Why I run: today.

I’ve talked about this before. Why I run.
I even revisted the topic once after that.

But after this weekend’s race — my 4th, and best, half marathon — I feel the need to revisit the topic once more.

Why I run: today.

It’s been a 2+ year process (my previous two “why I run posts” were from April and September of 2010), but I finally trust myself. To run for me, my way, with a smile on my face. That’s why I run. And continue to run. For me; for that confidence it’s given me; and for that trust it’s shown me I’m worthy of. I run from the heart.

I am who I am because I run. I strive to be better — in all areas of my life — because I can, sure. But after seeing what a little hard work and determination can do for my running journey? Anything is possible. And I now fully apply that “anything is possible” mentality to all areas of my life — an incredibly invaluable life lesson I gained through running.

I run for me, but also for Scott. For us. It’s been one of the biggest bonding moments for us — pushing ourselves through four half marathons and committing, together, to 26.2 this fall? Crazy bonding moment after moment. It’s this unspoken thing between us almost, this quiet confidence we have in ourselves, and in eachother, to see this thing through to the end. Whatever “the end” may be. The “end” of a hard-fought race. The “end” of a training cycle. The “end” of a regular, run-of-the-mill rundate. Or the “end” of a 26.2 mile jaunt through Chicago. We’re in this together. As they say, “couples who run together…”

And, as I’ve said before — I never, ever take for granted the sheer ability to run. To push harder, to strive for more (hello sub-2 I’m coming for you!), to see my body perform like a pro — running for miles and miles, something many people on this earth will never see or experience, even if they wanted to. ((Ability.)) It’s a gorgeous, blessed thing.
…I run for those who cannot.

This is why I run: today.


42 thoughts on “Why I run: today.

  1. Isn’t it amazing the sense of identity that comes from running. I feel so much more ME ever since starting running. It strengthens and empowers me. It brings me closer to God because I just love talking with Him through those outdoor runs. It helps me have time to recoup and revitalize. I love it!!!! And can’t wait for the day we get to celebrate that passion together. Crazy that it will be here before we know it. Bring it, Chicago!

    • It IS truly amazing — it’s such a part of me, in all that I do now. It’s amazing. I love what you say about feeling closer to God — I often find my mind wandering to Him while running too. It’s such a peaceful time, truly.

      Cannot WAIT to share this passion with you in Chicago!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. I really love that you appreciate your ability to run! I am definitely not a runner. I love hearing how and why people enjoy running. It’s incredibly sweet that you run for those who can’t too! What an amazing way to celebrate a gift!

    • Even though you’re not a runner — I am SURE there is something in your life that defines you, that you are just as passionate about. It’s all about finding that “thing” that makes you feel so good, so happy, so YOU every single day, isn’t it?

  3. I love your post sis! And revisiting the ‘why I run’ topic is smart. I may need to do the same too, as my reasons seem to change every so often. A run-volution of sorts?! 😉

    • I love it — running is a total ongoing run-volution isn’t it? Our reasons for running change, our drive to run changes, the way we run changes from day to day and month to month. Kind of neat to have something in life like that that constantly evolves and changes and always drives us, huh?

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  5. I love that you’re revisiting why you run. I’m glad I had the ability to run with you two this weekend and watch how you work together – as a single unit, pushing and striving to be your best.

    You two absolutely amaze me! XOXO

    • Aww thank you friend, you are the sweetest. We really are a team in every way, not just with running, though I LOVE that it carries over into our running ways too. 🙂 xoxo!

  6. Great post Jess! I loved the part about how why you run with Scott. My bf and I run together and trained for Chicago together and it was amazing. It is an unspoken bond, knowing you can get through that and have fun makes the rest of the challenges you face as a couple not so bad! So happy to see you happy about running!

    • I LOVE that you and the bf run and train together too. It is such an incredible bond to share, often hard to describe to others, so I’m glad you “get” what I mean from personal experience!

