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Hump Day Giveaway: Who Inspired You to Run?

May 5, 2010

Reaching across the generations: Sarah's mother, Margaret, and her older daughter, Phoebe

My mother, Margaret, was raised on a farm in southern Ohio. One of six children, she was a hard worker from the time she could walk, and she’s barely taken a break since. Yet except for a few years of a regular walking routine with a neighbor, my mom has never been an exerciser. (My dad, on the other hand, used to swim daily. He passed his exercise obsession on to me, as I cop to in the Exercise Addiction chapter of Run Like a Mother.) My mother has inspired me in countless ways, including to cook tasty meals from scratch for family dinners and to speak up, but fitness wasn’t one of them.

Instead, in an unusual way, it’s my mother’s mother who got me to commit to running. Not because she was an athlete, but because at the end of her life, she couldn’t move. Grandma had a stroke in late November of my freshman year of college, the same year I became active in sports. That January, as Grandma lay partially paralyzed and bedridden, I was supposed to get in shape for the rowing team.Winter was brutal at school in central New York. I was reduced to running laps around the ice rink, under the bleachers. No tunes, no fellow runners, no windows, no TV screens, no distractions. Just me in a cold building, pounding concrete. I needed inspiration and it came to me in the form of my immobile grandmother. I told myself, “Grandma can’t run, so you have to do it for her.” That was 25 years ago, and I remember those countless laps as if I ran them yesterday. My grandmother died that month, but I still often think of her when my spirit flags on a run.

So I am wondering, this Mother’s Day week: Who inspired you to start running? Who do you think of when you need a boost mid-run? Tell us who it is in the comments section, and a randomly chosen commenter will win a $100 Asics gift certificate, good toward the purchase of a pair of Asics shoes of your choice. Please respond by mid-morning, Thursday, May 6.

106 Comments leave one →
  1. Allyson permalink
    May 5, 2010 4:18 am

    My Dad inspired me to start running. In his prime, he was a sub-three marathoner with a wicked kick. His dedication to running was incredible. Once when stuck in Atlanta traffic (due to a one inch of snow…don’t laugh, we southerners can’t drive in snow!) he changed into his running clothes in the car and ran 20 miles home. In order to get a scheduled run in on Christmas morning, he got up at 4am to finish before my sister and I came down to see what Santa brought. He ran the River Run in Jacksonsville FLA with a group of friends every year without fail. My sister and I still cringe about his black toenails and horrible looking feet. (These were the days before fancy running shoes) My Dad died of cancer last fall and I treasure the time I feel his presence when I run. I know he’s with me and his proud of me for what I’ve accomplished. My Mom told me I looked like Dad when I run and I’ll never forget how proud that made me feel. Running is for me, but’s also for you Dad.

  2. May 5, 2010 4:53 am

    I think I was inspired with my twin sister to run during high school. We were unstoppable together. The coach would say, “Those twins rock!” People thought we were the same person, so in races it was like a tag team and we would slowly knock people off. We were a good team and very competitive with each other.

    I spend my runs with God. I try to listen to God, talk to God… just be with God. God has allowed wonderful visions, thoughts, and experiences during my long runs especially. The last one was spent talking with my brother who is in heaven. It was extremely emotional… but awesome.

  3. May 5, 2010 5:01 am

    My friend Susan inspired me to start running. At a later age in her life she started to run and then doing races and it just amazed me. When I went to visit her I saw how much energy and fit she looked. I ran my first mile with her and have been plugging away since.

  4. May 5, 2010 5:13 am

    I think several people inspired me to run for various reasons….but ultimately, it was just me. I had to make the decision in my own mind that I CAN do it. I have to make that same decision every single day to get out there and do it-even when it’s cold, raining, hot, humid, I hurt, I’m tired, my nose is stopped up, I have a headache, it doesn’t feel good, it’s too early, it’s too late….even when I can’t think of any GOOD reason to get out there and run and there’s no one there to push me, I have to push myself. (And, as we all know, there’s NEVER been a time I’ve been sorry for doing a run.) If the inspiration came from outside of myself, I most likely wouldn’t do it because I’m just that hard headed!! 😀

  5. KarenM permalink
    May 5, 2010 5:30 am

    A middle school PE teacher convinced me to join his newly formed “jogging club” (this was the 80s, after all!). He inspired me to try running at an age when I desperately needed some self-confidence.

    When I need a boost mid-run, I often think of the baby we lost when I was 9 months pregnant. I wear a necklace in honor of him, and when I need a boost, I rub the charm and think of my sweet boy.

