READING BETWEEN THE PINES

If life's about the journey, does it matter how many bathroom breaks you take along the way?

I run to be alone and I run to return to the world a better person.

I run to ground myself and I run to be free.

I run to practice what I preach to my kids because they have too many things to fight for fitness.

I run to see the world from a different point of view.

I run for inspiration.

Oscar Pistorius inspires me. Image via telegraph.co.uk

I run to keep it together and I run when I’m falling apart.

I run to maintain a resting heart rate of 56. Heart disease is prevalent on both sides of my family.

I run to focus and I run dream.

I run to do something with my friends besides drinking cocktails. OK, that’s not true. I run to do something healthy with my friends before we drink cocktails.

A Moscow Mule tastes a lot better after a 10K. Image via Stacie Chadwick

I run to stay sane on days when I feel anything but.

I run to create.

I run to release my demons and I run to capture my spirit.

I run to remind myself to focus on the moment.

Beach art. Image via Scot Chadwick.

I run to find my space and I run to be a small part of something much bigger than me.

I run because sometimes my legs tell me not to and I don’t like being told what to do.

I run to strengthen my body and I run to relax my mind.

I run to eat sea salt caramel pretzel ice cream.

I run to get away and I run to come home again.

Running on the beach in flip flops with one kid on your back, one kid crying, and one kid about to throw sand in the face of the crying kid can still be fun. Sort of. Image via Stacie Chadwick.

And when the morning is still, the kids are asleep, and the sun is just beginning its climb toward the sky? I run because it makes me happy.

95 thoughts on “Why I Run

  1. Anonymous says:

    Great writing, Stacie! I run for all the same reasons and after an injury, I am so much more appreciative that I CAN run at all. We are blessed with able bodies!

    1. Awww, thanks, although you’re posting as “someone” so I don’t know who you are. Boo. Keep going!

  2. Maura Lord says:

    This made me smile, Miss Stacie! Especially, the bottom photo and comment below it! Ahhh..Life is good!

    1. Thanks Maura. As mothers, we can always run through our tears, or our children’s tears, right? Hope you’re loving Colorado!

  3. Yay! I love to read about people who run. I’ve been ‘running’ for 25 years. I quote unquote it because I’ve gotten so much slower. As an older person, I don’t kill myself to run anymore. I’m not running today because it would be rushed and it’s too darned hot!

    I should say that I jog now. I jog because it helps me to feel capable and gives me the illusion that I have control over something.

    I love the reasons you run. Good for you Stacie!

    1. Awww, thanks Sandee. My hip is starting to scream “Walk, don’t run you idiot!” but I’m not listening.
      =)

  4. Carrie Rubin says:

    All good reasons to run. There really isn’t much like the power of exercise.

    1. Wise words, Carrie Rubin. Glad to see you back from your editing session. Hope it went well!

      1. Carrie Rubin says:

        It did, thanks. 🙂

  5. Kevin says:

    I assume you have tried the Sea Salt Caramel Pretzel Frozen Yogurt at SmartCow? SOOO good! Your post makes me want to run there and get some, but I only run when I am being chased…usually by kids.

    1. Kevin,
      That’s the exact ice cream I’m referring to. Good thing the parking lot is such a nightmare that we have to walk about five miles to get through the front door. Or run. =)
      Thanks for taking the time to comment!
      Stacie

  6. A resting heart rate of 56??? Dannngggg, girl, that’s impressive.

    1. I won’t advertise it when it hits 110. Thanks for the comment Madame, always love seeing you.

  7. Bondseye says:

    Me too!!! I am working on a blog (which I may or may not publish) about top 10 songs to get me up a hill (I like to run hills). Do you have any songs that make you run faster or keep you going when you are tired?

    1. I do actually! I thought about including a playlist but wanted to keep it short. Are you in CO by the way? All I have to run are hills, which is likely why my hip is crying. Send me a note at schadwick02@yahoo.com and I’ll give you my favs… =)

      1. Bondseye says:

        Will do and thank you for stopping by my blogs and for all the “likes”!

  8. Tracey says:

    I run because when it’s good, it’s sooooooo good. Everything flows and time stops. The sun shines and the birds sing and all is right with the world. God I love running. And your blog — it always makes me smile 🙂 Loved this post!

    1. Awwwww, thanks Tracey! I hope I can run until I’m too old to walk, but that’s not really how it works unfortunately, so I’ll keep running until my body tells me not to. I know you will too! Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.
      =)

  9. Loved your post and trying to love running. So far it hates me…..

  10. Angelena says:

    Loved this post Stacie! Just like your previous follower said, I also had an injury and was unable to run for months. Just recently was I able to run again and it gave me a new appreciation for my “release”. Everything you said was so true and I love the way you said it!

