Apart from the cheeky “why not?” answer, why do I run? It’s not something I normally think about – but at quarter to 4 on a Tuesday morning when sleep won’t come and I have to be up in 4 hours to go back to college…maybe I can explore.

#1 – I run to remember. I have gone on thousands of runs, most of them in the same 50 mile area. My life has happened on the run. I’ve run after heartbreak and devastation, after dreams came true. I can point to that trail or that road or that corner and tell a dozen stories that come like movies behind my eyes.

#2- I run to forget. It’s the antithesis of number one. When the heartbreak and real life get to be just a little too much, away I go.

#3- I run to dream. Silly little daydreams, big future dreams. It’s my time to be frivolous.

#4- I run for my sanity. I’m in college – it’s either run or drink, because the stress will get to you one way or another.

#5 – I run for my vanity. My not so dirty little secret – putting in the miles gets you a nice booty and legs in return. I like heels, I like short skirts, I like not looking like a fool in either.

#6- I run because it’s a part of who I am. My legs know how to do it, my lungs are used to it’s demands – my body needs running just like it needs air or water. There’s no two ways about that.

#7- I run because it makes me better. A calmer driver, a more patient nanny, a more focused student, a happier girlfriend and friend, a better cook.

#8- I run because I like to cook. And even sometimes eat. Cooking, like running, gives me joy. But it’s a different joy, similar to calming a baby or doing something productive. When I run, I get focused. And hungry. The two together make me a somewhat decent cook.

#9-Ā I run because I truly enjoy the crazy looks that people give me when I’m running in the rain/snow/heat/cold/early morning. One of these days, I will photograph one of these looks and post it on the blog – and then laugh my butt off for days.

#10- I run for my friends. For all the beautiful, strong, dedicated women I know who put in their miles and cheer me on in mine.

#11- I run for the bling. Race medals are awesome! When I used to run track in HS, the winners got the medals and the slower people got…nada. When I realized that in long distance races, all you had to do was finish and you got a nifty piece of neckwear, I was even more hooked.

#12 – I run for sleep. Sleep has been a challenge for most of my college life – when I really tire out my body, my mind usually follows.

And last, but certainly not least…

#13 – I run because of the JOY. Even the worst run is better than a day without a run. Running doesn’t put constraints or expectations on you – just go. The expectations and demands are your own creation.