Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Liz on Why I run

finishing the 2011 National 1/2 Marathon

Hey Scrap and Run readers, It's Liz from Reston Style (and the unknown blog 366 to 30) and besides being a blogger, I'm a runner.

I ran track for one season in high school, but really only pole vaulted. I started running on and off back in 2000, during my freshman year of college when I was training with the swim team and lacrosse team. Even though I ran, I didn't think of myself as a runner. Being a runner is a mentality. Something changes when you start to think of yourself as a runner, and that happened to me in August of 2008.

my bestie, Erin and I pose after our first 10k in 2008 (the date is wrong on the picture)

My best friend, Erin, and I started working out in a gym at the beginning of 2008 so that she could get ready for her wedding in April. After the wedding we decided to try to take our workouts outside, and even though Erin always hated running, it was her idea to go for a run. We started just trying to make it through 20 minutes at a slow pace. It was misery! Erin even proclaimed that she would rather walk five miles than run one, yet we continued to do it two to three times a week through June. Then we signed up for a 5k in July. We were on our way, but I didn't think of myself as a runner yet.

The switch happened when Erin and I started following Jeff Galloway's 5k/10k training plan. I had signed up for the Army 10 Miler (not being a runner, I did it the year before wearing my mom's number) and needed a plan to follow. It was in the middle of going through the 5k training plan for the first time, on an 8 mile long run when Erin recanted her statement saying that she would rather run five miles than walk one. Over the course of completing the training plan my one mile time dropped from 7:59 to 7:01 and Erin's dropped from 9:20 to 8:15, and we ran an 11 mile long run in a hurricane that we officially called ourselves runners.

I have now run 5 half marathons (3 of them, sub 2 hours), 4 ten milers, and numerous 5 and 10k's and am training for my first marathon. I cover between 25 and 30 miles a week at this point, but will be increasing that as my marathon training schedule goes on. I cross train with walking, swimming, biking, and indoor rock climbing. I run using Jeff Galloway's run/walk program, and I attribute that to my success as a runner.

Manda, me, Josh, and Jenny celebrate after the 2011 National 1/2 Marathon

So why do I run?
  • Potato chips - seriously, they are delicious and I love them. When I run, I can eat them and not feel guilty.
  • it started so that I would have something in common with my mom, who became a runner in 2001 and was living in Germany when I started running
  • to have something fun to do with my friends. I have always trained with a running buddy. Erin, until she moved to Belgium, then I was running occasionally with Manda, then just with Jenny; last summer her husband, Josh, joined us; this spring our friend Reid has started coming; and this week my friend Michelle will be joining us for the first time!
  • I run because I love how it feels to be a runner. It does great things for my mood, my body, my mind, my soul, and my self esteem. 
  • it lets me compete with myself (though sometimes I try to compete with the boys!) and see success through hard work and dedication

I always say that running is to your late 20's/early 30's as binge drinking is to college.
  • it's the cool thing to do
  • you can do it alone, but people might think you are crazy or have a problem
  • you plan your life around it
  • its fun one on one
  • its fun with a lot of friends
  • you get really giddy and silly when you do it
  • it leads to deep conversations
  • you can't beat the high
  • you plan when to hydrate
  • but the best part is that you don't get hungover from it!
Think you might want to start running? It's easy - go get Jeff Galloway's 5k/10k training plan book, go to a running store and have a shoe evaluation, make a friend do it with you, and hit the road! If you ever have any running questions, feel free to email me! And thank you Colleen, for letting me share why I'm a runner!

Outer Banks 1/2 Marathon, November 2010

me and my roommate ran the Flying Pirate 1/2 Marathon in March of 2011

Thanks Liz for writing this. If you like this, then refer to why others run. Why do you run? Want to write a similar feature here, just let me know.


  1. Thanks for the inspiration. I signed up for my first 'run' this year- The Great South Run (10 miles!) in the UK in October. I have a way to go but it's great to hear other peoples stories. x

  2. 10 miles is big for a first run. Good luck. Hearing other people's stories motivates me, that's why I try to get people to write these posts for my blog.

  3. Liz I loved hearing the back story on why you are a runner! I totally relate to the running so you can enjoy certain foods, and the feeling you get from running. I never thought I would say that second one, but it is true now.

    I am hoping that I will be ready to run my first 10k with you in Sept!