I run to stay in shape and to be healthy.
An obvious answer, but an important one nonetheless. I started running religiously in college in order to make sure the beer calories didn't go straight to my gut. I ran to make sure I stayed healthy and fit while living the sometimes-not-so-healthy college life. I knew that making healthy life choices was going to be key to staying in shape, and I made a commitment to myself to be as healthy as possible for the rest of my life, by eating well and exercising.
I run for the excitement.
I love road races. I love that rush I feel at the starting line in Central Park with 10,000 other runners. I love crossing the finish line even more. There is nothing better than that sense of accomplishment you feel after the race is over. And if you have ever run in a road race you know that there is no greater feeling that getting a PR!
I run to relieve stress.
When life has gotten me down in the past, I have turned to friends and family for support. I have the greatest friends and family who have always been there for me, and I am very blessed. However, my best friend in these situations has always been running. When my grandmother and uncle passed away, and also when other life disappointments occurred this year, I turned to running for support, despite the fact that I wanted to just hide under the covers of my bed. I knew that hitting the pavement would be the best cure to any heartbreak I was feeling. There really is no better stress reliever than running, and it has been my closest ally in fighting against life stresses.
I run for those who can't.
I haven't always thought about running in this way until recently. After joining the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training, I realized how lucky I am to be healthy and able to run. Those mornings that I struggle to wake up early to get running are no comparison to the people who suffer with cancer and other diseases and who are not able to run. I have decided to run a half marathon in support of this wonderful charity, so if you are interested in donating, check out my fundraising site.
I run for me.
After working all day in the laboratory, doing chores, writing blog entries, hanging out with friends and family, sometimes you just need a little "me time." Running gives me the opportunity to tune out the world for 30 minutes to an hour. I can blast Lady Gaga, I can let my mind wander, I am disconnected from my computer and blackberry, and I can go and do whatever I want on my run.
I can probably list 100 more reasons why I love running...people watching, looking at scenery, the competition...but no matter the reason, I run, because I know all of the amazing physical and mental benefits that come along with the sport. I hope to one day be kicking butt as the oldest lady in a race...but until them, I'll see you all out on the streets :-)