“You make my heart beat faster”

Last week, I came to a tough and literally painful realization. At 32 weeks pregnant, I laced up my running shoes and hit the treadmill for the last time until Baby P aka p-nut arrives. I’ve reached the point where I’m feeling pain during and, especially, after my run and after talking with a few mother runner friends, decided it would be best to take a break until I’m cleared and ready to go post-baby.

Am I bummed? Of course. Am I feeling sorry for myself? Hell no. I’m 34 years old and having a comfortable, uncomplicated pregnancy. Life is pretty fantastic.

But as I’ve been missing running, I’ve been realizing why it’s something I love so much. Because Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and running is known to get the blood pumping and heart beating, here are the five reasons there’s so much to love about running.

Running with friends – one of the biggest things I’ll miss the next few months

1. It’s a Feel-Good
There are few things that match how good it feels to finish a run, whether a big race, hard training run, or short one after a long day of work.

With 10 marathons, more than a dozen half marathons, and who knows how many miles under my belt, I’ve had plenty of days where I haven’t wanted to run or I’ve had a terrible run. Yet, there’s still something about a good run – the mix of peace, strength, and a job well-done.

2. It’s Stress Relief
Everyone has stress in their life and different ways to relieve it. Running is one of my biggest stress relievers.

Luckily, working out in general – a mix of walking, other cardio, and lifting, seems to be doing the trick, along with mindfulness, writing, and a few other strategies have been helping me supplement as my running has tapered.

3. It’s Scalable
There’s a saying that it doesn’t matter how fast or how far you go. I’ve never found this to be truer than in my second and third trimesters.

When I was training for Chicago Marathon, it was rare I’d run fewer than four miles for a training run. Typically I was running six to eight miles on weekdays, then whatever my long run happened to be. My typical running pace was about an 8-min/mile, give or take based on weather.

The past few months, I’ve been running three, two, even one mile at a time, with pace closer to a 9-min/mile. And you know what? I still feel great about those miles. I guess it’s true, it really doesn’t matter how fast or far you go, as long as you go.

Burton prefers to run, not ride – soon, buddy

4. It’s For Everyone
Just as it doesn’t matter how fast or far you go, it doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or an expert; you’re carrying a few extra pounds or super-fit. Running is something anyone can do.

5. It’s Fun
I legitimately find running to be a fun way to spend my time. To some people, this is crazy. Others totally get it. And, while I’ll never claim that I don’t have those bad days, the ones that suck or the ones I just don’t want to run, at the end of the day, I truly enjoy it.

Whether it’s a solo run, a run with friends, or, my personal favorite, a run with Burton, running is fun.

What workout do you want to show a little love for this Valentine’s Day? Comment or tweet me, @LindsayIRL. Share pics and moments of you lovin your workout on Twitter and Instagram with hashtag #wellirl.


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