Reasons to Run

Why I Run ...

The weekly links for Why I Run haven't run out yet - still a plentiful reserve to pull from.  But this week as I was wading through the links to send out to you, I stopped to ponder this post of why Lezleigh runson her blog Nothing to Lose - Everything to Prove.  

After reading it, I felt like it needed to stand on its own this week.  

Here is an excerpt of what she wrote on 9-11.  Read it and then stop by her blog and give her some encouragement.

As stated in my first post, I run because of my hero, my brother Casey. It was eight years ago this day that our world changed...for better or for worse. Casey signed on into the Corps shortly after 9/11/01, and before we knew it he was shipping out for the initial invasion into Iraq...and before we knew it we were bringing him home, broken, from Iraq.

9/11 is not a good day for our family. It's not a good day for alot of families.

I wake up every morning to the towers falling. The reality of what we lost stares me in the face the moment my eyes open every day with my brother's legs gone. The reality of what the cost of freedom is, is there every moment, every waking breath I take.

Every day that I lace up my running shoes, I am lacing them up for my brother. He will never lace up another pair of shoes onto his feet again....let that sink in.....really sink in....never, EVER again. Every step I take, every mile I run, I draw upon my brother's strength.

I have NO EXCUSE to not use my legs. If my brother can keep on keepin' on, if he can hand-crank a marathon, what's my reason not to run? I hope that when I run I can bring awareness to the world the struggles of our heroes, ......

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Why You Run...

More links to enjoy - give me a shout out at if you see others around the blogosphere that deserve to be shared.

  • Why does SMO run?, "The main reason is health and mobility."  As we get older, running keeps us active.  Amen.
  • Penny shares her thoughts and pictures [awesome!] of why she runs.  She shares with us, "How does running help me as a teacher? It puts me in the right frame of mind as I enter the day."  Isn't that so true?  How have your mornings been better when a run came first?
  • MindyB wrote these thoughts about her running, "My love for running was revived today. Summer weather drives a wall between me and my running shoes every year. Sure, you can make it work out for a little while but once the humidity becomes unbearable I begin to reconsider my commitment to the sport. Today, we have reconciled our least until July."   Can't say I disagree.  There is something about Fall running which makes running more perfect.
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Such a simple question...

Why do I run?  On the surface it is such a simple question when asked by friends, family or ourselves.  But the answers can take many words to do it justice.  And the answer is different from runner to runner - which is why it makes interesting to keep finding the reasons why runners run.   Here are more links to enjoy:

  • Michelle tacked the Why I Run question this week and did a great job of answering.  I can't do justice to her post in a few sentences, so go there and read it for yourself.  The title said the most - Running Completes Me.   And my favorite quote, "It's a gift to me. And I take it."
  • Kelsey shares her reasons why she runs.  She thought of the list on her last run.  The reasons range from finding a cure for cancer to eating. 
  • Eyes Wide Open does a great job taking us through the layers of why run.  The conclusion, "Overall I just feel better. I guess thats why I put up with the pain and effort some days- the pay off is worth it to me."
  • Trevor gives a wonderful list of reasons why he runs.  I couldn't pick just one and do the list justice.  If you want to feel the peace running can give a person, go read his post.
  • HJ has a great post on why he runs.   A must read!  My favorite quote, "Running is like doing the dishes.  It is a finite activity that you can do on your own, at your own pace, and feel a sense of accomplishment when you are done. "
  • Jen has a twist on the question and answers with a Top 10 list of why she runs at night.

I am thankful for the long run. Amen.

A year ago on "Thank goodness for running" day, I was thankful for all the small things and moments in running.  It was the sum of the small things that made running so wonderful last November. 

But this year, I must say that it is the long run in which I am infatuated.  And so very thankful.  I feel lucky to have found complete satisfaction with my long runs in the last few months.  I don't find myself calculating and recalculating miles ran and miles remaining or trying to run landmark to landmark.  Instead, I am in the happy place of long runs where I lose myself completely in these runs.  I am not in a hurry to "just get it over with".  I even surprise myself when I think, "only 4 miles left, drats!".   It is pure cruise control. Mindless, mediatative running.

I find the time I spend on the trail with myself to be refreshing, relaxing, rejuvinating and  Happyhourlssalm peaceful.  I usually take an issue or two with me to think through and try to solve, but I find that my mind has an agenda of its own and will in fact, push its own list of topics.  After it is through the topics at hand, and somewhere between hour one and hour two, my head sifts through all the clutter that has built up on the shelf in my brain since my last long run.  Step by step, it files the good stuff, tosses the junk, and organizes the important facts.   And after all the mental "paperwork" and "inbox" is cleaned up, it feels like my mental maid has tidied up, taken out the garbage, knocked down the cobwebs in my head and freshened up the place.

