The Evolution of My Reasons for Running

13 Sep

When I first started running back in the day, my reasons were purely vain and selfish.

I did not want to be sluggish and fat anymore. That is all there was to it. I looked in the mirror, did not like what I saw and I wanted to change it. The situation was compounded with a failed relationship and I vowed to myself to get in shape. I wanted to be “hot”. After all, “hot girls” got all the fellas.

Reason #1 for Running: To get this bod.
C’mon, what girl doesn’t want abs like this? Seriously.

Courtesy of Runner's World

It took me about a month of running to realize that my body would never look like that. I just do not shed weight that way and the only way I could put in the time and energy to get ridiculous abulocity like that was if I did not work full-time and swore off cheeseburgers…for the rest of my life. But, in that month, something else happened, I started flirting with running…and I realized it was a relationship that I was not quite ready to part with.

I worked hard. I dropped more weight and I leaned up. I strength trained. I did speed work. And before you know it, I was dabbling in long distances.

Reason #2 for Running: To go for the gold.
It is no secret that I am a race medal junkie. In fact, I think most runners would be lying it they said it did not feel good to earn a race medal or win an age group or overall award.

Just when I thought it was all starting to come together (and that bod I had always wanted was finally starting to peek through), my awesomer half and I found out we were expecting. And EVERYTHING changed. The awesome bod was fading and I could no longer run far enough or fast enough for the race bling. But it was okay, because now my body was healthy and ready for this new adventure. Somewhere along the way, nestled in all the vain and ridiculous reasons why I was running, I had gotten healthy! (Say whaaaa!?) Over the years I had not only stepped up my workouts, but I had quit smoking, cut back on the drinking, and actually started caring about the food that went into my mouth. Even though I was not privy to the big cosmic plan, everything was really leading up to this…

Reason #3 for Running: To be a healthy parent and a good example for my child.

Yesterday, Brent and I went for a 3D ultrasound. (Really quick side note: Why on Earth do they call these 4D ultrasounds? Not sure what they are considering to be the 4th dimension here…) I saw my child’s face, his features, his little hands, and his little feet. Amongst the myriad of things we are supposed to teach him, we are responsible for guiding him on what it means to appreciate your body, take care of it, work hard with it, and fuel it properly. I did not have a good example of healthy lifestyle growing up and I vow to provide this for my son.

Though I would love to one day have that bod I was *almost* proud of and maybe even get toned enough to go for a run in just a sports bra and running shorts, I can no longer let that be the goal. And while winning is fun, it really isn’t what running is all about.

I would rather be known as the runner mom who showed her kid(s) what it meant to set goals, work hard, train hard, eat right, and achieve her dreams.

Maybe selfishness gets in the way and maybe I am a little vain, but I never thought I would be okay letting Reason #1 and Reason #2 go. But after seeing Reason #3 on the screen yesterday, I clearly have way better things in store for me.

Why do you run? Over the years have your reasons and motivations changed? What keeps you going now?

21 Responses to “The Evolution of My Reasons for Running”

  1. Love this!

    Funny just yesterday I had someone ask me why I started running and it wasn’t until I was answering her that I realized how much my reasons have evolved. Being a healthy parent and role model for my boys is definitely a big factor for me!

    • katieRUNSthis at 11:23 AM #

      Isn’t it funny? I mean, I guess I never really thought something like that would evolve, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized how much I had changed over the years. Could it be that I am finally becoming a grown up!? Say it ain’t so!

  2. Kevin at 11:19 AM #

    Wow, that is an awesome 3D pic!

    • katieRUNSthis at 11:20 AM #

      Thank you! I was SO nervous about going to that appointment. I was worried that the whole 3D thing would freak me out…and it did at first. But the more I looked at the images on the screen, the more comfortable I got with it. It is definitely weird though!

  3. Heidi L at 11:39 AM #

    It’s so true! I started out with the goal of getting myself back in shape and running has completely evolved for me. I too, am a race bling lover. It makes me happy to look at them and remember the sweat and sometimes tears that went into each race. I also run for me and my sanity. It’s such a great time to work things out and have personal time while doing something great for my body.

    We run and exercise to show our nieces that it’s a good thing to work hard (ages 2 and 5). They don’t have the best exercise examples in their life and we want to show them that it’s good to get sweaty. Such an awesome picture of the little guy! You are going to be great at showing him how to balance life and to take care of himself!

  4. Melissa at 11:44 AM #

    Oh, how awesome to have that ultrasound! I can’t imagine how amazing that must’ve felt!

    I run because it makes me feel better. I’m kinda nuts when I don’t–as in seriously stressed and even more neurotic! It’s just a huge stress reliever for me. Plus, I love the feeling of being strong and accomplishing a challenging run. I also love that it’s just for me. You’ve got to have something like that in your life, you know?

  5. Brent (the husband) at 12:19 PM #

    While I support you and am proud of what you have done, I have never been so proud of you as I am now. The responsibility of raising a child is far greater and will require much more training than any other event we will likely face. I’m glad to know we will be doing this *event* together!

    I love you.

    • katieRUNSthis at 1:34 PM #

      Oh, husband. How you put up with so much from me! I know that you aren’t as “into” this running thing as I am but thank you for always being supportive of me and my runner quirkiness.

