Saturday, October 8, 2011

Why? Why? Why?

Why do I run?  Sometimes I ask myself the same question and sometimes I get asked this question.  I run for so many reasons...Here they are in no particular order - just as they came to me...

1.  Health - Heart disease runs in my family, so does being overweight, diabetes...etc., etc.  So one reason I run is to stay ahead of the curve so to speak.  I don't want to have to make up for weight gained, or fitness lost when I am older because I know it is so much harder if you don't get into a good groove now and make it a habit.

2. Weight Maintenance/Loss - This was the original reason I started running about 8 years ago.  I could go out and run 3 miles and it would give me LOTS of activity points since I was doing Weight Watchers trying to lose the baby weight from the original mini - me that we had...I have seen shirts that say "I run so I can eat."  There are many days I feel like that.  If I didn't run, oh my...I don't even want to think of what I would become.

3. "Me"time -  This is the time where I don't have to worry about bills, or laundry, or lesson plans for school, dogs, kids, dirty get the picture.  I can just run and all I have to think about is the next walk break, or the hill coming up, or how beautiful it is outside...that's it.  It is kind of like my tv/zone out time - except it's just not on the couch in front of the tv...

She obviously needs a good run!
4.  Therapy - More often than not, my runs turn into some type of venting session between me and my friends.  More than likely, one of us has had a tough day/week whatever and just talking about it with someone is very cathartic.  Running is weird - it seems to open up a dialogue between you and a running buddy that normally would take months to come to that same point in a relationship, but it seems that when you run - you form a bond - a trust - something and it just works.  I love all my running friends for this very reason.  I know that I could count on them for anything anytime if I needed it.  They are more like a little running family.

5.  Challenge - I also like the fact that running isn't easy.  I don't care if you are running 3 miles or 30 miles.  It is physically and mentally hard.  I like that as I get older I challenge myself a little more.  I know I am no spring chicken - maybe a trail chicken but that is for another post.  I know that I will never win much less place in my age division.  The fact is, I am still getting off my butt and doing it and things that I never imagined I could 8 years ago, I am doing now.  I had no intention of EVER running a marathon - but I did two.  I NEVER in my life ran back to back long runs and last week I pulled off a 20 and then a 10 miler.  So as Justin B. says - Never say Never! :-)

6. Confidence - I think that kind of goes along with stepping up to the challenge.  I feel a little better about myself now that I am running.  I walk a little taller, stand up for what I believe a little more.

7.  Makes me a better _______ - fill in the blank on that one...wife/mom/daughter/sister/friend...Running always puts me in a good mood.  I have never come back home from running and wished I hadn't done it.  I think sometimes my husband probably wishes I would go run when I am grouchy...I come back a totally different person...calm and relaxed and I feel like I can tackle anything the day has to throw at me since I was able to tackle the 5 miler.

8.  Because I can.... - I have run before because I didn't know what else to do...when something bad has happened, or something has made me really sad - sometimes I will run because I need to go out...think for myself and just deal with stuff...this doesn't happen very often, but I know that I always have that in my pocket when I need to use running that way.

Everyone has their own reasons for lacing up.  The important thing I think is that you do it.  You find something that you can put your heart and soul into and reap the benefits of it.  It may not be running.  It may be charity work, or stained glass mosaics, or ultimate frisbee.  Just find your thing and make time for you because you are worth it.  You are THAT important!  Don't sell yourself short.  I know that you might have kids or family or work, but if you find time for yourself, it will benefit all aspects of your life.  Your kids aren't going to be scarred the rest of their life because mom was gone running for an hour in the morning.  In fact, they will probably find it cool and want to follow in your footsteps.  You will be a role model in ways you never imagined, now that is cool!


  1. Love what you say about running buddies having a bond! Can you be running buddies and not ever run together?..:) course we've run in the same race before so that counts....:) Thanks for being such a good buddy!