As this New York winter subsides and the spring air tries to push its way back in, I and other runners begin to introduce ourselves back into the outside world. A lot of my friends have asked me why I like to run or why I continue running.
Running has inspired and impacted my life in numerous ways ~ on that note here are Ten + 3 Reasons why I Keep Running, (in no particular order).
- Run Wear – a runner’s wardrobe has endless possibilities! It gives me a green light to wear sparkly, glittery, and loud skirts, shirts, and sneakers. TuTu’s are absolutely acceptable and if you are running a themed race, the sky is the limit! It’s really not appropriate to wear a sequenced skirt and rainbow knee socks to work or even the grocery store (Walmart included!) – But to run in, the more vibrant the better!
- Race-cations – the first time I heard this term was when I booked a stay at Walt Disney World for the 2015 Princess Marathon Weekend with my friends. My “Soul Sister” Nicole referred to it as a race-cation, a term she picked up along the way. What is a race-cation you ask? It’s a period of time you set aside away from daily activities for the recreation of RACE-RUN-FUN! Yes, a runner’s idea of relaxation and fun includes …… running in a race!
- Camaraderie – there is a community of runners who are full of positive energy, goodwill, and knowledge and are willing to share it with their fellow running companions. I had a recent conversation about running at a doctor’s office and instantly connected with the other person I was speaking with. By the end of the conversation we were making plans to meet up and run!
- Race Bling – have you heard of the saying, “a diamond is a girl’s best friend”? Well race bling is a runner’s best friend and makes the hard work of crossing the finish line even sweeter. Sure the collection of t-shits most races dole out are great, but the collection of shiny colorful medals dangling from a lanyard is what we are really looking for!
- Breaking Barriers – Each runner has their own reason for why they run. For me it is about testing myself, pushing my limits. It’s about setting a goal, meeting it, surpassing it and then creating a new one. Which brings me to the next reason……..
- The Feeling of Strength and Accomplishment – when I set goals – meet them – and surpass them, I attain an amazing feeling of mental and physical strength. My self-confidence shoots through the roof and I believe this confidence leads to other successes in my life.
- Running is a Diversion from Negative Body Image – My whole life I have tried to maintain a level of fitness, mostly to remain a certain weight or clothing size. Running changes my definition of fitness and helps to remove the stigma of negative body image. My goals have morphed from, “I must have the perfect body”, to, “I want to be strong, run strong and strive for my personal best run.” My thoughts are more focused on my set goal in miles and my reward is the positive feeling of accomplishment when it is met.
- Endorphins – I am sure you have all heard of a runner’s high? A high can be experienced from any form of exercise, though I will tell you I have experienced it more solely when running or from the completion of a run. For me endorphins coupled with my above listed reasons of, ‘Breaking Barriers’ and ‘Feeling of Strength and Accomplishment’, create the ultimate runner’s high. When I have finished a run or a race I entered, I feel like I am on top of the world for the rest of the day; it is truly a wonderful feeling and is what keeps me coming back for more!
- Makes me Feel Alive! – Running makes my inner-self shine brighter! I was told that when I speak about running I beam, what an awesome compliment! When I am running in the open air, that “on top of the world” feeling I mentioned above, comes from feelings of strength, empowerment, and peace. When something enhances my total being in such a positive manner of course I want to continue doing it!
- Happiness – running truly makes me a happier more fulfilled person. It has become part of who I am, “I am a runner.” I love the way that sounds and feels. The definition of happiness is, “a state of well-being and contentment: joy, b: a pleasurable or satisfying experience”. That pretty much sums it up for me! Running may not be for you, it might not make you feel as happy as it does me, but I encourage you to find some sort of physical activity that makes you feel happy- go ahead – get out there and find your happy!
- The Only Time my Mind is Clear – All day my mind is going at high speeds with things I need to do now, later and much later. When I set my feet on the pavement and begin traveling, it puts my brain to rest. It is like a form of meditation. I become focused on the sound of my heart beat, my breathing, and the beauty of the outside world that is surrounding me.
- Inspiration – I was inspired to run almost exactly one year ago and now I see others inspired to run from watching my experiences. My daughter has seen me set goals and stick to them which motivated her to join our local Girls on the Run program. It is a wonderful feeling to inspire others to begin their own run journey!
- Supporting my Community and other Causes – runDisney events are awesome! I had the pleasure of running in the 2015 Princess Marathon Weekend in Walt Disney World and I look forward to running in endless runDisney events. That being said, there is something equally as wonderful running races in and around your own community. Many of these races I have run were to support causes near and dear to either my heart or the hearts of friends and family members. Who knows, maybe you can inspire a friend or family member to run with you!
There you have it! My Ten + 3 reasons why I keep running; honestly I could come up with another ten!
In closing I want to say a word about inspiration. To be inspired or to find inspiration within something can be life changing. But I have learned something important I want to add to that ~
To not idly wait for inspiration, but to already be engaged in what ever I am doing in life, so when it does find me I am amidst ingenuity and already in motion toward a new journey of success~
To continue on my journey of Why I Keep Running, I follow –
Jeff Galloway Blogger Tips
Training and Motivation Tips
by Olympian Jeff Galloway
Why do we get injured?
1. Be aware of irritation of weak links.
The Key Weak Links are body parts where my runners tend to experience injuries are these: Knees – Feet -Calf – Achilles -Hip – Glute/piriformis/sciaticia
But the body parts that YOU need to be aware of are the sites where you are injured or suffer more aches and pains.
So if you’re sensitive to the first indication of irritation in these areas and take immediate action it’s possible to avoid injury.
2. Stress buildup due to the way we train.
- Training schedule is too intense-not enough rest between stress.
- Adverse Training Components-speed is too fast or has too much, too soon.
- Running form-too long a stride, forward lean, bouncing too high off the ground.
So staying focused on the way one runs and following these guidelines, can often allow runners to maintain a manageable increase without injury
Top 5 ways to avoid stress buildup-and avoid injuries
1. Take walk breaks more frequently, and run shorter run segments
2. Form: shorter stride, feet low to the ground
3. Slower long runs, with more walk breaks
4. Avoid Stretching
5. Be careful when running speed sessions