  6. May 5, 2010 5:39 am

    hmmm this is tough…I guess deep down my dad has always been an inspiration, he is the epitome of fitness always in shape and beating people half his age in races! While on the other hand, the instant my Mom feels burn she quits! I was inspired by both… I would love to have the fitness goals of my Dad and I never want to “hate” the burn like Mom. Although she is the one who has made me believe I can do absolutely anything! She has not believed that for herself, and has since said to me “don’t let your girls grow up seeing you not chasing you dreams (or something like that)” So one very cold January Morning I woke up and decided I was gonna be a runner!

  7. Christina McCool permalink
    May 5, 2010 5:40 am

    My husband inspired me to start running. He gave me my first real sports bra for my birthday 12 years ago. Best present I ever got! When running gets difficult, I think of the almost-brutal conditions he lived in while deployed (twice) in Iraq, and I think, “I can do this little thing.”

  8. May 5, 2010 6:05 am

    A friend of ours ran Ironman Wisconsin in 2005. I had never run at that point and did not have an exercise routine. My husband and I spectated the event and I could not believe the dedication of the athletes, including our friend. I was amazed that men and women competed in the same event, that there were all shapes, body sizes, and athletes with handicaps. It was truly amazing to me! My husband was training for his first 5K at that time. At the time, I never took any time away from our 18 month old daughter, other than to go to work. So, I decided that I needed some “me time”. The next day, I hopped on the treadmill and pounded out an entire 5K!! Visions of the Ironman athletes and their dedication motivated me to push through those 3.1 miles my first time. I have been hooked ever since. I ran my first 5K race one month later and my first half marathon approximately six months after that.

    What do I look for for motivation during my runs? Sometimes, I’m pushed to go harder and stronger, so that I can get through the miles and get back home to the smiling faces and open arms of my two young children. Sometimes, the running bloggy world motivates me … I think of stories I’ll share on my blog from my long run or milestones I’ve hit or things I’ve overcome during my training run.

  9. May 5, 2010 6:12 am

    My PE teacher was my inspiration. I was a fairly strong runner–or at least compared to the other middle school kids back in the 80s. One day I was complaining about a study hall teacher in the locker room. She said that I could always go running with her during study hall. A couple of us took her up on her offer and ran with her all through middle school. I think she made it feel cool and she made us feel like challenging ourselves to beat our times was fun. We would try to break school records just because she offered to buy us a coke if we did (I still have the coke cans with the times on them). Can you imagine kids these days being motivated by a coke? She moved away just after i started high school. I wish I could find her to tell her what an inspiration she was because I think that teachers don’t hear that enough.

    I remember those days every time I go running and silently thank her for instilling in me the great feeling that comes with challenging yourself physically.

  10. May 5, 2010 7:28 am

    The downturn in the economy inspired me to run. I’d been laid off from a high tech marketing job and needed the time that comes with running to sort things out in my head. My runs were that time to think and figure out what I was going to do to reinvent myself. I had to figure out a way to make ends meet, for me, my family, my kiddos.

    Running was my refuge during that time, and I came out a much better business owner, person, and mother because of it.

  11. May 5, 2010 7:30 am

    My 9 month old son, at the time, inspired me to start running. He is now 19 months old, and continues to inspire me and motivate me each day to be the very best I can.
    I was really wanting to try something new and push myself…because I hear so many people say that after you have children, it is all about them. Of course, EVERYTHING was about my son, but I didn’t want to lose myself along the way, so that is when I decided to sign up and train for my first 5K. I want my son to grow to in an active household where sports etc is looked at as FUN! Something we choose to do, not something we HAVE to do. In pushing myself with each run I do, I know that some day my son will realize that his mommy doesn’t give up, something that I want to strongly instill in my son. No matter what the obstacle, big or small, never give up! You may have to ask for help along the way, but reaching that “finish line” alone, or with family and friends is the victory that we all strive for!
    Anytime I am having a bad run, or during my “horrible” 1st half marathon, I just thought back to why I began this journey of running, and that I really wanted to make my son proud! This helped me push on and finish the race!
    I love my little boy more than words can say, and hopefully some day, I might just cross the finish line alongside him…who knows!!!:)

  12. Jen permalink
    May 5, 2010 7:32 am

    My twin sister inspires me to run. She has always been a runner, even before Jr. High cross country when she would rally us to jog around the block. We figured out early on we were not especially fast, but were usually willing to “gut it out” longer than others. While she ran, I skied and played tennis in high school. Aside from a few jogs in Central Park during in law school, I never ran consistently until last year. It is wonderful to feel so connected to her when I run, since we live too far apart (Boston and Colorado). She is the first person I turn to for advice and the first person I call or e-mail with race reports or just training updates. I especially cherish the few runs we get to go on together when she is in town.
    [And how crazy is it that I am the second “Jen” to say her twin sister inspired her to run?!?]