The after effect of the run is a clear head, sharp thoughts, and an agreeable disposition.  Some call it a runners high.  I call it mental housekeeping.  And only a long run can do it for me.   

I have yet to finish a long run and not think the sky is more clear, the landscape more striking, music sounds better, and my family seem almost charming.  Life may have seemed "manageable" before a run, but after a long run it seems "enjoyable" again.

That is why I am so thankful for long runs and my ability to do them. 

We are looking forward to reading what you are thankful for as part of Take It and Run Thursday.

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Running For Many Reasons

We are lucky to have met so many wonderful runners over the last few months.   Many take the time to share their stories with us, including some of the reasons they are running.   

Here are a few runners running for reasons larger than themselves.  Stop by and show your support through a comment, a thought or contribution:

  • Allie (aka RunnerGirl) who is running her first marathon and doing it in support of Ronald McDonald House
  • Jason who is trying to raise $25,000 before the Marine Corp Marathon to fund the local cancer center (link to story), in memory of his mom who passed away from esphogeal cancer.
  • Joe is running to raise money for WWII veterans.  On November 8, he'll be running the Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon. Leading up to it he will raise money to help send his county's World War II veterans to Washington D.C. to see the war memorial. Last year, my county lost 138 veterans, and they want the ones remaining to go to D.C. before it's too late. His goal is to raise more than $5,000 by having citizens, companies and civic groups sponsor me for a day, a week, or a month worth of miles. ALL of the proceeds will go to Bartow County(Ga)'s American Legion so that they can buy tickets and hotel rooms for as many veterans as possible.  Click here for a link to his story.
  • Milano Running Mom is raising money to help kids and people in her community have a place to run.  She lives in a tiny community that has no track and only dirt roads that aren't safe. She is trying to raise the necessary funds to build a track for the community, senior citizens to grade school kids. With grants and donations she hopes to have a track in place in less than 2 years. Check out the upcoming race and community group -

Anyone else running for a good cause?  Drop us a note or leave a comment below and share your cause.

The Extraordinary Running Award For June

"Why we run" has been the focus of several blogs and comments lately at the Lounge.  So it’s no surprise that the winning Extraordinary Runner story for June answers the same question.

Kevin Long before he decided to start running, this month's winner, Kevin, ran via the legs and hearts of those around him. But our job at the Lounge isn’t to retell stories, but to publish them.  So read more about his story in Why Am I A Runner?

Monthly Extraordinary Running Stories of inspiration come in all forms—getting started, finishing, racing, persevering, and returning from setbacks.  We run because we want to, because we need to, because we crave running, and because without running we would be less than our best.

As we say at Runners' Lounge: Great moments in running happen every day.  But Extraordinary Running  stories don't unfold because we are extraordinary runners.  In fact, they happen because we are ordinary runners who experience and achieve extraordinary moments through our running, goals, and dreams.

So sit back and re-consider how your story might be more inspiring than you think.  Each month’s winner earns a free pair of running shoes from  And the rest of us will  benefit by enjoying your story.

Everyone is welcome to submit their story!

You are a runner...

You are a runner...when you crave running. 

I started running to get fit, lose weight, and get a better pair of legs.  But over the years, running evolved from just a physical activity to something I need just like air and water.

On a pretty regular basis, I find that even when my legs don't need a run my mind does.  I_am_a_runner_only_band Just  yesterday, my brain was plotting out a long, flat, easy course so my legs could take it on an hour of mindless running to work through questions at work and to do lists at home.   It seems like the wheels of my mind turn easier when my legs are also turning over during a good run.

And then on other days, when too many days have gone by without a run, I feel my legs just itch to get out there and move.   

When I tell someone I need to run, it usually isn't because I have a run on my training plan, but instead because I need to run to recharge, reorganize, relax and rejuvenate.   That is the reason I crave running and also the reason I know that I am definitely a runner.

Picture by me - The famous "I am a runner" bracelet from Runners Lounge.  Since the fall when we launched the Lounge, Tom and I have given away thousands of "I am a runner" bracelets to runners who proudly proclaim their runningness.   

Related Posts:

Warning! Cranky mom...coming through

Yesterday, one of my kids said something to this effect:


So I did.   

And afterwards?  My kids seemed a little bit cuter.  My husband seemed to be a better listener.  My dog didn't smell so bad.   My house seemed a little bit cleaner.  My to do list seemed a bit more manageable.  My tummy seemed a little smaller.  The weather didn't annoy me quite so much.  My Diet Coke was a bit more bubbly.   Work seemed almost tolerable.   My son's video games almost made sense.  The inside of my car didn't smell like dirty kid feet.  My unmowed lawn resembled a beautiful native prairie land instead of an untamed jungle.  Little Pony hair/makeup time didn't make me want to scream.   Someone mentioned I wasn't so grouchy.  Life was better.

