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?!

Don’t I look excited?!

 

Ready to get to work.

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.

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

 

Trophy and shark towel in hand.

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?!

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 LOVED that 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!

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5 Comments

Filed under Training, Uncategorized

5 responses to “I Run… National Running Day

  1. Love your throw back photos 😉 I’m training for my first half and I’ve learned that every run is making me stronger – both physically and mentally. The toughest runs are the ones I benefit from the most – even though they are so hard to get through lol. Happy run day!

  2. Love this :). I remember in cross country one day our coach told us to do an hour of easy running miles and I thought I would die…1 whole hour!!!! 🙂

  3. That is so fun that you and your mom run together! I thought a mile was super long too in middle school. My how things change haha 🙂

  4. I agree with Hailey…I wish my mom would run with me! I remember having to run that mile for the physical fitness test (I didn’t play sports…we just had to do it) all through school and I could never do it. I remember feeling like I was going to keel over at the end and it’s not like I even tried that hard. I HATED it. So funny how sometimes things just click!

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