Happy National Running Day

Happy National Running Day! In honor of this “runners’ holiday,” many runners have been posting responses to the question, “Why do you run?”

On the most basic level, I run because I can. I know many people aren’t physically able to run, and I remember this often. I’m very fortunate to have the ability to run, and I try to take advantage of this gift as often as possible. Of course I run for myself, but by running because I can, I’d like to think that in some small way I’m also running for those can’t run.

I started running for health reasons. For me, running is the form of exercise that gives me “the most bang for my buck.” I was able to lose a lot of weight by combining consistent running with better eating habits and cross training (for me, cross training is primarily bicycling and lifting weights). But running is the form of exercise I enjoy the most and do most often. Running allows me to clear my head, and I’ve found that I’m often very relaxed after I finish running. Running also allows me to explore new areas. Once I had been running consistently for a while and built a solid mileage base, I was able to run farther and explore trails, parks, roads, and neighborhoods that were new to me. In the “early days,” however, any deviation from my planned route that meant extra distance just sounded too daunting for me to even try. Since my wife began occasionally joining me for runs a couple years ago (and subsequently began running consistently, too), it has become an activity/sport we’ve grown to share. We’ve run races of various sizes and distances together…well, we usually don’t run together, but we run in the same races). We’ve run very close to home and we’ve run spur-of-the-moment hundreds of miles from home while on vacation. We’ve run everything from 5Ks to half marathons together, and most importantly, we’ve had a blast (almost) every mile of the way.

With my wife after I finished the Bayshore Marathon. I don’t know if she realizes how much her patience and encouragement helped me survive my first marathon.

I won’t even try to list all of the reasons why I run or the benefits I get from running, but such a list would be very long. Whatever running means to you personally, I hope you enjoy National Running Day and appreciate every mile you’re fortunate enough to run throughout the year.

Happy after running the 2011 Brooksie Way Half Marathon!

What are one or two of the ways in which running has changed you?

Do you have any specific reasons for running, or do you run “just because”?

Are you celebrating National Running Day by running or doing anything special? Is it even acknowledged/celebrated outside of the United States? “National” implies that it’s just a United States thing, but I have no idea if it has caught on elsewhere and maybe become more of an International Running Day.

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