Running For My Sanity

The other day, Jess at Fit Chick in the City posted a great question on her blog: Why do you run?

Most days I run because it’s just what I do. I wake up, I suit up and I run. I don’t question it.

I run because I like to start my day outside. The view doesn’t hurt either.

This morning’s sunrise

I run in the morning because I need to know what the weather is like. You can’t always trust Al Roker.

I run because I relish time spent alone. When I run, I think about everything and oftentimes I think about nothing at all.

I run because I love endorphins.

But of all the reasons I run, the one that resonates with me the most is that I run to stay sane. Last night I didn’t get to sleep until 3 am. When the alarm went off for me to wake up just two and a half hours later, I had two choices:

  1. Stay in bed and try to fall back asleep (when really I knew I’d just lie there, thinking about what kept me up so late to begin with).
  2. Get up, put on my sneakers and get some peace of mind the best way I know how.

You know which one I chose, right?

Today, though I wasn’t timing myself, I’m pretty sure I ran the fastest, hardest four miles of my life. I felt like I was physically moving the ground underneath me.

It wasn’t until two miles into the run that I even realized I had my headphones on but never even pushed play on my iPod. I didn’t notice the other runners — though it was freezing outside and I’m sure not many of them were out today — and I didn’t feel any pain. I just ran.

Jess, does that answer your question?

So obviously I’ve got some stuff going on right now — some exciting stuff, some crazy stuff, some sad stuff — but there’s one thing that I tell myself every single day:


New yellow shirts help, too.

Top from Anthropologie, jeans from the Gap

Let’s end this post on a happy note, shall we?

A few of you posted great responses last night about what you’d like me to include on the Ali On The Run FAQ page. Leave comments if you have any questions for me and I’ll be sure to answer them for you!

YOUR TURN TO TALK: Same question. Why do YOU run?



0 Responses

  1. Ali – I hope things get sorted out real soon. I want you to be happy Ali everyday! I run for so many reasons. Sometimes I run to release pent up frustrations. Other times I run to celebrate and feel charged by excitement. I love to run with people because I love the bond between runners. I’m glad your morning runs bring you peace.

  2. ali, that’s a great top! i love anthropologie. i originally started running to lose weight and be more active. i still run for both those reasons, but signing up for races keeps me accountable, lets me achieve new goals and milestones, and explore more of our great city. plus, its alone-time for me when i can listen to the best/worst 90s music on my ipod!

  3. I loved Jess’ post on the topic, and yours too! I wrote a couple of blogs about this when I was training for my first half. And each time I wrote about it, my answer differed ever so slightly but one thing remained the same – I run because I’m able to. And it makes me feel alive like nothing else can. I’m glad your run helped to clear your head…hang in there with whatever stuff you’ve got going on.

  4. I run because I can. It may sound like a cop- out answer, but it’s true. I run because I have the ability to do so (except with shin splints but that’s beside the point ;)) and I ENJOY it. Running is my therapy. It was my medicine to get out of my ED. It gives me the chance to sort out my thoughts. It makes me feel strong. It shows me that I can do anything I put my mind to and the only thing that can stop me is self- doubt. It has made me a stronger person physically and emotionally. It has done so much for me, and I can’t wait to get over this injury and run again. 😀

    P.S- I wrote a post about this a few months ago-

    Have a great day!

  5. Cute top! I love it. Not sure if I told you this but I wanted to try on those jeans at the Gap last month and they didn’t have my size, and I was too lazy to go to another Gap that did. Now that I see your pictures, I regret that decision!

  6. I run for so so so many reasons, but you posted one that I never thought of– to see what the weather is like! My window faces the apt building behind me, so I can’t always tell how clearly it’s raining, windy, sunny, snowing, etc. until I get out the door. Running in the morning and realizing it’s actually drizzling has saved me many a trip back up to my apartment when I leave for the day. Thanks, running.

    I also run because it’s a part of who I am. I’ve been lacing up since the 8th grade and cannot imagine my life without it! Sure, I’ll hit a point soon where I don’t race to beat my times or run to hit a weekly mileage goal, but I can see myself getting out the door regularly even when I’m old. I admire all the grandpas and grandmas out in Central Park each day and know running is one of the things that keeps ’em going!

  7. I run to “wake myself up” in the mornings– I’m definitely less groggy at work if I’ve run beforehand. Plus, it’s weird, but I find that I’m more rushed/stressed on the days where I have to spring out of bed and hurry to shower, get dressed and head out the door (vs. the days when I’m up an hour earlier, run, and then get ready).

    I run to clear my head and prepare myself for the day’s events I ran the morning of my final job interview and got an offer at the end of it! I also used to run before finals/midterms in college, mentally going over the material in my head.

    I run to balance out my sweet tooth. I can out-eat pretty much anyone I know. 🙂

    I run because I don’t have a gym membership. It’s running or bust!

    I’ve been a 5-day-a-week morning runner since my freshman year of college, so it’s definitely second nature at this point for me too. My day would feel incomplete without that one hour spent running!

  8. I run to remind myself that it will all be ok too! I feel the same way right now and running reminds me that it will all be ok and it is the one thing that I can do and control!

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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