Friday, May 21, 2010

Why I Run

After a couple of days of rest post-triathlon, I finally got out for a run yesterday.  It was quite warm and very sunny.  I wasn't going for speed, I was just going out to get is done.  Some quick stats:

Miles: 3.13 mi
Time: 35.01 min
Pace:  11.11 min/mi

Most of the run I was thinking a lot about why I run.  I'm sure to a lot of people it seems crazy that anyone would subject themselves to such "torture."  Patrick thinks I'm a little nuts for running and doing triathlons because he says "running is pain."  Here's what I came up with.

One of the biggest reasons I run is to try to lose weight/keep my weight in check.  My goal is usually to lose weight, but I have been less than successful with that goal in the past couple of months (although I'm happy to report I'm back on track).  Running is a great way to torch calories fast.  I like efficiency and would prefer to run for 30 minutes than walk for 1.5 hours to burn the same amount of calories.  Besides, I also prefer to be nice and sweaty at the end of a workout so I feel like I've actually gotten something done.

I also run because I want to be healthy.  I feel like it's some great preventative maintenance.  There is a history of heart disease and diabetes in both sides of my family.  That family history puts me at risk and I feel like I should be taking advantage of the time I have to try and prevent these diseases.  Really any type of exercise would be of benefit, but running just happens to be what I prefer.

Running is also a great stress reliever for me.  I like to run when I'm angry or upset.  It helps burn off the pent up energy and it give me time to think and process.  I think about a lot of different things on a run and I like to just let my mind wander and see where it goes.  Sometimes I don't really think about much of anything and it turns out to be a great escape.

Running has also taught me a lot about myself.  Just when I think I need to stop and walk, I prove to myself that if I just keep putting one foot in front of the other I can keep going.  I've realized that I can run a 5K, a 10K, and even complete marathons.  When I started getting into running more regularly about a year ago, I never thought I would have completed as many races as I have.  And I look forward to continuing to do them and show myself that I can go faster and farther than I thought.  It takes some self-discipline, but I've gained a lot of that as well because of running.

When cars pass by me while I'm running, I get a kick at the looks on people's faces.  I think a lot of people think runners are nuts because they would never dream of going out for a run, most likely because they think they can't.  But the fact of the matter is, if you set your mind to it, you can be a runner.  I truly believe with enough hard work and dedication anyone can be a runner.  I may not look like a runner if you met me on any given day, but I am.  I don't let the fact that I'm a little overweight limit me, so why should anyone else?  Everyone has different reasons for running, and no one is greater than another, but the important this is that we're doing it.


  1. Great post! I run for a lot of the same reasons ...

  2. Awesome post!! I am a new runner and those are great reasons to run! Makes me want to run MORE!

  3. Though I can't run right now, I definitely hear you on all of these reasons- particularly your first one. Running doesn't keep my weight in check really (for me its all about food) but I would rather run for 30 minutes than spend 15 minutes preparing to bike, then having to bike for an hour to burn as many calories as running for a 30 minutes. I just feel like most other exercises are more of a process than running- just run right out the door, no set up necessary!