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…”
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.
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.
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!
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!).
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!