Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Why I Run

Running takes me back. When I was a kid, I used to run laps around the playground for fun during  recess. I would run with my dad some afternoons. I would run, run, run for no apparent reason. It wasn't my sport. It wasn't my thing. I just did it to keep up with my friends in the neighborhood, who were older than me, and to keep out of reach from my younger brother, who would chase me around with a baseball bat. Seriously. (But don't worry -- we're cool now).

I grew up as an athlete. I danced tap, jazz, and ballet. I competed in power tumbling (acrobats) for MANY years (and loved it). I played soccer. I played basketball. Heck, I even played football (amazing experience, by the way). When I was 13, I was healing from a torn MCL (left knee) from acrobats. I didn't know what to do with myself. I decided to be crazy and to sign up for cross country as a brand new seventh grader (the first year school sports were offered at my middle school). (I know what you're thinking -- why would she sign up to run long distances with a torn MCL? You've got me, but hey, I healed, and I'm still running, nearly 13 years later). 

I ran cross country and track all the way from 7th grade through 12th grade. I pushed myself in ways I had never imagined. I made friends I wouldn't have otherwise. My teammates became a second family to me. I had some amazing coaches who guided me through perseverance. I learned so much about myself while testing my limits running. I still continue to develop in my mind. My legs are not in control; my heart is. 

You know what they say:

"Running is the greatest metaphor for life. You get out of it what you put into it."

I'm a firm believer in that statement, and running long distances has trained my mind to think that way.

I'm not fast. I never won any races (other than relays, and I credit my teammates for that). I will never break any records (other than my own). I don't run for the glory; if I did, I would never see it. I run because it EMPOWERS ME. 


·      I can
·      Runner’s High
·      It challenges me
·      It clears my mind
·      It relieves my stress
·      To prevent heart disease
·      It is cheaper than therapy
·      Someday I won’t be able to
·      For all the people who cannot
·      It makes me feel good about myself

There are so many good reasons to run. Every runner has different reasons, but they are all valid. Running may not be the most fun way to exercise all the time, but I have NEVER once regretted a run I have gone on. Even if I'm slow, I'm still faster than the people on the couch. I'm still better off than those who choose to sit around. I still feel better about myself than those who aren't tough enough to work through their issues. 

I have run in numerous races. I have over 50 5Ks under my belt. Some of those were high school races, and others are fun runs, like the Color Run, the Dirty Dash, and the Glow Run. I ran the Go! St. Louis Half Marathon in 2008, and then I let running taper off in my life. I knew I missed it. I ached for it. My body WANTED to run, but my mind told me: "NO! You aren't strong enough for that anymore. You can't handle it."

Recently, I picked it up again. Running is good for the soul. I am challenging myself in ways I never have before. I KNOW that I am capable of doing whatever I set my mind to. My legs aren't going to give out. My heart will keep on beating. It's my mind that likes to play tricks on me... but this time, I am out to get that brain of mine. I WILL conquer it. I WILL run a half marathon in Denver at the end of July. I will be a fresh 26 year old woman for that race, and I WILL dominate it, even if that only means running the entire thing without walking. I can, and I WILL

Dan and I will be running in the Dog Days Half Marathon in Westminster, Colorado (near Denver) on July 27th, 2013. We are both following the Hal Higdon Half Marathon Training Plan, and so far, it's going well. We are training separately, of course, but it will be nice to run the 13.1 miles together. I can't wait! The proceeds from this half marathon will be going to the Colorado Canine Rescue, which makes this race even sweeter. I'm such a sucker for animals. 

Also, I may be getting in over my head, but like I said, I think I am capable of ANYTHING I SET MY MIND TO... which is why I am seriously contemplating running a full marathon next year. I have always wanted to. I know I want to do it before I have kids one day. I also think it would be the perfect pre-wedding training plan. My good friend Lizzie (at Sweet Kansas Girl) wants to run one as well, so we decided that we should run our first one together. That way, we can hold each other accountable and be there for moral support! I want to do a marathon at lower altitude than Colorado has to offer, though, and I've also always wanted to travel for a race. Since Dan and I are paying for our wedding next May, I didn't want to spend a ton of money... so I found the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, which is held on April 27th, 2014, just 33 days before my wedding. I think it sounds absolutely perfect, and I am determined. My farthest distance to date is 13.1 miles, but I will not be saying that by this time next year. 

I often turn to quotes for motivation when I'm feeling down before a long run. These are some of my favorites: 

Do YOU run? If so, WHY do you choose to run? If not, what is your preferred exercise? 


  1. How cool! We will both run our farthest distance, 26.2 in Oklahoma! I still think we need to work it out sometime to run a race together. Even if it is just a 5k. I might be able to make it happen if I can get out to Colorado before you move. :)

    1. I think it's awesome too that we will both run our farthest in OK! It must be the place to be!

      Yes, you better make it out here... there are SO many races to choose from in this crazy state. Any time you feel like visiting, just let me know... I've got plenty of spare room! :)

  2. I do run. Because my job makes me (yah USAF). I hate it. haha. I would much rather swim or cycle-which I do-but have to run often to keep the standards the military requires. I guess I have to take back hate. It's not my favorite, but when I really think about it, I guess I don't mind it anymore.

    1. I'm glad that it's growing on you! My fiancé started running regular for his fitness tests, and I'm so glad because it's something we can do together (though he is much faster than me, haha).


  3. What an inspirational post! I kind of suck at running, but my man is all about it. When he gets home from deployment, he wants to train for a half marathon. I think I need to adopt a bit of your can-do attitude!


    1. Aw, well thank you! I am glad I can be an inspiration to someone. Running really is tough stuff, BUT the feeling you get from it makes it entirely worth it, I promise! I have never regretted going on a run -- ever! IT's really a mental game... so it's a great test of will! If you end up running and would like an accountability buddy, let me know! I'd be happy to help if I can! :)