    1. Awww, thanks Angelina. Now that you’re better we should take a run together. I can just stop by and pick you up on my way down the hill. Glad you’re back at it!

  11. meizac says:

    I can’t run (trust me), but half of these are the reasons I cycle, and the other half are the reasons I kettlebell.

    1. I trust you Meizac! I got a new mountain bike for my b-day, but put me in a spin class and I want to throw up. Literally. As for using kettlebells, I’m with you there. Great all-over workout.
      Thanks for the visit and comment!

  12. You run for exactly all the same reasons I WISH to run. I smoked for 30 years and couldn’t run and breath at the same time. I quit over 2 years ago, but developed blood clots in my lungs last year. I still can’t run but I really want to and you so poetically explained why I want to. I think it’s time that I tried it again. Thanks for the reminder Stacie. 🙂

    1. Do you walk Wendy? I didn’t start running until a few years ago, and had to walk first, then walk/run, then a little more running than walking, you know the drill. Just take it easy and do it a little at a time, as long as the blood clots aren’t an issue. That’s really scary. Get your doctor’s OK and then take it slowly. OK, that’s enough advice for the day that you didn’t ask for. Happy to see you as always. =)

      1. I have tried several times and lose my breath quite quickly but we’ve done test after test and they can’t seem to figure out why. Maybe I just expect too much right away. How long did it take for you to go from walking to running?

  13. Anastasia says:

    Much needed perspective. Thanks 🙂

    1. I’m coming by to read your blog…saw that you posted yesterday. So happy you’re back.

      1. Anastasia says:

        It’s a little depressing. Might want to come after your runners high wears off. lol

      2. Or when I’m awake at 3:00 a.m. and cursing everyone I know who’s sleeping… =/

  14. calahan says:

    Runners are a distinct breed of people, a group of which I am not one. My dog wishes I ran, though, I know that. I wish I had that passion for it that you do, Stacie. No matter what the exercise, if it centers you and keeps you healthy, it’s a good thing.

    And stop throwing sand at your kid. That’s just mean.

    1. Calahan,

      Can’t you see that I’m mouthing the word “help” in the picture? No one came to my rescue so sand was my last resort.

      Nice shout-out on Le Clown’s blog, by the way.
      =)

  15. aparnauteur says:

    I think you should consider making this into a song with some kind of inspirational ‘rockyesque’ tune….could motivate many lazy bums like me to shake off the inertia.

    1. Or better yet, could actually yield some money from this whole blogging thing! I can see it now, the 2012 Olympics in Rio with my blog tune blasting through the speakers. Thanks for the idea, I promise to give you a big cut of the royalties when I make it to the top of the charts. =)

      1. aparnauteur says:

        I should probably take a photo of this conversation for the records….just in case 😉
        But, I think I am gonna go ahead and trust you 🙂 Good luck to the both of us!

  16. I love running for all those reasons as well. Sometimes I have to remind myself that it’s fun, but it is. I just did a half-marathon this weekend that was on the hottest day of the year, with brutal hills and narrow, rock-strewn trails that… let’s say “challenged” my excitement about running for the moment, but I’m sure I’ll bounce back.

    1. That’s rough and impressive at the same time. I’ve never run more than a 10K, but I try to run 16 – 20 miles a week, which is about all my body can take. When I started a few years ago it was pretty effortless, but now I have 12-step program I have to get through before heading out the door due to a hip issue. Getting old sucks.

      Thanks for the visit, it’s been awhile since our joint post…http://geminigirlinarandomworld.com/2012/03/07/666-reasons-to-love-80s-heavy-metal/
      =)

      1. There’s some great warm ups for hips, in particular, in the book Chi Running. They made a huge difference for me. Worth checking out.

      2. That’s good to know. I will check it out, thanks. I’ve been rehabbing it, but the more I work it out, the more it aches, and my PT stretches have fallen off as the summer has taken off. =/

    2. I just ordered the Chi Running book you recommended. Thanks Byronic Man!

  17. Recently, I go running because a good friend drags me… I went a lot more willingly prior to running injuries. As anonymous stated, I’m glad that I still can, even though I no longer do distance (and also whine more).

    1. I feel your pain. Literally. My right hip is really close to dislocating itself from the rest of my body because it can’t take the pounding anymore. So what do I do? I pound it some more, and stretch a little, and roll it out on a foam roller, and strengthen my glute muscles, and on and on and on. A run that used to take me 45 minutes now takes 3 hours if you include the nap I need before lacing up. =)

  18. One of these days I’m going to love running. Until then I just do it anyway because my ego can’t take admitting that I’m a wimp.

