I love me a holiday and a holiday about running? Even better 😀 Happy National Running Day!! I’ve linked up with the awesome Cori at Olive To Run (one of my fave bloggers!) to celebrate this awesome day.
Around the web, I’ve been seeing this question tossed around quite a bit: Why do you run?
So while running yesterday, I thought about why I ran. This is a question I often ask myself, especially during a race when I really question why the heck I’m doing this to myself.
I can really think of more than ten reasons but I’ll leave it at that number for now and continue the list another day 🙂
I run because:
1. I love the challenge. It never gets easy. I feel like once you accomplish a goal, there’s always something else to strive for. A new PR, a new distance, a new race in a new place, a better time at the same race, different terrain. You can make running be a constant challenge for you–something that always keeps you working. That’s what makes running so awesome.
2. I can grow old with running. It’s a sport that ages with you. I’ve been running since I was in middle school and I know it’s something I’ll be doing forever. There are no age limits, no cut-offs, you can just keep doing what you’re doing. It’s a sport that an athlete doesn’t worry about having to quit once they’ve reached a certain age. I absolutely love basketball and I always get sad when I see favorite players retire. There’s no retiring with running.
3. There’s nothing better than the running community. Seriously, runners are a special kind of human body. It’s like we know and understand each other more than our own families do sometimes. You tell your significant other that your calf is sore and they might be a little concerned but you tell your running friend the same thing and they know that you’re freaking out about it and let you talk about each ache for 30 minutes. Runners love celebrating each other’s victories and understand the hard work it takes to achieve a goal. They know the commitment required. They’ve been through it.
4. Running teaches me discipline. When I’m training, I’m in full running mode. Like I mentioned above, running takes commitment. It’s not something you can half ass–especially if you’re working towards a goal. Having two kids, two very young kids, sleep is precious to me. But, if it’s a running day, it’s a running day and I do what I have to do. I could get an extra hour of sleep or I can get my workout in. Often times, it’s not even a question.
When I’m running, sometimes I might be feeling good, especially at the start. But I’ve learned through the years that pacing is key. I have to be disciplined in making sure I have enough gas at the end and that I’m not overzealous in the beginning of a race. Running has taught me that I’ve got to know what the game plan is and stick to it.
5. It’s the best stress reliever/medicine/therapy. Quite a few problems have been solved during a run. When it’s just me and the open road (or trail) I can really mule over any dilemma or question I might have. Or if I’m stressing about work or wondering about a lesson plan for the next day, I go over in my head how I can make things better, what changes I can make. Being able to have this outlet allows for a more peaceful sleep because that’s the only other place I’d be thinking about these things lol.
6. There are so many places to run. I have a very long racing bucket list. Very long. There are just so many beautiful, interesting, different places I want to run at. I’ve been very fortunate at having been able to cross a few places off that list–Spain, the Grand Canyon, and this October, Washington, D.C. Running can take you to so many places and teach you so much about the world.
And even in your own community. I’ve learned so much about my city by trying out new paths and new trails. I feel like I’ve become better connected with my surroundings and like I’m really a part of where I am.
7. I love that people think I’m crazy. Just today, when I went out for a run in the 108 degree heat, I got so many stares from people. Who goes running when it’s that hot out?? Me. This girl. I love getting those looks because I know I’m doing something that most people would not want to do. Who wants to get up at 5 in the morning on a Saturday for a long run? Me! Who wants to tackle crazy elevations for some hill work? Me, me! Who wants to do speed work at the track and run so fast you want to puke? Me, me, me!!!
8. Running keeps me healthy. In so many ways. Mentally, emotionally, physically. I’m able to have fun with food because I’m able to maintain a physically healthy lifestyle. Running also gives me energy to keep up with my toddlers and to keep up with life.
9. It humbles me. I wish I could say every run is a great run but they’re not. Sometimes I feel like I’m improving so much and I’ll have a great time/pace and the next race or run it’s like I was starting all over again. Or, I’ll train for a race and feel like I’m fully prepared but the course, weather, or life will throw me a curveball and put me back in my place. Running lets me know that I’m not in control of all things. I can do my best but I have to be ready for anything. And I have to be okay when things don’t go my way.
10. It makes me thankful. Not everyone can run. I think about this a lot. I think about my sister who can run but not like she used and not how she wants to. I think about Graisyn, the little boy I was matched with on IRUN4 who struggles with running. So whenever I’m upset about my pace, mad at how much I hurt, or angry for putting myself through this, I think about those people who want to run, but can’t.
I know that many wish they could be me out there.
–Why do YOU run?
–Are you running on our holiday today? 🙂 (I’ll be at the track tonight!)
If you’re in the market for a headband, the Bondi Band giveaway is going strong! Click here to enter for a FREE headband.