Women and Running

I love to run!  

Most think I am crazy and some even say, “there is no way you can love to run that much,” but it is true, running and me have a loving relationship.  Now, let me clarify something: this hasn’t always been the case.

Just some brief history about our not-so-pleasant relationship…

  • I quit sixth grade cross country- my mom was furious!
  • I never ran again… unless you count sprints at basketball practice, running the bases at softball or any type of running that was required in the sports I played.
  • During summer two-a-days for volleyball we always started out by running the mile- I HATED it more than anything!
  • I thought my mom was crazy for running.  Sometimes, she would run up to my Saturday morning softball games so that she could make sure she could get her run in, which I thought was ridiculous.  (Now, I am 99% sure I will be that mom)
  • I started running my sophomore year in college when I put on some weight thanks to Keystone Light, Dorm Food, and Tostitos scoops with cheese queso.  
  • When I started, I couldn’t run outside- only on the treadmill.
  • I trained for my first half marathon solely on the treadmill.
  • I couldn’t run unless I had music.  In fact, there were times when I would forget my music and turn around and go home!
  • After I ran my first half marathon I said, “I will never do this again and there is NO WAY I would ever do a full

Our relationship today:

  • I always run outside- I hate the treadmill!
  • I no longer listen to music.  This is my time to either think or catch up with friends.
  • I prefer to run with others- it is my social time.
  • Since I have been pregnant, I have missed my Saturday morning long runs more than I ever thought possible.
  • Running satisfies my competitive blood.  I don’t try to beat others (okay, sometimes I find a girl that looks to be in really good shape at a race and my goal is to beat her), but it is mostly about improving my own time.
  • Running gives me energy and empowers me.
  • I have run throughout my whole pregnancy- most people think I am nuts.  I think it keeps me sane.
  • I no longer think my mom is nuts because of her love for running!
  • I have formed wonderful friendships over pounding the pavement.

With all of this being said, I challenge you to run- it is good for you!  

It really doesn’t matter if you are fast or slow, run long distances or short, it is the empowerment you feel when you are finished.  Start with 5 minutes- it will be 5 minutes more than you did yesterday.  I have found out that signing up for a race is the best way to stay motivated, so find some girlfriends and train for your first-ever 5k- I promise, you’ll be hooked.

I recently came across this article on Women & Running from Runners World: 30 Things All Women Should Know About Running.  It is a must read for all women: runners, non runners, and aspiring runners.

My favorite fact from this article:

19. If you were a regular runner before you became pregnant, you might have a bigger baby – good news, since, up to a point, larger infants tend to be stronger and weather physical adversity better. Researchers in the US found that women who burned up to 1000 calories per week through exercise gave birth to babies weighing five per cent more than the offspring of inactive moms. Those who burned 2000 calories per week delivered babies weighing 10 per cent more.

I thought this was incredibly fascinating.  My good friend and running partner had a premie last summer that was very healthy, and after reading this it made sense to me: she had put her body in such a positive, healthy position by running and exercising that her daughter benefited from it immensely.  Running is good for you!

Make a commitment, RUN- it’s good for your health!

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