Saturday, October 1, 2011

Why I love to run…

It is simple…I love to run.  I wasn't born to run, rather I had to grow into it. I first started running after I retired from swimming.  I would head out for one of my favorite runs (still to this day ) down Campus Drive at Stanford University.  I never really kept track of my mileage, and since I have never been a big fan of the "out and back" run, the loop was perfect because it had new scenery the entire way. 

For a while during my post-Olympic phase, I tried my hand at lots of exercises including step aerobics like every other woman in the 90’s. Turning and hopping over the step until I was thoroughly dizzy and confused. Once I got into the groove, the workout was great, but it didn't fit me quite the same as running.  The mindless me time was what I longed for and why I slipped back into my running shoes.

My best friend from college, a former volleyball player, was my running partner in crime. We mostly ran to exercise and chat about life.  Occasionally we would enter fun race to make it interesting. Over the course of our friendship, we have marked some super memorable routes in our running log: the North Shore of Oahu, the Presido in San Fran, the Manhattan Beach strand, and one of my favorites to the Gaudi museum in Barcelona.  

Running has always inspired creative thinking in me, or helped me solve life's little problems. There have been countless times where I have stopped to note my next great idea, or turned my bad mood happy.  Time on the pavement in Central Park was what got me through my rough transition to living in NYC.  Running has been the inspiration for exploration in every city where I’ve traveled.  In 10 years working for the NBA, my shoes saw miles around every arena. (My favorites being Philly and DC.) 

Now, as a mom, running is still a huge part of my life.  I love that my kids know it…they ask me if I am going for a run even before I put on my running clothes.  My daughter wants to run with me.  Yesterday she announced that she wants to run a 20K.  Love it. It’s something I’m sharing with them, but it’s also something for me.

My girlfriend, who also happens to be my marathon training partner, and I had a conversation about what running means to us just the other morning.  It is as simple as this…Running makes us happy.  And we all know the saying…“A happy mom, a happy house.”

Chicago is just days away...

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