Why I Run Wednesday #1

The ‘Why I Run Wednesday’ posts are a weekly feature exploring a past, present, or future reason why I run. 

Panorama photo of Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis
Lake Calhoun, November 2015

I remember my first ‘long run’. It was a high school cross country (Go Whippets) workout where a running buddy and I were in disbelief that we had just run for 45 minutes–all at once! Several years later, shortly after declaring I was not particularly interested in running even longer distances, I completed my first half marathon in May 2009 (Madison Marathon). Then I was hooked. Onward to completing my first marathon in October 2009 (Twin Cities Marathon).

A collage of photos from the 2009 Twin Cities Marathon
Twin Cities Marathon, 2009
Top left: The Mpls to St. Paul bike crew! Claire, Natalie, (me), Hannah; Top right: The roommate (Rachel) /my mom’s fearless chauffeur to each spectator spot; Bottom left: My very proud mom (and me); Bottom right: I am the one in a strange outfit of powder blue, white spandex & black shorts (clearly before I worked at a local run shop)

Training for that first marathon meant finding a nice place to run that could accommodate several miles on the weekends, ideally not around the same few blocks, multiple times (definitely been there when necessary). Being new to the Twin Cities, I did a Google search for places to run in Minneapolis and I learned about the Chain of Lakes. What a place! Three beautiful lakes in the middle of the city, each with a bordering pedestrian AND bike path! I hopped into my little Honda Civic and drove to Minneapolis from the other side of St. Louis Park. I ran loops and more loops around Calhoun and sometimes ventured to Isles and maybe even to Harriet. The lakes proved to be a great training ground and provided the foundation for my relationship with the 26.2 distance.

I have since run the Twin Cities Marathon two more times and the Fargo Marathon once, with several half marathons mixed in over the past six years. I no longer have a car, or long hair, nor live in the suburbs. But I still run the lakes, like I did this morning and captured that panorama shot featured at the top of this post.

So why do I run?  Because it is with me through so many changes in life. Running has been the catalyst for friendships, a reason to explore, and a surefire way to appreciate a familiar place that once seemed so new.

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