  13. JnetRuns permalink
    May 5, 2010 7:36 am

    A few years ago I went to watch my brother-in-law run the Honolulu marathon. After he had passed by, my husband and I stayed to watch some of the other runners (well, actually we were trapped on the wrong side of the road from our hotel by the thousands of runners streaming by, so had no choice but to wait). I was absolutely amazed by the amount of older women runners over 40.(I was 43 at the time myself) I thought if they can do it so can I, so I took up running shortly after that. Older runners still continue to inspire me.

  14. May 5, 2010 8:01 am

    My husband inspired me to start running. He was an awesome runner through high school. He would always tell me stories about races and practices they had. It made me want to give it a go. I think about so many things when I get tired, I think of my little girl, or my husband, or the fact that someone else is running much farther than me today so I can do this.

  15. May 5, 2010 8:06 am

    My grandmother inspired me to run – she was a fantastic bowler (has been inducted to the Canadian 5-pin Bowling Hall fo Fame twice!) and she often told me stories of how she would sneak in and pretend to be a man because back then women weren’t allowed in bowling alleys. She knew I liked runnign and told me that at one point women weren’t allowed to run the Boston Marathon – I’ve been tryign to qualify ever since!

    Mid-way through my run I think about my grandma and how she never gave up on anything – broken hips, breast cancer, you name it – nothing kept her down!

  16. Corey permalink
    May 5, 2010 8:23 am

    This is a tough one, but I would have to say that my dad first inspired me to join the XC team in middle school. Growing up he was always away on the weekends coaching track meets and I always could see how much he loved working with the athletes and making an impact on their lives, so when I had the opportunity to join such a teach it was an easy choice. Now I found new inspirations everyday from my family, my faith, and my heroes.

  17. OtherJulie permalink
    May 5, 2010 8:28 am

    My dad…would run pretty 4-6 daily miles pretty consistently when we were growing up. I remember thinking he already goes to work before we go to school…why in the world would he get up earlier.

    When my dad was weakened by Alzheimers/Parkinsons, he still would go out with his walker. His spirit to just keep moving…still keeps me moving.

    I run to be strong and have the energy for my kiddos…like he did.

  18. Joanne B permalink
    May 5, 2010 8:39 am

    One quiet Saturday morning, clearly before I had kids, I happened to watch coverage of a triathlon. The commentators were talking about Ironman, and since then I’ve had the idea that it’s something I want to do. I figured the swimming and biking would be okay, but to run a marathon after the first two legs seemed impossible, since I’d never been a “runner.” I’d love to say I laced up my shoes and headed out the door, but I sure didn’t. The idea of doing an Ironman has stuck with me, though, so a few years ago, post-kids, I joined a Learn to Run group. I stuck with it for awhile, but then I went back to school (I’m now in dental school) and fitting running in just seemed impossible. Last year, at the end of the school year, I decided it was time to get fit and lose weight for good. I started working out at a gym with a trainer there, but didn’t really like the trainer that much. Later in the fall, I started working with a new trainer based on the recommendation of a friend. After working with her for awhile, I found out she’d finished her first Ironman. The Ironman idea popped up again. After mulling it over for awhile, I signed up for a half marathon this fall and I’ve signed up for my first triathlon in June. Trying to do an Ironman isn’t really feasible for me right now (dental school, 2 kids + 1 husband), but I feel like I’m taking steps toward it (although I’m sidelined with an IT band injury right now – boo).

    So, who inspired me? I guess it’s a combination of world-class athletes and my vision of becoming a healthy, fit person.

  19. Grainne Keogh permalink
    May 5, 2010 8:48 am

    My daughter who was born in 2002, I said I have these 2 beautiful kids and I want to do a NYC Marathon!! My then out-of-shape body started running…. and never turned back. I completed NYC in 2006, 2007 and in 2008 and in 2007 I ran the SFO Marathon that was 2 marathons in one year!!

    8 years later this past April – I ran a 5k and won in my age group!! I couldnt believe it, in my head I am still this out of shape runner but I guess not!! I have learnt its totally a mental sport!! I now run stronger, longer distances and want to train to be better every day!!

    Thanks to my daugher and son who inspired me to run. This year I am planning on doing the 2010 New York City Marathon again and this time my kids are old enough to be on the side lines and I want to hear them say!! RUN MOMMY RUN!!

  20. Jessica permalink
    May 5, 2010 8:50 am

    Like many of the other women, my dad was the first person I watched run regularly. I remember thinking it was never something I could or wanted to do. I ran for field hockey and to try to avoid the freshman 15 in college, but the person that really got me going would have to be my friend Laura. In our mid-twenties (okay early for me and late for her) we were both going through tough breakups and she suggested we go for a run to work through some of it (it was that or another martini). At the time I had never run more than 3 miles EVER. We put on our shoes and headed to the Charles River and worked through the end of my engagement and the end of her marriage. By the time we returned to the start, she said did you have fun? How do you feel? You just ran 5 miles! I could not believe. Until she moved away, we worked through so many of life’s ups and downs on the trails around the Charles. In 2006 she reared her ugly head again and challenged me to a post baby half marathon (we both married different men and had babies in 2006) … I signed up and she flew out to MA to do the longest pre-race run by my side. We did that PF Chang’s Half in Pheonix side by side the whole way. We live far apart and try our best to see each other a few times a year, but she is always challenging me to do more than I think I can – what more can you ask for in a friend!

