Someone asked me last week "Why did you start running?"
The answer is simply: WEIGHT LOSS
After spending some time in England, I rolled out of bed one day and I was 30 pounds heavier than when I arrived. I hated the way I looked and felt so I started walking/running and dropped a few pounds, but still I wasn't completely hooked.
I gained some of the weight back that first year after I got married. Knowing that I needed some encouragement, my non-runner husband started running with me (he has always said about running, "I would rather be dragged naked behind a bus!") So, after buying the cheapest treadmill ($399 at Sears), to his great relief I was running on my own. I loved that treadmill. It was used so much that the tread started peeling off. OK so it was the cheap one, but let me tell you, I ran hundreds of miles on that thing! That was 13 years ago, and I haven't looked back! (I also don't like running on a treadmill anymore!)
After I lost the 30 pounds I was feeling great and was getting faster, and I really wanted to run the St. George Marathon, so I started training only to get a stress fracture in my right shin 4 weeks before the race. So, the next year I got into the lottery again, trained all summer, was so excited, and I got another stress fracture, in my left shin 3 weeks before the race. The next year, the stress fracture was in my hip, and that one was bad! I couldn't run comfortably for over a year. After that, I thought that maybe I wasn't cut out for running a marathon.
Our son was born a year and a half later, and of course, I was heavier than I wanted to be. I started running again, but this time I was doing strength training as well. I ran my first marathon when Ethan was 18 months old. Going over that finish line was so empowering! I knew at that point I was hooked! There was no turning back. That is the reason I keep running, the way it makes me feel, I love that runner's high, I love the sense of accomplishment knowing that I finished my run before most of my neighbors are even out of bed in the mornings. I love that my 7 year old asked me before my last race, "How old do you have to be to run a marathon?" He is thinking about it already and that makes me happy. I love that my 2 year old daughter was running from one end of the house to the other and announced "I runnin' marason!" I love the look of pride on my family's faces when I see them after a race. But most of all, I love that running has made me feel better about myself. Not only physically, but mentally as well. I KNOW I can do anything I put my mind to! That is why I run!