I Run for…

peace of mind, that “runner’s high”, my love for the outdoors, fitness…the list goes on and on.

Today is national running day and I fully intend to hit the pavement after work today to get in a few miles.  I also thought I would share a little bit of my running story.

It all started in elementary school, when I would race all the boys at recess.  Yes, I was that girl who would challenge the boys to race…and usually beat them all.  I was also that girl that hit her growth spurt early, so I had a little bit of a leg length advantage. So, you could say I have always loved to run.

In middle school I ran cross country and track, but always enjoyed being out on the cross country course or running though neighborhoods for practice rather than on the track.  The track stressed me out.

In high school I ran track during my freshman and sophomore years.  I would always run the starting leg or anchor leg of the 4 x 800.  I also ran the open 400 and occasionally ran the 4 x 400.  I was definitely a middle distance track runner.  My sophomore year I joined the cross country team and remained on the team through my Senior year.  Again I say, there was just something about being on the trails or running in the neighborhoods around our high school.

During college my running pretty much took a back seat..that was until my friend Hawley and I decided to train for a half marathon.  We would hit the sidewalks of Athens or go to the botanical garden and run the trails…it was so much fun and a great way to form a friendship.  Unfortunately, I injured myself (stress fracture in the hip) just before the half and had to cheer Hawley on from the sidelines.  She did amazing and I was so proud of her..and so thankful we were able to bond through our training.

Post college, running has been a semi-constant in my life.  I don’t run every day..and I definitely have periods of time that I don’t run at all.  However, I always find that I am happier with life if I am running a few times a week.  I don’t necessarily have a goal I am aiming towards, I just get out there for my health and well being.  I’ll do a fun run 5k here and there, but nothing competitive.  Sure, I would love to run a half marathon some day…and heck, maybe even a full…but right now I am satisfied for running for me, for my health, for my happiness, for my peace of mind, and so much more.

Some pictures from the past year of running:

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Franklin Classic 5K with Mom

Trail running - challenging but beautiful.

Trail running – challenging but beautiful.

My running shoes when they were brand new - they look nothing like this anymore.  In fact, it's probably time for a new pair.

My running shoes when they were brand new – they look nothing like this anymore. In fact, it’s probably time for a new pair.

Before and After: Bridge to Bridge 4 miler.  1 bridge per mile, love this tradition with mom!

Before and After: Bridge to Bridge 4 miler. 1 bridge per mile, love this tradition with mom!

Morning run down my street.  Country running is the best!

Morning run down my street. Country running is the best!

Edwin Warner Park - where I ran cross country meets in middle and high school.

Edwin Warner Park – where I ran cross country meets in middle and high school.