  21. Leah permalink
    May 5, 2010 8:59 am

    I don’t know that it was my dad that inspired me to run or the fact that I was overweight and miserable. I do know that my dad helped me a lot along the way. Mid-run I always think of my daughter because I run for her, so that she can have a better, more healthy mom who can run and play with her for hours and feels better about herself. That is the example that I want her to have.

  22. May 5, 2010 9:11 am

    I was always jealous of my high school friend who was a runner, with her long muscular legs, and she had this certain grace when she ran. I think she is why I’ve always been drawn to running. But I didn’t really get serious until I stumbled upon Tonia’s Racing with Babes blog and this RLAM blog. Then I became TRULY inspired. Before you guys, I was really good at coming up with excuses about why I wasn’t a runner, why I didn’t have time to run, and why I should just give up trying to become a runner. But finding this community out there, really got me going! So… thanks!

  23. Jill (Mama to 4) permalink
    May 5, 2010 9:23 am

    My big brother Steve, inspired me to start running. He has always been a runner. When I was working to get an appointment to officer candidate flight school for the Air Force, he encouraged me to keep at it. Ultimately I turned down the position, but kept running. Since I started running half-marathons, he is always the first phone call after my finish.

  24. Lisa permalink
    May 5, 2010 9:33 am

    My Dad inspired me to start running. When I was young, he used to run several days a week. He would always go to a local high school track and run laps around it. When I was 6 or 7 years old, I started going with him, and I’ve been running ever since (over 30 years now). I’ll never forget the first time I ran four laps around the track. I was so excited! I couldn’t have been more than 8 at the time. It seems like yesterday.

    My Dad long ago stopped running, but he still encourages me. He said he was really inspired when I ran my first marathon, and yet, he is still the one who inspires me. I often think back to those days of running laps around the track with my Dad when I’m struggling through a run.

  25. Runner girl permalink
    May 5, 2010 10:18 am

    My old boss! He was really into running, and decided I should be too. One day, he came back from a business trip with a pair of shoes and some shorts for me to try running in. The shorts were way too big, and the shoes were probably totally wrong for my feet, but I tried and kept at it. I remember the first time I ran for more than a mile without feeling like I was about to die. I thought I had exercise induced asthma, but it turned out that I was just out of shape!!!
    So, here’s to bosses who care about their employees fitness. Ten years and counting, and I have never really looked back!

  26. Holly permalink
    May 5, 2010 10:33 am

    There have been so many people in my life that inspired me to run. It seems something I was meant to do. And although there have been stress fractures, pregnancies, depressions and other life situations that have led me away from running for a time, I always come back to it.

    When I am looking for inspiration I do think of my children (can’t wait to be cheered!) But many times I think of being free to stretch my limbs and travel under my own power. I like the strength and (in my own mind) the invincibility. I chant to myself and sing.

    And, I have to admit, sometimes my best inspiration is competition: “Oh, she ran 4 miles today? Well, you just watch me!” Not in the sense that I’m any better, just challenging myself to do a little more.

  27. Brittney permalink
    May 5, 2010 10:45 am

    I am inspired everyday to run. I am thankful that I can do it. I grew up obese. I went to college obese. I was in the dangerous obese and I did not know it. I had a great self-esteem that got shattered when a doctor told me I had high blood pressure. So, I started researching ways to lower blood pressure, I did not want to take pills. I cut out food items high in sodium, walked every day after work, and stopped eating after 7. One year later, I lost a hundred pounds. One day, I tried running to the next block. Soon, I was adding block after block. Blocks turned into miles, miles turned into marathons. Every time I hit a wall, I think how lucky I am to run and how far I’ve come.

  28. Melanie permalink
    May 5, 2010 10:57 am

    I was inspired to run by my sister. Both my parents have been deceased for about 10 years, so it has just been the two of us since we were in our 20s. We have not lived in the same city for many years, so when she was getting ready to turn 40, she decided she wanted to try a marathon before she was 40. Without mentioning one thing to me in all our phone calls about her training, she quietly got ready. She was afraid that should wouldn’t be able to do it and didn’t want to disappoint anyone. However, she did do it! The next week she called me and told me that she’d just run a marathon and had spent the last year training! I was shocked but thoroughly impressed! I still had no interest to run myself, but she came to Florida to run the Disney Marathon and we drove down rom Jacksonville to watch her. It was such an amazing event!! Watching her cross the finish line gave me goose bumps! By then she had run many more marathons and was talking about taking on the Goofy Challenge. Right then, I promised her that if she did the Goofy, I’l train to do the 1/2 marathon part of it with her. It became another way for us to connect through running. She convinced me to do the Women’s Running 1/2 in November (as a training run for Disney!) and since that time, I’ve been hooked too!

