Why I love running

I'm the world's least likely runner.  Yet somehow it has become a huge part of my life.   I'm getting ready to undertake a big running challenge (you can read about it here) and it got me thinking about running.  Why I love it and why I keep at it.  So here are my seven reasons that I LOVE running.

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1. Anyone can do it! No really, anyone! Now that I run consistently and have a couple half marathons under belt I get people who roll their eyes and tell me they could never do it. The thing is, they can! Seriously, I could not run a mile when I started. Yes, it took some work and some consistency. But if I can do it, anyone can. Really. Members of my family and friends are still surprised I'm a runner. Heck, it surprises me. Here is a little post about how I got started running.

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2. It is fun. Okay, it wasn't fun at first. The first several months of running just sucked. For me, once I got to the place were I could comfortably run a 5k, I started to find the joy. I promise. It becomes enjoyable. The runners high is real!
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3. It is all you. What is great about running is you don't need much to start and all that is pushing you forward is your feet.  At first, it is a little daunting. You jiggle and wiggle in places you weren't even aware you could. And, it can be downright exhausting but there is something about knowing at the end of a run that you accomplished something all by yourself. I still remember the first time I ran (slow jog) twenty minutes straight. I felt so unbelievably proud of myself. Because I did it, all by myself. Also, as a stay at home mom, I love the alone time. 

4. The community. Yes, running is a solo gig. In fact I ran alone for a year straight and still do the bulk of my runs alone but there is something about coming together for a common goal. I love doing big runs (half marathons, 5k, etc.) I've also just started running with people. Because now I can talk and run (something I never thought I could do). The running community is so inviting and encouraging, even when you are at the bottom of the heap.



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The above picture is from the Disney Princess Half Marathon which I got to run with my family. To date it is still my favorite run, you can read about it here.
Color Runs aren't serious runs but they are fun.


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This is a photo I took of the girls I have been training with.  Let me tell you, having company sure makes long runs much more fun.

5. It is the biggest self-esteem boost. Like ever. And, I'm not just talking about a slimming waist line. It is more about finding your own strength. Realizing that with persistence, you can do anything. All that crap about consistency and determination is true! 

6. It is inspiring. As an artist, I often get my best ideas on my run. But, even beyond that, it gives me a chance to clear my head and to think through any problems or issues in my life. Basically, it is like cheap therapy.

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I painted the above painting after a spring run in the rain. 

7.  You can do good.  Runners are givers. I love how a community of runners will rally behind charities and awareness campaigns. In fact, I'm training for an amazing charity run. I'll be posting more about it as it gets closer but here is a little snipit.


Run Now Relay | Cleveland to Boston from Run Now Relay on Vimeo.

Basically, running has changed my life. It helped me battle postpartum depression. It showed me how strong I am. It reminded me that if I stick to a goal I can accomplish it. I have more energy and endurance than I have ever had. And, I'm 20 pounds lighter than I was when I got pregnant with my first child (which is a nice perk). 

If you are a runner, what do you love about it? If you aren't a runner, what is stopping you? :)

Hooray for running!

PS.I love running so much I even talked about it on our local TV station in 7 degree weather. You can view it here.