Why I Run

Sunrise Run | HappyFitMama.com

I was going through articles I had written for magazines and websites through the years yesterday when I stumbled across this post I wrote two years ago for Run Vermont. It was right before my first marathon, Vermont City Marathon. They wanted to know Why I Run and the story behind my running. A patient of mine, recently asked me the same question, “Why do you run?” Of course, he followed that with, “Why would you do that to your body?” At the time, all I said was “Because I love it.” And really, I think that more than explains it. Do what you love, right?

As I’m thick in training for Boston right now and the early morning runs are getting earlier and harder in intensity, I sometimes need a reminder of Why I Run.

Here’s my story of Why I Run from the beginning.

Throughout my life I’ve enjoyed movement. I dabbled in running throughout my teens and early 20s just for the calorie burn. I was more of a gym rat hitting the cardio machines, classes and the weight room. In the back of my mind, I always secretly had a goal of running a half marathon or a marathon. One day, in the summer of 2007, I decided it was time to go after that goal. What was I waiting for? That year I did my first half marathon. I didn’t know anything about pace, tempo or Fartlek’s. I just ran! As I was running that race, I knew I was hooked and couldn’t wait for the next one.

Seacoast Half Marathon 2007

Life had a different course for me to follow. In 2008, my husband, Ron and I decided to try for our first baby. We were beyond thrilled when we found out we were pregnant. When I was 10 weeks pregnant, I miscarried. I had gone running that same morning. Even though my doctor reassured me the miscarriage was not from running, I stopped running on that day. I knew that the two were not related but I associated the two events together. I didn’t want to have anything to do with my running shoes.

After 2 years of trying and not even thinking about running, we finally became parents in June 2010. Not just to one baby but twins! While I was pregnant with the twins a friend of mine was as well. We made a plan to run a local half marathon in November as a way to get back into shape post baby. She was unable to do it but as soon as I was cleared to run at 6 weeks postpartum, I laced up my sneakers. That first run in more than 2 years and after delivering twins was NOT pretty. Everything hurt. It felt like my brain was loose, just floating around in my skull. My internal organs felt the same. See? Not pretty.


But the more I ran, the more I remembered the love I had for training. The love of having my body move through space and time. The way my mind could just BE. Even though I wanted to spend every single moment with my babies, I forced myself to take time for myself. Sure napping sounded wonderful, but running was just as relaxing. In November, I crossed the finish line of my second half marathon, 4 ½ months after my twins were born. When I saw Ron and the kids, I burst into tears sobbing. I was overwhelmed with emotion and exhaustion. My time was actually slower than 2007 but I felt such a sense of accomplishment for sticking to my intention.

Since 2010, I’ve run many races – 5k’s to marathons. I’ve often thought, what would my life be like if I never found running? Would I be just as comfortable in my skin? Would I be just as confident? Running is not just physical exercise to me. It’s an emotional exercise in patience, persistence and overcoming negativity. It’s made me a stronger person, no doubt about it.

Wanna Race? | HappyFitMama.com

So why do I run?

Early morning runs seeing the sunrise and knowing I accomplished more before most people wake up.

The endorphins and the sweat. Every physical activity has it’s own endorphin high but running is my favorite way to get it.

The music my footfalls make with each step.

The chance to sort out my thoughts with no interruptions.

Solo time.

The running community – there’s never a shortage of conversation amongst runners even if you have nothing in common other than running.

It makes me thankful for the ability to move.

The sweetest sweat I’ve ever known.

The places it takes me mentally and physically.

I can do it anywhere at any time. I can walk out my front door and just go.

It makes me happy.

It makes me ME.

Why do you run?

What does your running story look like?

37 comments on “Why I Run

  1. Angela, this is so beautifully written. How well you captured how so many of us feel about the sport. I lost my way a few months ago, I felt as though the finish line was the only reason I did run….and thats how I got obsessed with the 2:40 marathon, but since then, I have relearned the other reasons I love it. Many of which you mentioned above, and the more I realize those, the more I discover. This was interesting to learn your true story, and it makes me smile a lot 🙂
    Tina Muir recently posted..The Brands That Fuel My FutureMy Profile

    1. Your comment made me think of Joan Benoit Samuelson’s quote “There is no finish line.” Life after crossing your goal race is still there. Run for all the right reasons rather than an end.

  2. Love this! I’ve written about why I run–right now, it’s for sanity and to keep me from pounding on my oldest son, who’s tested me to the extreme. Running makes me strong on the inside and out. You followed my Chicago marathon journey, and after 20 years of running, that race brought me the one thing that has been eluding me all these years–mental toughness. I don’t think I could deal with my current mama drama without that. I am so grateful for all the running has brought to my life.
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted..Treadmill survival skillsMy Profile

  3. I love every bit of this. I never really tried running until I was in my 30s. But I have always been very active, it was just ballet was my “thing” before running. I was thinking about the rhythm of the footfalls and breathing yesterday during a walk/run. I think that’s a big reason I don’t find walking as relaxing. For me, I can’t get into that complete rhythm that takes me out of my own head.

  4. I love your last few statements… it makes me happy, too. This was an especially good reminder as marathon training makes me dread certain workouts some days and it’s important to remember WHY I started in the first place, and that I really do love it!!
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted..TreadmillingMy Profile

    1. This morning, I had to dig deep to remember the WHY I’m doing this. In the moment, I really wanted to be done with running. But then I remembered that running does make me happy. Sometimes it’s just not while I’m doing it.

  5. Simply beautiful. I can so relate to everything you talk about. I think we all need to step back and ask ourselves, “why?” You have put down many of the feelings so many of feel in such an eloquent way. Not every run is poetry in motion, but even and especially the difficult ones have something to offer us that sitting around the house could never do.
    Lisa @ RunWiki recently posted..Do The Things That Make Your Heart RaceMy Profile

    1. Me either! Although that’s kind of a scary thought…what would I be like if I didn’t run? Would I be writing posts titled Why I walk?

  6. So fun to read your “whys”! It inspired a “copycat” post, and I had a fun time reflecting back on my running journey. I love all of your posts, but this was an especially great one!
    Sarah recently posted..Why I RunMy Profile

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