    1. Oh please! You are SO not a wimp FF. You are so down with it I KNOW you’d back me up in a bar fight. Or a fight with my kids because let’s face it, that’s a little more realistic nowadays.

      1. Oh sure, I’m good with a broken bottle, but you put me on a road in some running shoes and it takes me about two blocks to forget why it was that I wanted to run in the first place.

      2. You’re running to get to the corner bar to back me up. Duh. =)

      3. Well in that case…

  19. inphiluencer says:

    GG, you run!? Does it get any better!? If this keeps up, you are going to give Michelle Rodriguez a “run” (pardon the bad pun) for her money on my “Top hotties to stalk” list!

    (Just kidding, JUST KIDDING, please stop dialling 911 😉 Actually, if you must know, I’m not stalking Michelle Rodriguez… Michelle Rodriguez is stalking me! “Michelle! If you are reading this – and you should be, ‘cause everyone should be reading GG’s blog – Enough with the late-night voicemails! I already told you, I’m happily married!”)

    This running post touched a nerve, in more ways than one, and here’s why:

    I run because I have a herniated disc in my lower back and was once told that I couldn’t run again.
    I run because there is a sub 1:50 half-marathon with my name on it, somewhere out there (current PB is 1:52).
    Now I don’t bowl for soup, but I do run for beer (and wine… lots of wine…).
    I run for donuts (and Taco bell).
    I run because I love my wife and I want to stay as fit and healthy as I can, for me and for her.
    I run because running is one of the most inclusive sports that I know of.
    I run for my Mom, who is currently losing a 50-plus year battle with MS.
    I run for my sister who has been battling type 1 diabetes for 40-plus years.
    I run for my beloved daughter, who was taken from us by cancer ten years ago, at the age of 17.
    I run because weekday mornings at 5 am, on the Saint-Lawrence Seaway, with the birds chirping and the Sun coming up, is the closest to my daughter that I can get.
    I run because running, and swimming, (and, yes, drinking) are sometimes the only things that keep me sane, during the times when (despite myself) I decide to look too closely into the abyss of my daughter’s death, and, in doing so, catch a glimpse of the monstrous rage that lies dormant there, just waiting for me to slip up.

    Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts on running.

    1. Inphiluencer,

      I don’t know where to start so here goes:

      You should be writing. I’ve said this before. Are you writing and not talking about it? Because you should be writing.

      You made me cry. That’s not easy to do.

      I am so very, very, very sorry about the loss of your daughter. I can empathize, deeply, but cannot imagine the acute pain you must have gone through and still go through every day. I’m at a loss for the right words, because I want my words to mean something. Yours is the last note I’m replying to tonight, because the words I’ve been trying to find all afternoon don’t exist. I want to say something That, and your terrible, horrible loss, makes me sad.

      MS, like cancer, is a horrible disease. Good friends of my husband’s and mine have parents battling both MS (hers) and ALS (his). They are awful, horrible diseases that take away a person’s dignity, and why people are so short-sighted that they don’t support stem cell research is beyond me (for MS, cancer, anything). I’ve seen, firsthand, what these types of diseases do, and I’m so sorry about your mom, your daughter, and anyone you know who is suffering.

      Diabetes is a tough one too. I hope your sister sees you as a role model with running, because I know exercise helps.

      I think your sub 1:50 half marathon is in Kauai.

      If you’re a Michelle Rodriguez fan then you’re a Lost fan. Loved that show and I was bummed when they killed her off. She would totally back me up in a bar fight, and like, break bottles over some dude’s head and stuff. It would be awesome to get in a bar fight with her, as long as she was on my side. I may have to watch Lost and Friday Night Lights from season one to the finale all over again. Friday Night Lights doesn’t have anything to do with this comment, but it’s one of the most awesome shows ever in the history of ever.

      I also run for beer, and would add Cool Ranch Doritos to the list.

      Thanks very much for being you. And your support of me. And for being brave enough to share your thoughts.
      =/

      1. Simon says:

        This exchange makes my heat break and smile at the same time. Stacie is right inphiluencer, you should be writing. I love when words stir my emotions and both this post and these comments did just that. Stacie, Friday Night Lights was my jam, I feel you on that.

      2. Thanks, Simon. So happy to see you here. Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose. Aaaagghhhh…goosebumps!

      3. inphiluencer says:

        GG, thank you so much for the kind words. This means more to me than you can imagine.

