1. I have never been less depressed in my life. I’ve been struggling with clinical depression my entire life. I was taking meds from the age of 15 and only stopped to TTC. I’ve been successfully managing my depression without the meds mainly by running, sticking to a consistent sleep schedule, and going off of birth control hormones. Win.
2. I don’t want to be immobile in my old age. I think this is probably obvious, but I see people in their 80’s run Boston and it makes me realize life is going to be what I make of it and I want to be able to do whatever I want for as long as possible.
3. I love my heart. I am a cardiovascular physiologist, so I know how good running/exercise is for my heart and it appeals to my giant nerd side.
4. It’s something I thought I couldn’t do. A year ago I could barely run for longer than a minute and a 5K sounded like the biggest accomplishment in the universe because 3.1 miles is SO FAR. Now I’m training for 13.1 and 26.2 feels impossible. Running constantly offers me a new challenge and makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something amazing.
5. The runner’s high. I can’t describe how amazing I feel after a run. It’s like crack, except I’m high on life.
6. It makes me love my body. More and more I am able to see how amazing my body is because it can carry me 9 miles over a few hours, rather than hating it for the various imperfections.
7. I feel healthy. Besides the depression, I get sick less, my back aches less (bad disc), and I sleep a lot better.
8. The community. I’ve met a lot of really cool people from running. Some of them are online (hi!), some of them are good friends, and some of them are people I’ve had a conversation with on the trail and probably won’t ever see again. They are all wonderful and have all made an impact on me.
9. It forces me to make better food choices. I have a terrible relationship with food, so anything that forces me to try to eat a little better is probably a good thing. Now when I eat I’m thinking more about fueling my body and less about how good cake tastes for breakfast.
10. I want to. Really, do I need a better reason than that? Something is getting me out of bed to run at 5 AM and sometimes it is just an intangible desire that comes from nothing.
Notice that list does not include weight loss. When I tried to run purely for weight loss, I couldn’t stand it. I think weight loss probably isn’t enough of a driving factor for me to do much of anything because as mush as I am overweight, I don’t feel overweight if that makes sense.
As an added bonus, sometimes running includes sweet race shirts:
Why do you run? Or if you don’t run, why not?
I promise I’ll be back soon. Moving is kicking my butt.