I spent a lifetime trying not to run long distances. After a year of cross country in high school, I just knew it wasn't for me. I played basketball (short sprints) and soccer (goalie...can't do much running there) in high school. In college, I joined the rowing team for a year, and while we ran to prep for the season, it was a means to an end. I was also preparing myself to join the Marine Corps, so we did LOTS of running in ROTC. I hated every minute of it. In those youthful days, I did run 2 marathons, but it was on a whim (or forced by my insane twin sister who loves to log miles) and completed lots of 5ks and 10ks, but I was really in it for the t-shirts.
Then, for 7 years, I endured the standard 3 miles required by the Marine Corps in order to complete the physical fitness test twice a year. It was torture. That being said, I did have a few moments of bliss when followed by a platoon (40+) of Marines expecting me to run fast. I totally forgot what I was doing and just enjoyed the run.
In 2010, I gave birth to a GIANT baby (10 pounds 1 ounce). I'm lucky in that I don't have to work and I get to spend every minute with my daughter, but somehow that didn't create an identity for me. I also spend quite a bit of time supporting my husband as a Marine spouse (I volunteer as a Family Readiness Assistant), but again, that wasn't enough for me. Then I discovered the Stroller Warriors! This running club is full of amazing women who have spent varying amounts of time as Marine Corps spouses. Lots of them are stay-at-home-moms and have anywhere from 1 to 5 kiddos. They are my inspiration. They run fast.
I attended my first workout with the Stroller Warriors when Reagan was about 7 months old. It took me 32:45 to finish our 3 mile run. I was devastated, but decided not to quit. I had once run fairly fast, so I decided it was possible again. After many months with this group, I just got my new 5k PR (without a stroller) - 22:10 and a new 5k PR (with a stroller) - 23:16. And while that's not considered fast in the serious running community, it's miles ahead of where I was, and I'm still working hard to get faster.
So this is why I run...to give myself an identity. I am a wife, a mother, but I am also me, so I run.