This Is Why I Run

The summer was long. And hot. And long. But somehow, I kept running.

It was my first summer running with the double BOB instead of my old single with my one child. My two boys filled it with their long legs and sturdy little bodies. And it felt like twice the amount of work to glide it in front of me.

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Many weeks this past summer I was tempted to let the best be the enemy of the good. I thought, I’ll just skip this week, sulking at the forecast of 90s oozing with humidity.

But somehow, I kept running. I never skipped a week. There were definitely weeks I got in only 3 runs. There were runs I took walk breaks to gulp water after every mile.

But I kept running.

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I ran through summer colds and heat waves and rainy weeks. I ran to relieve the stress of work and motherhood. I ran for what my friend Sarah so aptly describes as “that freshly pounded feeling”.

But mostly, I ran for fall. I knew it was coming. I hoped it would be sooner than later. I wanted to be in shape to run for a good hour right when it starts to be good.

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Last Sunday, the highs were in the 70s. I slipped out of the house while my baby napped. I wasn’t sure how to dress, knowing my body would heat up quickly, so I kept on my summer running gear.

The roads were quiet with preparation for the NFL games. The leaves were crunchy underfoot. With not a drop of humidity in sight, and the sweet smell of autumnal woods on my breath, I ran and ran, and ran.

9 miles later, I stretched out in my living room. I felt stress-free, indulgent, luxuriously in love with life and my body, and the start of this short season.

This is why I run.

I don’t run to workout. I don’t run to stay skinny. I don’t run to burn calories. I sure as hell don’t run to compete with anyone. Running is for me and me only. I do it for the cathartic freeing of all the thoughts that crowd your head through a busy day. I do it for the sweet aches afterward – for the feeling that I used every ounce of my 26 year old body that day. I do it for the “Me Time”, so precious as a mother. My boys have learned to expect to sit still and maybe even catnap on my long runs, and I cannot be grateful for that enough. I do it for the memories it makes – it gets me outdoors each season, it imprints certain smells and sights and albums into my mind forever. I do it for those rare and glorious 9 mile highs, where you feel drunk on the beauty around you, on the power in your muscles, on the sense of total freedom.

This is why I run.

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