  29. Julie permalink
    May 5, 2010 10:58 am

    An ex boyfriend inspired me to start running. We had just broken up, and I though “I’ll show him! I am going to go run a 5k!” I dont know why I thought that would show him anything! I was never active throught high school or college or grad school, so it was a completely new experience for me, and once I tried it, I was smitten.

    Now, an Ironman, 4 marathons, and countless other races later, it is one of the loves of my life. I am inspired every day by my running friends. On the days I dont feel like going for a run, I just have to think of one of my friends out ther going for her run, and it gets me moving. I am pregnant right now and have reached the point where it’s just plain uncomfortable, so I have relegated myself to walker status temporarily. I cant wait to get back out for a run!

  30. May 5, 2010 11:02 am

    My daughter (and my son later on, though she came first) – I want to be healthy for them. Now I like running for its own sake, but in the beginning, I did it purely for calorie burn. 🙂

  31. Gina Taylor permalink
    May 5, 2010 11:04 am

    I started running last year, in anticipation of my 40th birthday this year. I’m running the Bay to Breakers in a few weeks to celebrate this milestone. I’ve never been a strong runner, but I find that it clears my mind like no other sport. I’m hooked!

  32. Emily permalink
    May 5, 2010 11:15 am

    Seniors lettered! So I joined track my senior year. I asked the head coach, “Where do you want me? Short or distance?” He said we needed distance runners. I ran distance from that day on, mostly due to my coach, Jeannie. She was fit and passionate and gently encouraged me to continue on, running through spring in Minnesota. I was hooked. I ran all through college–not in track, but for myself. I have fun 4 marathons now, and a bunch of other small races. I saw Jeannie a few years ago. We passed on the state trail in Southern Minnesota. She was pushing a double jogging stroller and I recognized her instantly. I told her that she was the reason I kept running, even after lettering:) She smiled and said that’s great.

  33. Amber Izzo permalink
    May 5, 2010 11:20 am

    What a great post, it really got me thinking about who inspires me the most. I would have to say that it is my grandfather. He passed away a little over a year ago and while he wasn’t an athlete, he was active until the very end of his life. He had the most positive overall attitude of anyone that I have ever known and would often talk to us grandkids about the power of positive thinking. He would ask us to think about the positive spin we could put on things and how we could take a bad day and turn it into a good one. I do think of him during some of my rough spots during runs, but mostly during the days that just kind of stink and what he would say I should do to improve them.

  34. May 5, 2010 11:26 am

    I’ve been inspired to run for different reasons depending the season of my life. In 7th grade I joined track because it was a sport my “perfect” older sister didn’t do. (She joined the next year, and of course, kicked my butt… grrrrrr!) I kept running but not seriously through high school but was truly inspired my senior year when, broken hearted from the end of my relationship, a new coach took the helm of the track team. She was amazing to me – had run the Boston marathon… which to my ears at the time sounded like the most inspirational and insane thing a person could ever do. I didn’t break any records or anything, but I brought my 1500 time down long enough to qualify for sectionals. Now, almost 20 years later and training for marathon #3, I think about my cousin who has Stage 4 breast cancer. I run for her and know that what ever rough spot I am going through on the roads, it pales compared to her amazing will to beat cancer.

  35. Beverly permalink
    May 5, 2010 11:27 am

    Three people inspired me to run. My husband is a runner. I didn’t understand this addiction when we were dating and in our early years together. Vacations were often planned around races. I started to run at first just to fill the time he was gone on runs. When our daughters were old enough to walk/run he started taking them to the track on his track days. I went to be sure he didn’t forget about them. Before they truly understood racing and running fundamentals, they ran with such joy! I started running around the track with them and found the joy they had. Both girls ran track and cross country in school. They never lost the joy of the run. Recently my husband had a level one head trauma due to a fall. The thing that kept him going was getting back out on the road. He was not able to run at all for over a month. Three months out from the fall, he is back to running 10-14 mile long runs as well as 5+ mile daily runs. I now run because I can.

