To be honest, I thought I’d hang up my running shoes for a few weeks (or months) after the marathon was over. But when Lululemon asked me to participate in their campaign to promote running with purpose, I couldn’t resist lacing up again.
I truly believe that running has the power to change your life. It’s why I ran the marathon for Dream Big! And it’s why I’ve been sharing my training experience and encouraging all of you to join me in the 5K Challenge.
I’m so thankful for my childhood soccer days in part because it forced me to run…A LOT. I even ended up running my first 10K with my dad (Diablo Mountain run) when I was just 8 or 9 years old. Running has given me an invaluable outlet over the years. Hitting the pavement or a trail—or even the treadmill—has always felt freeing and been my healthy escape.
That doesn’t mean it’s always easy. I still have nightmares about my team sprint drills, marathon training was harder than I ever imagined, and I felt like I hit a wall when I reached the 22-mile mark in Boston. Reminding myself why I was out there in the first place is what helped carry me over the finish line. And all those miles gave me A LOT of time to ponder the question.
Here, the top five reasons I run.
I never thought I could run 10 miles. I never thought I could run 13 or 15 – let alone 26.2 miles. Each time I couldn’t fathom how I was going to tack on more miles but each time I surprised myself and did it. Every time I push myself a little further, I feel stronger – physically and mentally. I’ve realized that it’s not just about running, it’s about centering myself, enjoying the process. For example, during the marathon, my Apple watch fell victim to the rainstorm and stopped working at mile 22. Without music to keep pace with, I had to shift my motivation and perspective. It really allowed me to soak everything in and I realized that I could do anything. It was so empowering and that confidence transfers to other aspects of life.
It reminds me to invest in myself
Most of my days revolve around my kids, but the time I spend running is just for me. The miles give me an opportunity to reflect and reconnect to who I am as an individual, to stop worrying about everyone else and make myself a priority. Kids or no kids, we’re all guilty of putting off self-care and carving out time for a run can feel indulgent. It’s important to remind ourselves we’re worth it. It’s also a great excuse to treat yourself to some cool new gear. =)
It makes me a better person
Joyce Carol Oates once wrote: “in running the mind flees with the body…in rhythm with our feet and the swinging of our arms.” I couldn’t agree more. Whether I’m feeling frustrated or overwhelmed, nothing clears my head like pounding the pavement. Running is an emotional release, helping me let go of negativity and allowing me to process my thoughts with more clarity. After running, I’m more patient and kind with myself and everyone else.
It encourages me to explore
Running is my by far my favorite way to see a city. Street routes allow you to see a place from a whole new perspective, giving you a greater appreciation for the nuances that give each neighborhood its unique character. Running the same routes gets old, so I also love that it encourages me to try new trails and escape into nature where I can be alone with my thoughts and the rustling wind in these beautiful oak trees.
It connects me with others
I’d always assumed running was a solo sport, but marathon training was so daunting that I realized I needed some social support. Through running, I’ve met some incredible people (looking at you Liz Plosser) and like-minded communities that have provided me with tremendous inspiration and motivation. Running with friends is essential to my training – comparing notes, tweaking techniques, sharing tips and advice not only improve my time but make my runs more fun and fulfilling.
The marathon may be over, but I’m excited to get back outside, to feel the endorphins, the peace of mind, the strength and accomplishment of as many miles as I choose in the sunshine. Wanna join me? Find me in the lululemon running club on Strava click here!
Every run has a reason, what’s yours?
Congratulations on your partnership with Lululemon! I used to run all of the time in high school. When you ran the half marathon in Seattle, it motivated me to start up again. The endorphin realease and mental clarity is what pushes me! Love you, Gen, and thank you!
I felt happier after I went on a run. If I was having a bad day, then I knew all I needed was a run, long or short, to lift my spirits! I struggle a lot with anxiety. I noticed that on the days that I did run, my anxiety wasn’t near as bad as the days that I didn’t run. I really need to get back into it. Running made me feel GOOD! I really don’t know why I stopped. I guess it was because I got lazy, or kept making excuses. I really need to stop making so many excuses and just do it. I know I will feel better afterwards! Running kept me sane.
Wow you made me wanna run again!! Thank you for this piece, gen, so inspiring! ?♀️
I’ve always wanted to participate in a marathon but like you have always felt I couldn’t do it. Last year I finally took control of my health. I’ve been losing weight and becoming more active. I can’t even run a mile yet, I can barely walk a mile, but it’s more than I could do 6 months ago. I’m hopeful that in another 6 months I will be able to run that mile or more. The fresh air and sunshine are so uplifting. A bonus side effect is I’ve found the more active I am and the more sunshine I get, the more my mental health improves.
