3. Congratulations on everything you've accomplished in running so far!! You're rocking it girl!! I didn't like running before this year - in fact I loathed it!! But now - I don't go a few days without a run and I've done 3 races in the past month!! It's a great feeling when you race yourself - like I do haha!

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  4. I feel like if I tried to go for a run I would die lol. I just don't think my body is meant to run!

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  5. ahhh damn girl for reals. can we run together? i have a feeling we'd be besties if it weren't for the pesky states in between us. nah but seriously, thank you for writing this, you really are an inspiration and motivation, i'm still recovering from the stupid cold and i think i will let myself recover till the end of the week before i start out again. i need new running songs though, do you have a fave playlist? anywho. reading this post felt like i wrote it (but you write much better, and when i say me i say me from like 2 years ago when i actually ran often and well) and isn't running just the best feeling, i have never felt so strong and accomplished as when i finish a long, hard run.

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  6. Love this post SO much! I am a smoker and I run but I quit yesterday and I hope that boosts my miles/time.

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  7. I can't believe your time is so good after only 6 months. There is hope for me yet!

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  8. cheers to finding running and making the positive change!!! especially the smoking part :)

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  9. I would say look at you go but you've already blown by ! I am equal parts impressed/floored, proud, and jealous of all that you've accomplished in 6 months. I want to be there when you decide to rule the world because when you decide to do something, it happens !

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  10. Preach!!! I love it all but I think my favorite part is when you said you run to become the person you're supposed to be. Bam, exactly! I never feel more alive and more like myself than I do in the quiet of my own mind on a run.

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  11. Oh my gosh I'm feeling so inspired by this post right now!! I'll still stand firm (at this point) that I hate running. But I promise I'm not going to stop, and maybe one day I can actually say that I enjoy running!

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  12. These are awesome reasons to run!! Congrats on giving up the pack a day habit too. I feel SO good when I run, I just love the feeling. It took me awhile to love it, but now there's not much more I would rather do than run!

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  13. This is so inspiring. I love when you do this type of posts! :)

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  14. I loved reading this - it is SO inspiring! In fact, now I really want to go for a run and I'm not much of a runner. That's so great that you found something you enjoy doing!

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