I Run… National Running Day

Happy National Running Day! 

Haha did you know it was National Running Day? That’s ok, I didn’t either until recently! Today’s post is going to be a little different – I’m participating in a link up through one of the blogs I follow (and love), OliveToRun. The challenge? Fill in the blank – “I run…”

I run

When I first read the topic, it seemed straightforward enough, but then I started thinking, “why do I run?” And I realized the answer was not as simple as I thought.

Looking back, my running journey really began with soccer. I started playing the sport in third grade and fell in love.

Don't I look excited?!

 

Ready to get to work.

There was nothing better than a Saturday morning game in the crisp fall air, kicking the ball around, the sheer excitement of scoring a goal! I played on town and travel leagues for years, and loved every minute of it.

Here I am at a tournament, posing with my team.

 

Trophy and shark towel in hand.

When I got to middle school, I finally had the opportunity to try out for the school team. I was thrilled! Except for one tiny detail – you had to run one timed mile as part of the try-outs.

Now as a 7th grader, this really seemed like a lot (haha, weird to think that I now enjoy running 13.1 miles! ). But my mom took me to the school track during the summer, and I did my best to train. I ran loops, I ran sprints, and I ran some more. But at the time, I didn’t really enjoy it. I only saw running as a means to an end – a way for me to make the school soccer team.

Fast-forward to the fall of that year. Try-outs arrived and I ran that mile successfully! I even ended up making the team. I was ecstatic. But I still didn’t love running. I ran for soccer.

After years playing soccer through middle school and high school, I decided to change things up a bit and joined my high school’s track and field team. I did a lot of the sprint events , but nothing longer than the 400 meters. Running multiple miles still seemed like it was not for me. I also did jumps – both long and triple jump, and those, I really enjoyed!

My form's not great, but it still looks pretty cool, amirite?!

After graduating and going to college, running seemed to lose its purpose. There were no track meets, no soccer games, what was I running for? Nothing. So I barely ran at all. Not the healthiest decision I’ve ever made.  When I came home for Thanksgiving that first year, my mom mentioned she had been toying with the idea of doing a half marathon. While I was aghast at the idea of running 13.1 miles, I knew it was exactly what I needed. Here was a palpable reason to start running again. If I didn’t want to die on race day, I was going to have to train and let me tell you, the fear of death is a powerful motivator.

You can probably guess how the story goes from here – my mom and I LOVEDthat first race, and since that first half marathon, we have run a whole lot of races! This leads me back to the original question, “why do I run?”. I run to race. I run for the challenge and the sense of purpose racing provides me. I run with the hope that every run will make me that much stronger. Oh and yeah, I also run because I can safely say that I now enjoy it (most of the time!).

i run...

Have a great National Running Day! If you run, go for a jog today. If you don’t, go do something active outdoors and enjoy yourself. 🙂

P.S. Hope you enjoyed the throwback pics!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s