      4. I wish I could say and do more. You’re in my thoughts. =/

  20. i mayfly says:

    I run to roll up my car windows that I left down in the 100 degrees temps when a sudden summer shower dumps torrential rain on us. 😉 But then, my DePuy S-ROM hip replacement implant is not well suited for distance running…especially given the recall history on the device. But I can walk. And walking without agony is a wonderful, WONDERFUL thing!
    If memory serves me correctly, the feeling of freedom and strength and vitality and rightness – that’s what I felt when I raced and played and frolicked in my younger days. It’s really nice to have had that experience.

    1. Nikki, we may be kindred spirits or from the same light family or just women but my right hip is not my friend at the moment. I walked a lot before I started running, and I agree, walking is wonderful. I may be back at it before I know it at the rate I’m going, although I just discovered Advil can be used for something other than PMS and a hangover, not sure if that’s good or bad. Either way I agree with you, I’ll either love running or love remembering the day when I once did! Thanks for the visit and thoughtful comment, as always.

      1. i mayfly says:

        It took about 10-12 years before the hip got to the point of surgery. I really, really, really didn’t want to go under the knife again. The surgeon told me that when my life got very small (as in, the pain forced me to eliminate all but basic survival activities), I’d come back and tell HIM it was time. He was right. And the the difference was immediate and dramatic. When my left hip goes, I will not be taking it to the limit again. BTW custom shoe inserts extended the life of my bum hip…a pedorthic specialist, not Dr. Scholls.

      2. I’m gonna go get new running shoes, and I did get an MRI which showed tendonitis and bursitis, but nothing worse…yet. I’m with you though, if it were to get too excruciating I’d go under the knife, although not happily. Thanks for the advice Nikki, I’ll check out the inserts too. =/

  21. stellacastro says:

    I run. Glad you do too!_

    1. We should do a trail run when the kids go back!

  22. stellacastro says:

    Btw we are heading to Lisbon to run a rock and roll half marathon (there is no full) on Sept 30. Wanna join us?

    1. Lisbon, Portugal? I may not make it all the way to the finish line, but I can speak fairly fluent Spanish, so I could at least hail an emergency vehicle in pseudo-Portuguese while you guys continued on without me.

      In all seriousness, I’ve never run more than a 10K, but I think I could work up to a 1/2. I’d also like to try a sprint triathlon. Grace did a kid’s tri last week and loved it, so I have this vision of some kind of mother-daughter thing someday.

      Maybe I should join you for the 14er first, just to make sure I can keep up with the pace!

      1. stellacastro says:

        We have 14ers scheduled for both August 24 and 25. See if any of those works. Both will most likely entail a 3am meeting time.

      2. I’m good with the 3am meet, but my stepmother comes to town on the 24th. If you do one in Sept, please let me know. I’d love to join in!

      3. stellacastro says:

        I believe we have hikes scheduled for September 7 and 21 as well. I’ll let you know for sure.

      4. Great, thanks Stella!

      5. Great, thanks Stella! BTW, does your hiking group have a name? I mentioned it to someone today and they asked.

  23. Ok.
    1. I love this post. I want to feel the way you do about running (or any exercise for that matter). I’ve recently started walking and maybe I will love it and it will turn into running if my knees agree. Right now I get bored so I watch netflix stuff while walking (which has not turned into a health hazard…yet)
    2. It’s funny that you posted this today because I just did a new post and made mention of you and how fit you seem to be. Guess I’ll have to change my link to this post instead of the one I originally linked to!!

    1. 1. Thank you (very much) for the compliment and keep going. I started running about four years ago and it was hard. I walked. Then I walked-ran. Then I wanted to quit or at least throw up. Then I got to the point where I could sort of get to a mile. Then I kept going and pushing and THEN it got fun. Sometimes it takes me 20+ minutes to warm up and get into a rhythm, but when I do it feels great. That having been said I was a big walker before I was a runner, and walking is great too (as long as you’re not walking INTO anything, which would definitely qualify as a hazard to your health). I think you have to get past the point in any exercise where it just sucks, and until your heart catches up to the pace you keep it will suck. So keep going and get an iPod if you don’t have one. Music makes everything more tolerable in my book.
      2. How much do I love you for saying that? A lot!
      I lived in Chicago for 12 years post-college, and the definition of exercise there is basically getting up off the sofa during a Bears game to grab a beer. When I moved to Denver 8 years ago it was like coming to another world. Fitness is sort of a hobby here because there are so many beautiful places to….get fit. So I jumped on the bandwagon. That’s all. =)

      1. Thanks for the words of encouragement, I’m determined to keep at it (and not walk into things). I’m currently addicted to episodes of 24 and stream them on my iphone while I walk. Gets me moving at least! I should also try listening to podcasts to get lost in the story and forget that I’m exercising!
        BTW, saw your comment below about having tendonitis and bursitis in your hip. My husband had that for years and finally a PT figured out one leg was longer than the other. He wears a small lift in one shoe and it took care of it. He’s pain free now.

