This is her story.
I started running mostly because it was a way to simply burn calories. As a child I was slightly overweight and felt that I had absolutely no athletic ability. I disliked gym class and was usually one of the last kids to be picked for teams. And I always dreaded running the mile. I started exercising and running a little in my early 20’s, but my runs were usually 2-3 miles, with a (very) occasional “long”run of 5 or 6. I’m pretty sure running made me feel good then, but it wasn’t until my husband and I signed up and started training for our first half marathon in June 2011 that I started to love it. We were living in northern Minnesota at the time and most of my training miles were run on the bike trail with my toddler son in the jogging stroller. It was during that time I realized that no other physical activity could make me push myself more or make me feel more alive and free; or more accomplished. It was also a bonus to be able to get exercise in with my son!
I feel like should also add that being a runner kind of makes me feel like a badass.
I still run to burn calories, especially as I get older, but that is far from the most important reason. I’ve dealt with minor depression for much of my adult life; and for a couple years was on medication. Running is now my antidepressant. If I’m in a bad mood or feeling down I usually go for a run, even if its supposed to be a rest day. I also feel it makes me a better mother. My son is now 6 and I also have a 3 year old daughter. Running gives me more energy and patience for my kids, and provides me with an often much needed break. My husband travels for work occasionally, and when he is out of town leaving the kids at child watch at the Y is my only break! Last month my husband and I ran our 4th marathon and I qualified for Boston. Earlier this year I ran a 50k. I never dreamed I would enjoy running a mile, let alone be able to run 26.2! But I plan to keep doing so as long as I can.