  36. becelisa permalink
    May 5, 2010 11:32 am

    i started running to support a friend after she injured herself training for her first half marathon. she was ready to hang up her running shoes and quit. i couldn’t run a mile to save my life but i couldn’t let her quit so i told her to pick a race and i’d do it with her.

    i kept running because of the encouragement and support of my (now ex) boyfriend. he was a runner and never made me feel slow or inferior even though i couldn’t even dream of keeping up with him. he treated me like a real runner even though back then i can honestly say i didn’t have a clue what that meant.

    i learned how to run from my running group. they taught me how train and in five months i shaved 30 minutes off my half marathon time! without their company and support i don’t think i ever would have dared sign up for my first marathon.

    i will always run because it’s in my blood. somewhere in the journey from that first 5k to my now multiple marathons to my future dream of qualifying for boston i didn’t just become a runner, the run became a part of me.

  37. realrellim permalink
    May 5, 2010 11:43 am

    No one person inspired me to start running. (I was sucked in by the Bolder Boulder 10K “yes you can” slogan and wanted to see if it was true. It was, and in the meantime I discovered that I loved to run!) However, my dad’s support has been great. My mom thinks it’s silly, but my dad loves to tell the story about a former coworker who trained for the Chicago marathon–a guy who didn’t run until he was in his late 40s or so and was quite overweight. Dad frequently asks if I’ve been running and how far I’ve gone, and it’s nice to have that kind of approval–perhaps not least because my husband has a love/hate relationship with it (loves me in a better mood; hates the time it takes and my occasional requests to watch our oldest and/or our newest addition while I run).

  38. jord permalink
    May 5, 2010 11:46 am

    I remember watching people run and thinking “I wish I could do that”. Then one day, it hit me that I could do it, I would just need to start. So I run for myself. To work through my demons, large and small. For the limited amount of alone time it provides me. For the confidence boost accomplishment brings. Because I’m grateful that running obliterates everything from my mind except my breath and my footfalls, even with my iPod. When I feel like quitting, I ask myself if I really want to be a quitter. That’s usually good for at least another 1/4 to 1/2 mile. And by that time, I’m almost always back in my zone. I also ask myself if I really want to stop and have to walk all the way back home. The answer to that is always no.

  39. May 5, 2010 12:14 pm

    My best friend inspired me to run initially. I saw how much enjoyment she got out of it and I wanted to have that same kind of passion for exercise. But that inspiration quickly faded and I lost interest until I came up with the idea of staring a running charity and running for my daughter who has a rare brain malformation, Joubert Syndrome. She is two years old and still is unable to walk, much less run. She inspires me to run…..because she can not. Everytime I think about how hard running is I think of her and it gives me to push to keep going. I have faith that she will one day run along beside me and that gives me all the inspiration in the world to keep it up. I have to be strong for her so that when she can run I will be able to keep up with her! 🙂

  40. May 5, 2010 12:19 pm

    My dad got me into running. We would run around Lake Harriet in Minneapolis. Great to remember. Thanks.

  41. Lyndsay S. permalink
    May 5, 2010 12:23 pm

    My dad inspired me to start running in high school. He was the high school cross country coach and I wanted to run on the team. He’s still my biggest supporter and even saves up his change for me to use for marathon entry fees!

    When I need inspiration mid-run, I think of my husband’s little sister who died of Leukemia 4 years ago. Despite having some physical disabilities and the fact that she would start early and still finish last, she loved to participate in 5Ks. I run for her since she cannot.

  42. May 5, 2010 12:30 pm

    A few people. My mom for one has been running for years and has always been in great shape. But last year a friend of mine mentioned the C25K program and once I Googled it I decided that it was finally time for me to do something. And I did. And here I am. And I love it!

  43. Priscilla permalink
    May 5, 2010 12:30 pm

    A friend, Jake, inspired me to start running. I watched him run the Marine Corps marathon when we were 23. It took me a few months to work up the nerve to begin running. But first I had to “study” several books about running talk about it with many people. I didn’t run a marathon until I was 34 – over 10 years later. But what inspired me to keep running is how it made me feel. I loved making my body work and sweat. I loved that I felt tired and slept better.

  44. May 5, 2010 12:33 pm

    I was inspired by my sister to run. I always wanted to, but I never felt that I could do it. I’m kind of a competitive person, so the same day she finished her first race was the first day I headed out the door in determination to run. I have now completed a half marathon and am doing my first full this year.

  45. May 5, 2010 12:54 pm

    What a wonderful place to find inspiration. It is those who are dear to us that often teach us lessons they may not have known they were teaching. (And those ARE the kind of lessons that stay with us the most!)

    Like many, my father inspires me to run. He was in the National Guard. Part of his duties were to take care of new recruits. He always prided himself on being able to set a good example and more than just “keep up” with the young guys. He wanted to be able to be in the lead and encouraging them along the way. Helping to support kids who may not have had much support anywhere else. He knew pushing them was helping them, even when they didn’t know it or see it that way. I learned that was what my father had been doing for me all my life. Pushing me to help me.

