Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Why I run

I overheard a woman in the locker room at the gym today. She was talking about her diet regimine. She proudly told another woman that every weekday she eats 700 calories. No more, no less, but that come Saturday & Sunday, she eats WHATEVER she wants. She went on to say she goes to the gym each week day to run & burns 700 calories. No more, no less. So the only calories that "count" are what she eats on the weekend. Now, I'm no dietitian // nutritionist, but I think we can all agree that doesn't sound like a good plan...

This woman's sole motivation for running was to burn those 700 calories.
It got me thinking about why I run & how I got where I am today, 7 half marathons, 3 full marathons & more training miles than I can count under my belt. How did I get here? And has it been worth it?

I've "played a sport" since I can remember. When I was young it was the one off season of basketball or softball or dance. But once I got older, middle school age, I swam. I was on the high school swim team & I was pretty damn average. I raced in every meet & did well every once & awhile. Then, my freshman year of highschool my Dad concocted a grand plan of how to pay for my college. I was going to become a coxswain (person steering boat & yelling at everyone else) for a local rowing team, rock it & get a full ride to college. So, we showed up to an informational meeting. It sounded like something I would like, so I showed up to the first novice practice. And I loved it. 

High School Rowing, second from right
The coxswain life ended up being not for me. But I loved to row. So much so, that I left the swim team behind. In high school we were a rowing team, not a running team. Our practice time was spent rowing, not focusing on other things.

US Rowing National Championships 2008, far right

My junior year I applied to & visited several schools, all with D1 rowing programs & my senior year I signed a Letter of Intent to accept my scholarship from Duquesne University. It wasn't quite the full ride my Dad had hoped for 4 years prior, but it was something.

I spent my first semester hating it. It was nothing like my high school program.We were not a rowing team, but a running team, a lifting team & workout on your own after all of your other workouts are done team. I hated it all. 

Dad Vail Regatta, 2009
I left the team after my sophomore year & I desperately needed something. Even though I had grown to hate waking up each morning to be on the river, I loved the structure. I loved making myself stronger & I loved having something by which to measure my success. So one day I put on some shorts & tennis shoes & I ran. It wasn't that I had never run. It was just that I had never decided to run, it was always forced upon me. I don't remember how long that run was. But I know that I challenged myself & immediately registered for the 2010 Great Race 10K (a HUGE Pittsburgh race, comparable to the size of the marathon...). And I loved it. 

After my very first 10K, 2010
I registered for a half marathon shortly after. And decided that the following spring I would run a full marathon  2 full marathons...I had no idea what I was doing...but my parents were all on board for making signs!

Sometimes running holds more for me than others. Some months it's on the back burner. Sometimes I crave a run, I crave that alone time, sometimes I don't. But none of that boils down to why I run NOW.

Ragnar DC 2014
I run because I can leave my problems at home. 
I run because I like to see things at a little slower pace. 
I run because while I run past cars in rush hour I have a smile on my face, while the drivers sit frowning. 
I run because it gets me outside. 
I run because it makes me stronger. 
I run because it proves to me I am capable. 
I run because it means I can eat more pizza & drink more wine. 
I run because it helps me solve my problems. 
I run to de-stress. 
I run to explore the city. 
I run because it's something I do for me.

What's something you do just for you?
What's the #1 reason why you run?
How do you de-stress?

Any former rowers // coxswains out there?


  1. i run for a lot of reasons and one of them is def not to burn off all of the calories i eat, eek! I often joke that i run so i can eat more... doesnt that woman get rungry? ;)

    1. That's what I was thinking! I definitely run more so I can eat more!

  2. I love your reasons. Running is one of my favorite places to see a city. I'm counting down the days til my ankle heals and I can run all over San Diego!

    1. Hope it heals up quickly, I bet San Diego is a fantastic city to run through.

  3. That story about the woman at the gym is pretty crazy. I can't imagine being on a diet like that! It sounds very unhealthy. I loved reading about your reasons to run - especially the one about how running helps you solve problems! I feel the same way about the workouts I do, when I get really into them.

    1. Yes! So glad you can relate, it really is therapeutic! I love that wherever I am in my life running has been able to help me in so many different ways.

  4. Um... wow. The woman at the gym's plan definitely sounds like a horrible idea for your metabolism. I started running because I needed to lose weight due to some bad news from the doctor. Signing up for a Disney race seemed like a good motivation. And then I ended up loving it :)

    1. Sad to hear that bad news it what brought you to your running journey, but so glad you ended up loving it!


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