This week’s purposeful running post comes from Jen, who blogs at Marathon Mom. Jen has become a good blogging buddy as we have so much in common (2 year old daughters, mostly vegetarian eating, running for sanity, etc). I didn’t know Jen’s background, so this was a fun read for me. She also just ran the Boston marathon and finished strong, heat and all, which makes her a superhero in my book!
My reasons for running are ever changing. Despite being an active child and dancer much of my childhood/teen years, I grew up hating running. To the point I nearly failed PE in high school because I didn’t want to run!
After college I had a stressful job and needed to get out of my unhealthy lifestyle filled with bad eating habits. A huge change from the other extreme unhealthy lifestyle of an eating disorder I overcame in high school. I got a bright idea to run a marathon (a one time thing) to raise money for stroke research. I finished the 2003 Disney Marathon in ~5:20 and decided I kind of enjoyed this running thing.
In 2005 I started running with a group at the local gym and quickly looked forward to getting up early on weekends to run. This time was mine to get lost in the outdoors and conversations about anything and everything and yet not worry about other things sitting on my plate. I ran my 3rd marathon after training with this group and broke 4 hours! Something I had never dreamed of when I started, Boston was now on my radar and I had a new goal. Over the next few years I ran even more and raised money once again, this time for the Luekemia and Lymphoma Society which led to my next adventure of coaching. This was a wonderful experience and so inspiring. I was reenergized by running with such dedicated and strong people who worked so hard to achieve their goals, often going from couch to marathon finisher over a season, this is why I run and pass it on to others! I even got my husband to start running marathons and later my father who finished his first at age 60 and college roommate who is now asking me to run with her. How great to pass on this healthy habit to others.
I turned 30 and we decided it was time to start a family, which didn’t go as I had planned and we were eventually working with a specialist and wondering what was wrong with us. I continued to run and train often using this time alone to think about the possibilities and direction I hoped for my life. Unexpectedly in May of 2009 I got a shocking phone call from the doctor, I was pregnant! We had not expected this and only tested to comfirm a negative before starting treatment. A few weeks later with my doctor’s blessing I ran the best feeling marathon of my life, I felt great, had fun and renewed why I ran. I continued to run during most of my pregnancy until I was forced to stop around 34 weeks due to symphysis pubis diastasis which had begun a few months earlier. This was one of the best things I could have done, it taught me why I ran.