This photo on the left is my first running bib. I had no idea what it would be like to run outdoors when I signed up for my first 5k in 2008. I ran it in 34 minutes. The 34 minutes doesn’t matter in retrospect all that because all I remembered was the feeling of my shoe against the asphalt, the people cheering on the sidelines and trying my best not to stop for the duration of it. In the end, I had an incredible feeling of accomplishment. I had ran my very first race.
It was one of the better things that happened to me that year. 2008 was the year that I lost my favourite person in the world. Even now, he comes to mind at every race. Running had been a way for me to cope with the forever changing events that year.
Years later, and thousands of miles, I’m still running.
These days I’m tracking the races that I do on ATHLINKS, not for the timing but the constant reminder that I wasn’t an athlete prior and the distance that I can cover wasn’t possible prior to that girl that I knew in 2008. After that 5k, I ambitiously signed up for a 10k (because that was the logical next step right?), where I got injured and it wasn’t until almost 2 years later I got brave enough to attempt and complete a half marathon (then got injured in that race).
All throughout this journey, running was alien. However, 2011 set the stage. I decided not to give up on what was happening to my body (I still don’t). I decided to make running a part of my life, if not the most central focus. The past few years was to teach me a lesson on the various reasons why I run. Here they are!
I run for the camaraderie. When I run, I know there’s hundreds of others who feel the benefits that I do. I even meet new friends.
I run to prove myself (and others) wrong. “I can’t even run a mile,”—yup, that was my excuse, and I’ve recently completed a 50-mile race. Every time I complete race, I’m still in awe. I know it’s very weird to do at this point but, I’m the only one who feels what happens to my body.
I run to be happy. It’s definitely about the endorphins. When I’m cranky, just tell me to go run, watch my mood change. However, be careful, my best decisions are made when I’m running.
I run to meditate. As someone who barely has patience to do yoga, I love spending the hours by myself on a run just clearing my mind and focusing on what is happening just where my feet lands. Running is perfect for me.
I run to discover new places. Whether it’s seeing new places in my neighbourhood or traveling to a city I’ve never been like San Diego, San Francisco, Miami, Key West, Puerto Rico to log some miles with my running shoes… it’s a vacation well spent.
I run to keep me grounded. Everyone is different, one shoe doesn’t fit all. My first and foremost reason for running is unfamiliar territory. I learn something new from every mile logged (today, I learned that my favourite time is when the sun rises and the temperature falling somewhere in the 50s Fahrenheit). I lose my ego on my runs because I’ve witnessed the best, fastest, and strongest runners passing away, getting unrepairable injuries, getting slower over time etc. Anything can happen. I can only run for myself, it starts with me and I can only enjoy the now while I can.
I run to share it on social networks. Yup, you will hear about it.
I run because I want to run for life. After reading about the woman in her 90s who completed a recent marathon. I can’t help but hope if I get to that age, that I’m still strapping up a vintage brand of shoe (because I purchase lots of the same that I love) and running 5 miles to start my day.
Happy National Running Day! Tell me why you run.