An Ode to National Running Day!

From the National Running Day website (www.runningday.org). Why do you run?
From the National Running Day website at www.runningday.org. Why do you run?

It’s National Running Day, and you know what that means, right? Get out there and run. Even if it’s just for a minute or two. We all ran right out of the box as soon as we could figure out how to do it – I mean, my nearly-two-year-old nephew thinks running is the world’s greatest thing. That, and asking for an iPad for his birthday (yes, that really happened).

NRD started in 2009 and – no surprise here, because I know just how committed this particular band of runners is to growing the sport of running – it appears to be the brainchild of New York Road Runners, the folks who put on the New York City Marathon and a fistful of other awesome road races throughout the year.

Here’s what the NRD website has to say about who they are and what they’re about:

National Running Day, held annually on the first Wednesday in June, is a day when runners everywhere declare their passion for running. Since 2009, the country’s foremost running organizations have worked together to celebrate our sport with thousands of participants on the first Wednesday of June. We encourage runners to join in by planning a run, spreading the running bug to a friend, signing up for a race, or setting a new goal.

And with that, let’s head to the feature presentation of this blog post…

Top 10 reasons why I love running so much

10. Vigorous exercise some of the time – the stuff that really gets our heart rate up – is better for us than just hanging out in the “moderate exercise” bracket all the time. There’s time for both, of course – but I’ve noticed that there’s nothing quite like running for helping me to feel more awake, aware, and alive.

9. I’ve never been all that good at it (recent race results notwithstanding) – so it’s allowed me to focus on the pure love of movement instead of measuring myself against the standards set by others.

8. It’s a health barometer. Show me a track and hand me a stopwatch, and in seven or eight minutes, I’ll tell you how healthy I am – because my one-mile time trial is a true fitness test. If I’m poppin’, it will be in the low seven-minute range; if I’m dragging, closer to 7:45 or even eight minutes.

7. Runners are fun to hang out with. We run, we race, and then we go out for coffee or brunch (or coffee and brunch) or dinner after, say, the Boston Marathon. (Don’t worry, New York Road Runners – I’ll make it to the NYC Marathon someday too.)

Come on. I think I look pretty cute here, right? Power to the pink!
Come on. I think I look pretty cute here, right? Power to the pink!

6. Cute gear. I only dress in hot pink when I run. And I look fabulous. At least, that’s what I tell myself.

5. Good foot knowledge. I happen to have flat feet that overpronate – that’s runner-talk for “I need custom orthotics in order to walk and run properly.” And it’s running that got me to a sports podiatrist back in the 90’s who told me all of that – and fitted me with said orthotics. Now I walk – and run – pretty.

4. Challenges. The whole first quarter of my workout year is devoted to getting ready for the Boston Marathon – a huge, biggie challenge if ever there was one. As one of my writing and running mentors, 1968 Boston Marathon champion Amby Burfoot, has said (I’m paraphrasing from an interview he did with me several years ago): “The marathon is the runner’s version of climbing Mount Everest.” That’s some serious motivation.

3. Races! They are fun and they get me outside in different parts of the country – and the world. Just this year, I’ve raced in Atlanta, Boston, Watertown (MA), and a fistful of towns in Washington State: Seattle, Renton, Mercer Island, and Port Angeles. And there’s a marathon to come in Victoria, B.C. later this year too.

2. Scenery! There really is something to working out in the great outdoors. I think that something bigger happens to us than just getting our heart rates up and burning off last night’s dessert. There’s an openness to the world, a freshness to the air, and yes, that gorgeous scenery (you try running along the coastline of the Olympic Peninsula for a few miles and tell me you’re not thoroughly inspired).

And the number one reason why I love running…drum roll please…

1. I am going to be a really, really happy 90-year-old someday. Running – and activity of all kinds – begets other kinds of healthy behaviors, like eating well, sleeping well, and getting mega-honest with ourselves about why we’re here and what we’re supposed to be doing with our lives. I can’t wait to be a super-healthy woman in my later years, because of the decisions I’m making right now to be healthy. Running has been the anchor that has supported me since I was twelve years old. Even when I struggled with my weight, it was a photograph of me in a race that told me I had to change my ways…and another photograph of me running a race two years later that told me I had done it. Running tells me the truth, every time. And that is why I love it so much.

Now, get out there today…and run!

Yesterday’s #Every48 workout: A kind-of vigorous WALK with hubby after work. I wanted to get in a better/more vigorous workout but let work get the better of me. Yowza. Today, I shall run. Promise.

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