Running: Why I do it

juliecache's running shoes

Yes, I am brand loyal. ASICS for life, baby.

I have mentioned running a few times on my blog. Like homeschooling, my reasons for running change frequently. My motivation is always fitness, but the mini-motivators, the daily why, changes almost daily. As I sit here with a swollen and tender left knee, I thought I’d “reflect aloud” for you all to see the evolving process.

My first why: My body was outgrowing my clothes.

I was frustrated. Having grown up dancing and reluctantly quitting at age 32, I needed -something- to fit my schedule and help me stay slim. I wasn’t gaining weight, but my clothes were not fitting and I was not pleased. Tae kwon do would have been a great match, but the scheduling was terrible for me. Same thing for aerobics and other group fitness classes (not as great a mental match as tae kwon do, though). At this point, I had a 2, 4, 6, and 8 year old in the house, all home schooling, with two of the kids in speech therapy. Running, more like jogging at that point, was about the most acceptable activity that I could squeeze into my schedule.

My second why: To run a new distance.

After two years, I connected with a high school friend, and signed up for a 5k. The race would be about 3.1 miles, and had yet to run two consecutive miles.

The next why: being faster than my last 5k

I was clocking faster times, and then I really stalled. I spent one year with very sick skin. My skin has not healed 100%, but I accept that it may never be the same. I gained ten pounds. Then a friend (IRL and on FB) mentioned I Run For Michael.

My new why: because others cannot run.

I run for Chloe.

chloeWhy can’t Chloe run? Let me have her mother tell you:

She was infected with CMV (Cytomegalovirus), a virus I must have gotten from her older brother as he was in daycare at the time. It’s an evil virus. If one catches it, they may experience a cold. … while pregnant, the virus attacks every organ of the fetus.

It was not a fun pregnancy or delivery.

She spent 49 days in the NICU, received 6 blood transfusions and … experimental drugs to stop the virus. She left the hospital with discharge papers saying she would eventually need a G-tube, life span would be short, we were to keep her comfortable.

Fast forward to now.

But July 8th we just celebrated her 5th birthday =]

While she is only a mildly affected by CMV, she has cerebral palsy (specifically diplegia), PVL (basically a BIG name for her brain damage), strabismus in her left eye (weakened muscles resulting in a stroke at birth). She has the labels of severely developmentally delayed, and speech impaired. But the past year she has found her voice! …. She’s worn leg braces for this whole last year and … while she can walk, [she] gets tired before “normal” children. She is very active when she can be! We are so very happy you will be her runner!!! Thank you so very much!!!

So there are causes and charity events, but because I connected with I Run For Michael through my friend, I have a REAL CAUSE. I’m still sitting here looking at and feeling the outside of my knee. It’s not nearly as swollen and tender, and it hasn’t hurt for my last 7 miles. I think I can squeeze in some speed work this week for her. Who could say no to that face?

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