      2. Wow! That’s really interesting. I may have to give that one a try if switching shoes and going through the routine of about 800 stretches a day doesn’t work. So far it seems to just be stable, not better, not worse. Thanks again for the advice…

        I FB’d your peach blueberry galette by the way and I’m actually going to attempt to make it this weekend. I think you’re right, I might actually succeed with this one. I’ll let you know and thanks again for the shout-out! http://dinnerversions.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/peach-blueberry-galette/#comment-197

  24. bharatwrites says:

    Of all your motivations, sea salt caramel pretzel ice cream sounds the most compelling.

    1. Spoken like a true genius posing as a twenty-six year old. =)

      1. bharatwrites says:

        Not since Obama/Trump did anyone fish through their records for a birth certificate this desperately 🙂

  25. Simon says:

    So here’s the thing. I don’t run but this makes me want to. It is that good. This should be something you make money off of, it is beautiful, super marketable, and I won’t be surprised one bit if it goes viral.
    You’re always one of my favorites Stacie, well done.

    1. You just made my day, Simon. As for being one of your favorites? Right back ‘atcha. =)

  26. Great post Stacie, but I’ll simplify for myself…I run so that I can be a glutton. 😉

    1. I get that, but from what I know if you, I don’t see that.
      =)
      http://sports-glutton.com/

      1. Believe it or not my friend I actually run about 15 miles a week…not that that is a lot, but it allows for more libation consumption.

      2. I believe, I believe! (and I’m right there with you!)
        =)

  27. It all makes sense but this is what I REALLY liked – I run to strengthen my body and I run to relax my mind.

    Super!

    1. Thank you Neha! I hope you are well… =)

      1. All well & I’m back, sweetie! Thanks. See you more 🙂

      2. Looking forward to reading your most recent post!

  28. Laura says:

    So THAT’S how you maintain your firmy size! Good for you! It sounds like such a joy, release, and gain, all at the same time… I can’t say I like running, but this makes me wish I lived by a beach and I could get out there every so often in my flip flops with a child on my back. Lovely post, missus! xL

    1. Thanks, Laura. Still LOVING your gravatar pic. Stunning. =)

  29. bronxboy55 says:

    I like this post a lot, Stacie, especially the way you framed it with the first and last lines. Beautifully done.

    1. Thanks, Charles. I hope you’re well. I have your latest post waiting in my mailbox….making my way there. =)

  30. Bob Hogan says:

    You remind me much of my wife, although a half dozen years younger.

    Tammy runs for all the same reasons as you; plus to get away from me; and to remind me that she can at least do one thing far better than I.

    Anyway, I just found your blog. My daughter, a 20-something right wing zealot sent me your Paul Ryan blog. I commented on it; discussing among other things my mother’s battle with dementia.

    Now, tying these together, I see you are from Denver. Did you run the Boulder Bolder? My wife did for the first time this year..

    This is a bit long for a short question, but..

    If Tammy gets her escape in running, I get mine from bicycling, amateur geology and driving in a car across country. Now, I didn’t ride my bike from Indiana to Denver, but on the afternoon of my mother’s funeral I left in the car for Denver; by myself to escape the madness and the sadness.

    It just so happened that I had found for Tammy a run that was advertised as spectacular (and was spectacular) and also worked well around my desire to hike and explore the geology of Colorado and Utah. We had planned to fly together, her to run the Bolder Boulder, and then we would rent a car and drive to Vegas, stopping along the way to see some geology.

    But when my mom passed, I decided to drive, to meet Tammy in Denver and then have our son fly to Vegas and ride back with me.

    It was the escape I needed.

    So anyway, when I saw you were a runner, and from Denver, I wondered, gee maybe she too was there running along Tammy. Just wondering….

    Anyway, best of luck with the running and the grandmother.

    -Bob

    1. Thanks so much Bob! I usually run the BB but this year I didn’t…hip issues. I’ve always been a runner but not a stretcher and life is catching up to me.

      I’m so happy you’re reading and commenting. It makes my day. Enjoy yours….

      Stacie

  31. Beautiful!

    Those are -give or take, the same reasons why I dance 🙂

    1. Hey SSG, long time no see! I hope all is well and you’ve had a great summer. Good luck in the next competition, I’ll be rooting for you!

      1. I know. A lot of things have been happening around me. I’m a bit overwhelmed.

        But very much looking forward to the event. Thank you! 🙂

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