  7. sheer ability to run and running for those that can’t – any time you get in the dumps that is definitely something to focus on. Your running is simply a plus-up to everything your focusing on and accomplishing.

    You are sure to give others the running bug! And sub 2 is SO in your future!

  8. I have always said the reason I run is because I CAN. I feel running has made me grow into a much better person.

    I love that you run with your guy. My hubs can’t run because of knee injuries. So now he’s my sherpa and cheerleader!

    • It is a HUGE reason that I run and continue to push myself to work harder at it. Because I can. I’m able. I know its a gift and I don’t ever take that lightly.

      I LOVE that your husband is now your sherpa and cheerleader, that’s a bonding moment in and of itself too!

  9. I think you nailed RUNNING on the head. When I first started running, I felt like it was a just a goal and people just ran to run races. It wasn’t until I actually started running with every bit of me, and not just my head, that I realized that it’s more than just that. Tina said it above, too…you feel more like yourself when you’re running. It’s amazing how something as simple (and yet so complex) as running can mean so much to who you are.

    I have to admit…I’m jealous of the running relationship, scratch that MARRIAGE, you and Scott have. (And I love Samantha’s “single unit, pushing as one” comment. I love it. I can picture you both just being Scott & Jess…a team. That’s the whole thing about marriage: teamwork. And you’re blessed to be a team on and off the road. 😉

    • It is WAY more than a goal, a workout, a “thing” to do to burn calories. It’s part of who I am and it drives me, and I thrive in those running moments. I LOVE that you’ve found this is true for you too — it’s so incredible to find something you adore, and something that now is ingrained in who you are today and who you will be tomorrow. A beautiful thing, truly.

      We are a team — marriage is SUCH a team effort through and through. I am proud of how strong we are together but also how strong we are as individuals, too. It’s an awesome — but difficult — balance to strike, but once you get there, it’s a pretty damn good thing, I must say. 😉

  10. I can so relate and love these kinds of posts. Thanks for sharing your heart! — Ericka @ The Sweet Life (sweetlifeericka.com)

  11. What a great reflection. It does make sense that the reasons for (and meaning of) running will change over time. Many people don’t take the time to even consider it—but doing so probably makes the good effects and meaning even better and more!!

    • I’ve been trying to be a little bit more reflective, introspective and thoughtful in alL that I do lately. Taking the time to step back and re-evaluate from time-to-time is a big part of that process for me, you know what I mean?

  12. I absolutely LOVE that quote at the end of this post.
    I think it’s so great that you have revisited the same question a few times in recent years…sometimes the reasons change, sometimes they stay the same.
    Running has become who I am – it’s not something I “have to do ever day” – it’s now part of my everyday routine – just like brushing your teeth and eating. The days I don’t get to run I feel like something is missing.
    And I agree 100% about the “couples who run together….” My hubby and I fell in love running together in Iraq…it’s a totally bonding experience – even if you don’t say two words to each other. And when you sign up for something (like a marathon) it’s a commitment you make to yourself – but also to each other =)
    Great, great, great post =)

    • Ohhh I heart this comment – and all that it stands for. You have SUCH passion and it comes through in every single word you write, speak, tweet, etc. I LOVE that about you. It’s a big reason I’m so drawn to your blog and all, because your passion is infectious and I want to steal some of it!! 🙂

      I also LOVE that you and your husband share that bond from when you first met. I think that is the CUTEST story ever. Love, love, loooove.

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    • Oh wow, very cool!! Thank you for stopping by — I’m totally going to go read that post right now!! I am so glad that you’ve found your “love” in running and that you can share it with your husband, that is the best!

  14. thank you for sharing this. every runner has to believe in those words you shared. it was my boyfriend who introduced me to running and a year later, I’m now training with track and field. hopefully we’ll be able to achieve running half-marathons together, like you!

    good luck! 🙂
    “To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift” – Steve Prefontaine

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