Why I Run

27 Aug

Post run legs — a little bit dirty.

Since I trained for that 5k race back in April, running has become an almost daily part of my life. Sure, there are days when I would much rather lie on the couch with a book or stare at the ceiling for extended amounts of time, but I (almost) always manage to force myself to put on my running shoes and get out the door.

I was terrified that when I moved to Austin, I’d have to give up my runs because of the heat. And yes, it is a different game here. You have to get up super early or wait until it’s pretty late or suffer the consequences. I sweat more than I thought a person could. I literally lost two pounds of water weight during one run. And yet, the runs are always worth it.

Why do I run?

  • Endorphins. I know that when I’m sad, stressed or anxious, I need the run the most. When I run, I concentrate on my steps and on my breathing, blocking out all other thoughts. I get a break for at least a half hour, which is enough to usually get me out of my funk.
  • The chance to check out my neighborhood, new trails, new streets. I love finding little pocket parks, beautiful homes and streets I had no idea existed. Fair warning — if you have a cute house and you leave the curtains open at night, I may try to get a peek from the road to see your decorating style. I don’t slow down or anything, cause I’m not a SUPER stalker, but you know, I just want to see what’s on the walls. Geez.
  • My legs — they’re getting stronger and more defined every day. My shorts and skirt collection has expanded quite a bit since taking up running. Not that I want to show off or anything…
  • Alone time. Even if the trail is full of other sweaty, panting runners, I get to listen to whatever music I want (aka my dirty, dirty hip hop collection). Or, if I’m feeling fancier, I can put on that podcast I’ve been meaning to listen to and really concentrate on it.
  • Routine. It’s comforting to have a carved out time for health every single day. Even if I get nothing else done on that day, at least I went for a run. I feel accomplished.
  • Cute workout clothes. Nike shorts + Old Navy tank top + sneakers + kicky ponytail = heyyyyyyy girl.
  • People watching. So there’s this phenomenon in Austin where about half the men don’t wear a shirt when they run. Sooo there are lots of guys who really, really should think about wearing a shirt, and there are a select few who, well, make the run a heck of a lot more interesting.
  • Pushing through my limits. I never thought I’d be able to run two miles together. Or run an 8:30 mile. Or, gosh, a 10k race (ok, I haven’t yet, but that’s the next goal). And I can! My body is capable of doing amazing things, and the only way to find out how far I can go is to push myself to go for it.
  • Being part of the running tribe. I love nodding to other runners, exchanging looks of pain or contentment, depending on how hot it is. I love seeing the new runners as well as the iron men who are charging up the trail like mad men. I love seeing people of all shapes and sizes. I love feeling like part of a group. An insane, open to pain group.

Take it from this 100% anti-running girl turned runner — it’s worth it. Every sore muscle, every side stitch, every sweat stained shirt, they add up to toughness, resilience and general badassery. I’m so happy I found this.


6 Responses to “Why I Run”

  1. ordinarylifeisextraordinary August 27, 2012 at 8:14 am #

    I actually went out for my first trail run this morning. I hate running and when I do it’s usually on the treadmill, it was tolerable. I’ll do it again tomorrow.

  2. PDX Running Chick August 27, 2012 at 8:14 am #

    I love it when a person finds running and loves it. I was pretty anti-running too. Didn’t understand why anyone would ever run in the first place. Three years later and I cannot live without it!! It’s who I am now and I wouldn’t go back for anything! Keep up the good work!! Peace, Love & Running!

  3. shadowoperator August 27, 2012 at 10:29 am #

    You really remind me of the good old days when I ran, instead of making do with a fast walk. The motives for running don’t change much, and I suspect they’re pretty much the same from person to person–the main thing that changes is how our music is packaged (when I used any, it was from a portable radio!) –Signed, Old Bag (he!he!)

  4. Laura August 27, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

    I keep seeing awesome posts about the awesomeness of running, and I’m like… I want to tryyyy. But also I’m scared. But, I have downloaded a couch to 5k podcast, so… I guess we’ll see. But you make it sound like the bestest, so 🙂

    • ohdizzle August 27, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

      I totally got started with the Couch to 5k deal. It really works…as long as you don’t stop at week four like I did for about 3 years…

  5. Etol Bagam August 27, 2012 at 1:57 pm #

    Your post is very inspiring. I do about the same but walking. The problem with running is the plantar-fasciitis I suffer from. But this past weekend I went on a 10K event and it was the first time I decided to switch back and forth between walking and jogging (did six 5k, one 8k and one half-marathon walking 100% of the time in the past year and a half. This weekend’s was the first 10k). And surprisingly I was able to jog much more than I expected and did not feel any feet pain (true that every time it would threaten me to start I’d switch to walk for a few minutes before trying jogging again…) On a dail;y basis, I go for walks in the trails around my office at lunch time. That also make it hard to jog/run, as I would have to change and take a shower, which most of the time I don’t have the time to do. But I’m startiong to consider doing it at the end of the day, instead of lunch time, at least on the days I don’t go for workout, so I can change, do my run and then head directly home.

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