Thank you for all your posts and insight. You are an inspiration.
Hey Gen! I could not agree with your reasons for running more! I started running about nine years ago, I will be 29 in May, and it is honestly my personal outlet for stress and anything that may pile on during the day. I recently just joined a local running group and they inspired me to run my first marathon in Philadelphia last November. It was so frightening yet exhilarating at the same time. I hit a wall around mile 20, but the thought of my five year old nephew and my sister waiting for me at the finish line made me fight for every additional step. I thought afterwards that I would be one and done with that marathon but I already signed up for two more in the fall of this year. I absolutely love reading about your running adventures and experiences! You are a true inspiration! Thanks again!
Thank you so much for this! I’ve started running more lately and even completed my first ever 5K thanks to you. I’ve definitely realized the benefits to my health (both mental & physical) since I’ve incorporated running in my life. Thank you so much Gen!
I like running (even though I’m not great at it) because it reminds me that whatever else, I’m the one who has to keep moving. It’s me and my feet that are going to start and finish.
Hi Gen, Congratulations on your marathon accomplishment!! You are such an inspiration!! What is your secret to balancing everything in your life with 3 kids?? My brother is going through a divorce and has sole custody so I’ve been helping with kids after work, picking up from school, homework, dinner, the works lol. I’m so tired by the end of the day, I just can’t seem to find the time. Reading your blog makes me want to find the time!! So thank you so very much!! I want to do this!!
Are you going to run SeaWheeze with this partnership? Also, you should try and get lululemon to form a run club through one of their Austin stores- they have a bunch of them in other cities!
Congrats again on the Boston Marathon…you were in beast mode! Also, thank you for your kind words prior to starting. I was the girl who thanked Jared for his AKF inspiration…and have lost 95 lbs so far. I started a 5k training program this year…to incorporate something new into the routine and ended up loving it more than I ever thought. Right now…I’m working on a 10k training program…hopefully leading to a half marathon next year at DisneyWorld. I run because nothing else gives me that type of workout…I’ve never sweat so much in my life. But being able to see how my endurance has increased…seeing how it has changed my body…I love it!!
I’ve not ran for over 20 years, My son is 9 an daughter 4 are my motivation to run and be healthier after losing their Dad they need me to be Healthy. I am so happy running now i enjoy setting new targets, my son always asks how was your run ? Did I get my goal for the day? When I’m tired and want to miss a run he reminds me why I’m doing this . I love my kids their my reason to want to do better and achieve my goals no matter how small. My mental health is much better running it gives me a great boost of endorphins I feel alive an invigorated after each run . Your strava club has helped with positive motivation and support from all who have signed up. Well done to Jared an yourself for your own amazing achievements whilst on your marathon journey.
Your kicking butt and I love it. As a plus size girl who lifts weights almost every day I feel so strong! I wish Lululemon carried bigger sizes, us bigger girls love their stuff too.
Hi Gen! You are so on point with your reasons for running. I can’t run because I have constant vertigo and cancer, But I walk every nice day and Physically OK day I can. Sadly I can’t go far but I go as far as I can and I push myself just a bit because it gives me a bit of a boost I need to fight more. It is a LONG road for me but I hope to concure it like you have with your Marathon. You did an awesome job on the marathon. Doing things for yourself makes you a better mom also. Keep On Running!!
I use to be an avid runner and want to start again…any advice for an 38 yr old former fitness lover… Who needs this back in her life?
#WJ2019: Finding Motivation
[…] at that time, she had been posting her journey preparing for her 5K race. Genevieve posted about why she runs, and it wasn’t just about being in shape. It was about the way it made her feel and how it […]
Lovely points!! I wasn’t a huge runner growing up, which I think kinda hurt my dad’s pride a bit. In my young adulthood, however, I started running with more purpose. After reading a pretty inspiring book on running (one my dad owned), I decided I wanted to run 25 miles when I turned 25. People thought I was kidding, so, when my brother and I ran it together, “accomplished” doesn’t even begin to describe what I felt. I really love that I have the ability to run with others (as long as they’re willing). I try to convince my dad every year to join my employer’s 5K, just so I can run with him. Now I’m trying to convince my other brother to run my next birthday challenge with me!
I run to feel that my body is working! I suffer from chronic migraines and there is so much pain that I can’t control..but I control the running! It is, as you said, empowering.
Reviewing this article is a great motivation for me and very inspiring. I’ve been somewhat in a funk, feeling stuck and overwhelmed. I came to this site to read something to help me get out of it. I just got a new treadmill so this was perfect to read again. Thank you again and I hope you and your family are doing well.
All the best,