Yep, life is good - if you run. 

You know the words to this song!   Join in and sing a verse of your own...

Tshirt on

Why I Run

This weekend, I had a few open minutes to take a leisurely stroll through the blogosphere andRun_shoes_picture  stop by and listen to why people run. 

Ahhh...its like a much needed massage for the brain.

There was more than once that I had to stop and jot down something from a post of another runner because it so perfectly captured my feelings about running too.   Here are a few for you to stop by and enjoy as well:

I found this image (right) I just had to share.  The picture of the word "Run" in shoes is from Suzie Petunia's recent post on her philosophy of life.  Great post from a great blog!

If you have ever been tempted to write - Why I Hate Running and I can't stop - here is a sample, then you must stop by and read this recent post by Healthy and Simple. 

So why did I go running? Well, quite honestly I’d run out of excuses not to go. With the arrival of daylight savings time and spring I could no longer argue that it was too dark, too wet or too cold. So the only remaining excuse was I was too lazy, and the only way to prove I wasn’t was to hit the road.

And Tek wrote a great post about Why I need to run sorta and summarized the "why" behind running as:

Yesterday someone I know who "doesn't get the running thing" asked me: do you feel stronger when you run? I realized, yes I do. when I finish a run I feel like I have accomplished something big - even a little run feels fulfilling.

And Footfeathers who is training for an ultra added this from his recent post:

The waves of pain break you down, and you're left with the choice to rebuild and continue or quit. The layers of junk from daily life are stripped away. It's pure and raw. You find out a lot about yourself, probably more than you ever imagined.

Owocki laid down a few sentences that capture the essence of why I run:

I don’t know that I have the right vocabulary to describe the feeling that hits you at or around the 5th mile of a run.  It’s somewhere between proud, exhausted, with a hint of clairvoyance and focus too. It’s just.. worth it. Trust me.

And this image is from a blog of a cross country runner, trainlikehell, who recently posted a great (adapted) article of why she runs.   The image is the header of his blog - and it was too good not to share.


While I was visiting this weekend, I found the list from Erin, a runner, as she tells others 100 things about herself.   You will notice more than a few are about running.   It inspired me to start a thread for the Lounge to capture 100 reasons Loungers run.  Would you do me a favor and stop by and leave your "why" today?   I think it will be a great way to share why we get out there and do what we do.

I want to be a runner

You heard me right.  Even though I am a runner, I still carry with me every day the desire to be a runner.  Since starting running decades ago, my desire to be a runner never has never died.

Runners_lounge_logo_2 My desire to be a runner doesn’t stem from still trying to achieve an unmet race time, or weight or body shape.  That’s the land of regret and I don’t go there.

Instead, my desire to be a runner comes from the activity and the joy of running—sometimes sluggishly, sometimes spectacularly, but most times ordinarily, and that’s just fine with me.

Amy and I have gone on record saying that the only thing we enjoy more than running is the wonderful people running connects us to.  To us, there are two types of people—those who are runners, and the less fortunate rest of the population. Yes, we’re biased.

We regularly hear that a favorite feature on the Runners’ Lounge home page is the “Why I Run” space.  It changes with every click and offers some inspiring reasons that explain why runners run.  Makes me wish I’d said them myself.  Below are some of the reasons you’ll find.

Notice how many reasons we have in common and how some are so unique.  Go ahead and click on them and discover the runner behind the reason.  And then introduce yourself and leave ‘em a comment. 

to see things from a different perspective

it keeps me sane and healthy

It clears my mind and makes me feel strong

To get in shape and have some "Me Time"

I used to be competitive, but now it's for fun!

I want to watch my children grow up & I love M&Ms!

Peace, clarity, strength and balance

for the love of it

To be strong and fit, to be a runner.

It's Like Free Therapy, Homies!

To explore what I'm fully capable of

It empowers me and makes me strong

No better feeling than completing a good run!

love the way it makes me feel!

I love the feeling of accomplishment!

Fun, Fitness, and Friends

Because I can ...

The reasons are endless, and we hope you're still discovering and expressing why you run.

This is Inspiration Week at Runners’ Lounge

We’re excited to learn about what inspires and motivates you, and we expect we’ll all pick up some deep inspiration from each other.  Also, on Tuesday, the winner of free running shoes will be named for that runner whose story was submitted for an Extraordinary Running award.

Keep up your good running!

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