“Baby we were born to run”

Nearly two years ago, I ran my first race as an Ainsley’s Angels runner. If you’re not familiar with Ainsley’s Angels, it’s a great group that pairs up special needs kids with runners to push them in races.

We have a race coming up, the first one we’re hosting since our chapter was established. Last week, I got together with my teammates, Trav and Riley, to do a little stroller-running practice.

Team Shamus for the Sunrise 5k

You may remember Trav from his interview I shared on the blog a year ago. If you live in the Fargo-Moorhead area, you might recognize Riley as the morning anchor on our local ABC affiliate.

As we were wrapping up, we started talking about running – how much we all love it and the reasons we do it. And wouldn’t you know, not a single one of those was weight loss. Not a single.damn.one.

In all reality, of course weight management is an awesome benefit of running. Between the calorie burn and muscle strengthening, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t appreciate the positive way it affects my body. But there are plenty of forms of cardio that achieve those results – cycling, swimming, even an elliptical machine.

As I’ve continued to run throughout the years and talk to others who also run as a religion, I’ve found that rarely is weight loss a reason that anyone loves to run and continues to do it.

Between Trav, Riley, and me, here are the reasons we love running. If you ever need something to give you a good kick in the butt (and don’t we all some days?), feel free to draw on these for inspiration.

1.  It Makes Us Feel Great 
This one is so hard to argue. While we agree that sometimes, it can be hard to get up and go for a run, it feels so good after, both mentally and physically. And then there’s the racing side of it.

I remember finishing my first 20-mile training run for my first marathon. I felt like such a badass. I recall talking with Trav and the pride he felt crossing the finish line of his first half marathon. There’s no better feeling. Running lets us capture those moments every time we choose to lace up and hit the pavement.

2.  It’s Stress Relief
We all have stress in our lives. For Trav, he’s working all the time, and has his hands in tons of different projects. For Riley, I mean, the girl is on live TV every day. ‘Nuff said. For me, I balance writing for editors to meet tight deadlines, pulling together reports for our C-Suite, and fielding other requests that come my way as my company’s sole PR Specialist. And those are just our work lives.

Running is powerful stress relief. There’s just something about it that helps us unwind and deal with things that consume our day-to-day lives.

3.  It Does Good
Ainsley’s Angels is a perfect example of how running benefits others.

And you don’t have to volunteer with a group like we do; there are plenty of races that allow you to fundraise for great causes. In other races, just by running and paying the race fee, you’re supporting a charitable organization.

4.  It’s Fun
Oh, this one. Whenever I tell people, non-runners, that I love to run because it’s fun, I’m greeted with horrible blank stares.

With runners though, they totally get it. Especially in a team setting with a fun race like Trav, Riley, and I are going to run, it really is so much fun.

My favorite four-legged running partner

5.  It’s For Everyone
I enjoy long distances and 8-minute miles with the company of my dog. Trav digs the half marathon, has been gradually increasing speed, and enjoys group runs. Riley has done a 10k and handfuls of 5ks, and is shooting for 10-minute miles in our next race.

Difference distances, varying pace-per-miles. And guess what – we’re all runners. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how far, how fast, or how often you run. If you run, you’re a runner.

Speaking of that, join us for the Sunrise 5k on July 1. Walk, jog, run, whatever’s your pleasure. If you don’t live in the Fargo-Moorhead area, no worries, there’s a virtual option. Sign up here.

Do you run for reasons other than weight loss? What is your number one reason you run? Comment or tweet me, @LindsayIRL. Share your reasons to run on Twitter and Instagram too, and be sure to use hashtag #wellirl.


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