    My dad died of unexpectedly of lung cancer (he never smoked). I think about what my dad would have thought of all the times I pushed myself. I know that he would been so proud of my accomplishments, not for all I have done but for striving to better myself, successeding and then reaching for more.

    I believe what I do today will help teach my own kids that same lesson. Even if they don’t yet know it.

  46. Mother Runner permalink
    May 5, 2010 1:06 pm

    Me! I have wondered, much of the day, “who is it?” – don’t get me wrong, I’m working and parenting, and doing different jobs, but I think I inspire myself.

    My grandparents were super hard-workers, my parents farmed, my brothers were athletes, I was a cheerleader. I never felt like I measured up in many ways. But when I started running, it was just me vs. me. Either way – I win!! If I want to go farther – I do. If I want to go faster – I do. If I want to eat anything – I can. If I want my husband to like my butt – I run more (wink, wink). If I am ready to pull my hair out – it’s therapy. If I’m ready to send my children packing – I take it to the pavement. If my friends are stressed – we go together.

    I can easily chose to sit on the couch, complain, ignore, feed my face, and have a pity-party (and sometimes I do – all at the same time!) but I motivate MYSELF to do something else instead – R.U.N.!

  47. May 5, 2010 1:42 pm

    My big sister was my inspiration! I tried out for the track team in 7th grade, and the coaches stuck me in long distance. I still remember the first track meet – I finished dead last in my event, the one-mile run. The runner who won lapped me. It was incredibly humiliating. The very next evening, I dragged my big sister out onto the streets and made her run with me. A mile was about all we could do. Night after night we went out for our mile run. Eventually we got to the point where we’d run a mile, walk a few blocks, then run another mile. We kept at it month after month. Finally, it was time to try out for 8th grade track. I was once again told I’d be running long distance, but this time I didn’t mind. I was ready, and I’m very happy to say I didn’t finish last the entire season. In fact, I even came in first once.

    My sister and I continued to run in high school, then in college, where we attended the same university. She now lives in Korea, and I live in Colorado. But just as we’re sisters for life, we’re runners for life, too!

  48. May 5, 2010 2:02 pm

    I started running 4 years ago to participate in the Race for the Cure to honor my mom who had just finished breast cancer treatment. When I started I couldn’t run for a full minute and I was so proud of myself the day I did a 5K on the treadmill (March 7, 2006). I still run it every year (half ran/half walked while pregnant) to honor my mom who will be 5 years cancer free on May 19th. Before a race I put my grandmom and my nephew’s funeral cards under my sneaker cushion. When I’m struggling in a race I ask them to give me and extra push. I got a lot of extra pushes from them this past Sunday while running Philadelphia’s 10 mile race, the Broad Street Run in 90 degree heat and record humidity.

  49. May 5, 2010 2:22 pm

    I would say my daughter, and now my son as well. I love setting a positive example for them.

  50. Kristyn permalink
    May 5, 2010 2:32 pm

    Shortly after my son was diagnosed with autism our state announced their first annual Walk Now for Autsim. It was nearly a year away, but I committed that I was going to be in shape to do it. I worked hard, always with him in the back of my mind, and I lost nearly 60 pounds working toward this goal. Once the Walk was over I needed a switch up in my exercise routine so I decided to try running. I always told myself I couldn’t do it. Guess what? I couldn’t, but that didn’t stop me. I went from not being able to run 1/4 mile to now running my first marathon. And now I do it for me. I do it because I always said that I couldn’t. I prove myself wrong with every step and every mile. If I ever need the motivation, I think of myself overweight and unhappy just a couple of years ago. I think of how far I have come and how I never want to go back to that old place again. That’s all I need to get out there move.

  51. Theresa permalink
    May 5, 2010 2:36 pm

    I’ve run off and on since college, but never could quite get myself to stick with it. Last year my husband ran his first marathon, with little time for training, in 40 to 50 mile per hour wind gusts with sustained winds of 30 to 40 miles per hour. He mostly did it just with plain grit. He’s always encouraged me to run, but after the race he jokingly asked when I was going to run one. I laughed it off and when going through his bag from the race I found a postcard for a half marathon in a few months. Finally all his encouragement and his inspirational performance that day got me moving and I haven’t stopped. I ran the half last year and am planing to run the Philly marathon this year, thanks to my wonderful husband!

  52. May 5, 2010 2:40 pm

    I first started running in Junior high for the once a year track meet. I am not sure really what inspired me back then…I just found that I liked the running part of sports, but the rest I could do without! I started running longer distances (ie cross country) in high school when the cross country coach subbed in my PE class at the beginning of the year. She noticed me running while we did our “cross country” warm up loop before starting PE and told me I should come join the team.

    Well I ran all through HS and for a year at a local Jr College and then I got married, had kids, and gave up!

