Friday, September 10, 2010

~Why I Run~

Twitter. I love it for the many people you meet and share ideas or opposing views with - and I love when something someone says or asks makes you really think.

The question was (and I'm paraphrasing here):
"I don't understand running - it's hard, it hurts and it's boring. Why do you run?"

At first I puffed up my chest to say "Well, well, because. . .it's because. . . I mean, uh. . . " In my quick attempt to defend my new found hobby, I had to stop myself and really reflect on WHY I run.

I think that most people run for some similar reasons, but the individual drivers or motivations may be very different. I'm going to share some of mine - and I'd love to hear about yours (or, if you're so inclined, why you DISLIKE it so much).
  • I started running originally (on my first Couch-to-5K attempt in 2004) as a means to an end. To lose weight. I had just become serious about losing weight and signed up for the Indianapolis OneAmerica Mini Marathon. I quickly lost about 30 lbs and *BOOM* got pregnant with my oldest daughter. I did not do the race that year.
  • I re-started running in January 2009 to work on losing the rest of the weight I had gained with my first pregnancy (which was WAY too much!). I lost 26 lbs (still had 15 "baby" lbs to go after that) and *WHAM* pregnant again.
  • At 7 months pg with my 2nd daughter- I agreed to run the Wasatch Back Ragnar Relay in June 2010 and I mapped out my training schedule to begin on January 4, 2010 (6 weeks after giving birth).
    • With this pregnancy, I gained a good amount of weight- but not nearly as much as the first and that was very helpful in the end! About 2 months after I had my youngest, the pregnancy weight was gone- still had 15 lbs to get to pre-kids weight.
but I digress. . .
  • I started with the Couch-to-5K program again. Keep in mind - I was very heavy, had adult-onset asthma and a newborn and a 3 yr old at home. But I didn't make it an option to quit.
  • I kept up with my training and though I didn't run the full mileage of my 3 legs in Utah, I ran more than I really would have expected.
After the Ragnar - I was a little burnt out on training and running - I had been so laser focused for that that I needed a break. That's when I backed off from running and added in strength training and swimming and elliptical (and other cardio) - moving on to spinning and others. What I found shocked the hell out of me - I MISSED running! I added it back into my rotation and now run 2-3 times a week. My mileage has backed way off - some days I run 4+ miles, some days it's around 2 - but I enjoy it and it makes me feel great!

I know that's a lot of background for the meat of this. . . .but. . . .I run:
- to strengthen my heart
- to lose weight
- to chase my kids better
- to improve my lung function (I hardly, if ever, use an inhaler anymore, just a daily Singulair)
- to compliment my strength training
- to prove to myself that I CAN run, when I always told myself "I CAN'T"
- to be an example to my kids that running is good
- to strengthen my bones and fight off osteoporosis (did you know that the 'jarring' of the bones stimulates the marrow and in turn causes the bones to get stronger?)
- to feel the wind and sun on my face (or the rain, or the snow- it all has it's place)
- to be the exception to the rule (nobody expects the "big girl" to really run - I've always liked to prove people wrong)
- to meet new people (through running clubs or races)
There are lots of other reasons- but I want to see what else others add. . .(and please do add- whether you read this the day it was posted or years from now- SHARE!)

Yes, it hurt when I started. Yes, I got shin splints and hip pain and back pain and chafing. But I climb stairs without huffing/puffing, I stand up straighter, I walk proudly - RUNNING has brought this out of me.

Yes- it can be accomplished through other forms of exercise- but running is the catalyst for me opening my mind to other forms and for rediscovering things (i.e. swimming) I forgot how much I loved.

That's why I run.


  1. Yay for you! It's great that you have found something so good for you and that you enjoy!

    I don't run. I do use the elliptical and take really, really long (and fast-paced) walks. I really enjoy the outdoors, and my dog (a young border collie) thanks me for those walks.


  2. Love this!!

    "to prove to myself that I CAN run, when I always told myself "I CAN'T""
    This is a big one for me too!!!

    Also, I am so addicted to the way I feel after a good run...especially a long run. I'm so glad I'm getting my distances back up (just 3.75 miles today but hey, I'm getting there) so that I can feel that again.

    I love the osteoporosis info!! I'm a *small-boned *white *girl, which means I've got three risk factors for osteoporosis.

  3. Those are all really great reasons. I envy you for getting up and going, even when the "eat cake" voice is out there.

    Way back before I met B, I had just lost 75 pounds and was starting to run on the treadmill at the gym. Super amazed that I could even do that. I have to start back into it soon. With all the problems I've had this year, I put on 35 pounds, and am about two pounds shy of the heaviest I've ever been in my life. At this point, I plan to start with just the walking and upping my pace again (recovering from MCL sprain/PCL tear from practice - which reminds me that I need to post an update). Will get there again. You're a real inspiration for that.

  4. --Rockit - you'll get there, as soon as you can get over some of the health issues you've had. Also- if you ever want (and we can work out the schedule)- I can take a guest to our gym every day if I want- so you're welcome to come along anytime!

  5. Thanks! I have a gym though, so I just need to get myself there. Appreciate the offer though.

  6. I read this list awhile ago and I didn't comment at the time, but I totally loved it. Your list gets me excited to get back out there!