      I couldn’t be more thankful to be in this marathon with you.

      I love you. Always, always, always!

  6. Hydie Wahlborg at 12:23 PM #

    Beautifully written, Katie. And, what a precious baby boy you have. He looks so peaceful!

    I started running in 1994 after the birth of my second child because of this sentence that I read in a magazine: “running is the fastest way to lose weight.” And, so began my journey. I’ll never forget the first time I ran a full mile.

    I suppose I am somewhat thankful for that lone sentence in the magazine 17 years ago.
    Many miles, another child and a few marathons later, there is no doubt that running for me is about a whole lot more than weight loss. I run for health, strength & mental clarity. I am blessed to share my deepest feelings,worries and joys with my running partner who never tires of my voice….this is a gift. I run to show my children that anything is possible. I run to believe in myself. Running makes me happy 🙂

    • katieRUNSthis at 1:29 PM #

      Hydie, you would have died laughing! At one point he didn’t want to move around too much so the ultrasound tech started poking on my belly. Baby Key made the nastiest stinkface you have ever seen! It was too funny! He clearly did NOT like being poked! It made us laugh big time!

      Isn’t it funny this journey that running takes us on (and I don’t mean just physically)? I mean, look how far we have all come…doing things we never thought we would do…all thanks to running. 🙂

  7. clarissa at 12:26 PM #

    I love this post. thank you for sharing. 🙂 my reasons haven’t quite evolved but I do see the long term benefits on the horizon for a future human in my belly one day in the distance. Congratulations!

    • katieRUNSthis at 12:36 PM #

      Well, give yourself time. Running truly is a relationship. You go through seasons with it and over time, as with anything, the reasons why you stick with it change too. 🙂

  8. Linda Key at 1:33 PM #

    Just viewed the pics and have to say you are and have been training for a marathon and it will begin in a few weeks. You may not get a medal or a T-shirt for this upcoming event but you will receive more than you can ever imagine for being chosen by God to be the mother of this little guy! You are a WINNER Katie Key and I love you! The finish line in this race is actually another new beginning 🙂 With Love, from Owen’s Grandma Key.

    • katieRUNSthis at 1:54 PM #

      You win. You made me cry. 🙂

      Seeing the 4D ultrasound was…AMAZING. We all boo-hooed (even Mr. Key). Seeing what he looks like completely caught me off gaurd. Mom and I are convinced that he looks like Brent, but Brent isn’t so sure. 🙂 I did tell him that I think he would secretly LOVE it if Owen looked like him, and he just blushed and laughed. Either way, Owen is going to be one cool little kid.

      I love you too and I feel *SO* blessed that Owen will be coming into this world with so much love and support. This kiddo is bound for good things in life. 🙂 I am convinced of it!

  9. littlegreengoddess at 2:59 PM #

    …and to be the mom with the jogging stroller that everyone says “damn, she looks good!” It’s ok to still want to be the hot mom. 🙂

    • katieRUNSthis at 3:02 PM #

      True. 🙂 As long as Mr. Key keeps thinkin’ he’s got the hottest wifey on the planet, its all good. 🙂

  10. FindingMyHappyPace at 8:08 PM #

    Your first reason is why I started running too. I remember the times when I refused to let it be a recovery week because I HAD to run to STAY SKINNY, omg.
    I eventually figured it out, a recovery week doesn’t equate to a 20 lb weight gain. Who woulda thought?
    I think being a runner mom takes a special kind of gal, and I admire those who do it. Congratulations to you!

  11. I started running in elementary school because I loved to do it. I enjoyed racing the boys in the school yard. I wanted to set records in jr high and high school and get awards. I was very driven then. Then college and work took over and I let myself get out of shape. I started running again over a year ago because I wanted to reclaim who I used to be and to shed some weight. I started to get back competitve in my running and strived to place and win my category. Now I am staying active (since I still don’t have the ok to jog and likely won’t for my pregnancy) by walking to that I can have a healthy pregnancy and hopefully it will help with my delivery.

  12. runnerstrialsJen at 9:40 AM #

    I love this! My reasons for running are the same, but I also do it because it helps my mental health SO much. I am already a nervous wreck due to pregnancy and I think the reason I am still running is because I literally need to for mine and my baby’s health.

    And I would MUCH rather look like you than the model in the pic you posted. To me, she looks toned but not strong. You my dear look strong and happy 🙂

    • katieRUNSthis at 9:43 AM #

      Thanks, Jen! I agree 100% on the mental health issue. I need it. When my husband and I first got together I don’t think he “got it” but he totally does now. Its not even a weight thing anymore. It is my “me time”. Some women read magazines, some women go to the spa, some women shop for shoes…I RUN. That’s my “me time” and I need it.

      Not sure how strong I feel these days, but I can say that I am happy. 🙂

  13. NeicyRox at 2:05 PM #

    I loved this blog. I’ve been reading from a distance via Google Reader, but I had to click in and comment. I took a running break (and a few other breaks from…everything, save grad school and work) and was looking for the fun and joy I had this summer to reappear with running again.

    You are SUCH and inspiration, Katie! Looking forward to my own little revolution evolution. 🙂

    P.S. How cute is that ultrasound? Congrats!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: