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Why I Run

I’ve decided to train for a half marathon this fall. To some people, this may not seem like any big whoop, but to me, 13.1 miles is sort of scary.

What am I worried about? In short, a lot. I’m definitely not the quickest runner. I tire easily, and I am pretty sure that I am going to require more pee breaks than the other mamas in my crew. My stomach clenches when I see our prescribed training schedule because I’m not quite sure I will have the time or the chutzpah to make it through my midweek runs. I’d say that I am in it for the free t-shirt, but honestly, I don't even like that performance-y sweat-wicking fabric that they make race shirts in.

No, I am running for other reasons, both easy and hard to explain. I think part of why I’m running is because I like gold stars, and I want to feel the accomplishment of a job well-done. A bigger part of me is running because I just want to, gosh darnit. As a mother, I am continually in service to my family. Most of what I do, I do with overwhelming gratitude. But still, the call to do something for myself is one that I have learned I shouldn't ignore.

When things in my head get so loud, and the to-do list is so long, and everything on it is for everyone else but me, I choose to literally run away. I run until the only thing I can hear is my own voice telling me:

“You can do it…

You are doing it...

You've done it.”

Whatever else the day holds, I have done this. It is not nothing.

The other day, I attempted a four-mile run, which was a good distance longer than I have run in many months (and a long ways away from thirteen miles). It was hot and sweaty and awful and sort of smelly. But something happened that I could not deny. When I hit my flow after the first mile, I felt lighter and more powerful. My “runner’s high” was fueled by loud music cranking through my headphones, sweat and sunscreen running in my eyes, my legs hitting the pavement over and over again.

And then it ended. I was reminded that all runs, no matter how long or tiring or hard, do eventually end. The feelings of accomplishment and fatigue stayed in my legs for the rest of the day. I knew that no matter what else the day brought, no matter how far or how fast I had run, I had gotten out there. I prioritized myself and my mental health and my physical well-being, despite all of the things in life asking me to put myself last.

I am fairly certain that you’ll see me choking through my group runs this autumn. I will probably have days where I will feel I cannot go on, and I may lag behind. But I am choosing to get out there anyway. Who is with me?

Sign up for FIT4MOM Midtown Raleigh's Run Club today, and join other inspiring mother runners, like Pam, on their journey to the finish line!

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