    11 years later (2 years ago) I saw a magazine that had a training plan to get you going from walking to running a 5 K, and I decided that it was time to return to the sport I loved. It took quit a bit of effort to get going (I was 35-40 lbs heavier than I am now) but once I got in shape I found that I still loved it. My husband joined me when it was announced that his family was going to participate in a 5K that was to support the Alzheimer’s association in honor of his mother (who passed away 6 months later due to complications from Alzheimer’s). He is now the one who inspires me to keep going. He was never a runner and he gets out there and works so hard to improve! I am actually hoping to win this gift certificate so he can get a new pair of shoes. His are in need of replacement and he recently tried on some Asics that he would love to own and would be awesome for him!

  53. May 5, 2010 2:58 pm

    My son inspires me to run. Although he is also usually the reason I can’t get out as regularly as I want!! As slow or fast as I go, I know I am making myself better for him. And I hope one day he sees what I am doing and wants to be like me–active and healthy!

  54. May 5, 2010 3:05 pm

    My dad inspires me to run. He comes from a family with a long line of heart problems. His 4 sisters all died of heart attacks in their 40’s and 50’s. He’s had bypass surgery and suffers from obesity, Type 2 diabetes, has battled prostate cancer, I could go on. I often wonder how his life would/could be different had he bothered to take care of himself. Hopefully I’m ‘running away’ from a genetic deck that is stacked against me.

  55. Ann E permalink
    May 5, 2010 3:32 pm

    My neighbor introduced me to running. I was a young mother of 3 preschoolers, and she was a veteran mother of 5! She saw that I needed some stress relief and invited me to join her on her early morning runs. I met her at 6 a.m., after she had already run for 30 minutes, because I couldn’t run very far at first, and she ran for an hour a day, rain or shine. Her physique after 5 kids was certainly an inspiration, and she also filled me in on how to eat to run…small, healthy portions!

    She has sinced moved away, and I now usually hit the treadmill at o’dark hundred, rather than the streets, but I will never forget the helping hand she gave me to save my sanity and start me on the road to fitness!

    • bowenshea permalink*
      May 6, 2010 6:37 pm

      Ah, we LOVE your neighbor! A true mother–to look at a person (you), see they were in need, and then figure out exactly what it was you needed. Too bad she moved away, but what a great gift she gave you.

  56. Aimee Bartis permalink
    May 5, 2010 3:36 pm

    My sister in law inspires me to run. She does half marathons and always encourages me to push my self imposed limits. She has run 2 5Ks with me, at my pace just to be my cheerleader!

  57. Kathy permalink
    May 5, 2010 3:50 pm

    My daughters inspired me to run. I was never an athlete in school. Girls in the 60’s and 70’s didn’t have as many opportunities for sports and I was not particularly coordinated. I wanted to have something athletic I could show my girls as an example. I want them to grow up not being afraid of gym class or trying new sports. Also, for a practical reason, I needed to get back in shape after having twins 4 years earlier!

  58. May 5, 2010 4:03 pm

    my dad was never a runner but i think he just influenced me to pursue any activity that felt good and that i excelled at, he was at every meet he could make (he was a cop so his hours did not always work)

    i really hope that as a runner i am helping my daughters see the joy and health of running

  59. Beth B. permalink
    May 5, 2010 4:08 pm

    My mom inspired me; last year she was in failing health at 73 years young after doing everything right (healthy, nonsmoker, etc.) and so I figured i’d better start taking care of myself or I could be in her shoes in 30 years. So I started the Couch to 5k program last March and ran my first 5k in May, and my first 1/2 marathon in November. My mom passed away last June, and so when I do my morning runs, before the sun is up, I look up at the stars and imagine that she is looking down on me, encouraging me.

  60. May 5, 2010 5:38 pm

    I was definitely inspired by my mom. She used to run before I was born. She has always been a good athlete but she had to give up running in order to have me. See, she was too skinny and didn’t have enough body fat to be able to conceive a child. SO she stopped running and started walking instead. And pretty soon she was pregnant with me! So every time I run, I remember her because she gave up running so that I could come into this world and run every day!

  61. May 5, 2010 6:27 pm

    My mom is an inspiration in many ways, but not my inspiration to start running. 🙂 I started running to not be fat…BUT now during my long runs I have been thinking at a lot about Gabby Reece. She amazes me with her fortitude, healthy lifestyle and great outlook on life. I also love that she is a mom and in better shape than me, it reminds me that anything is possible if I choose it.

  62. Den permalink
    May 5, 2010 6:33 pm

    I have two good friends that decided to run the San Diego marathon via TNT. I was in such awe of their training/dedication and jealous of all the fun times they had during their runs, I decided I needed to give it a try. Luckily – they are AWESOME and patient mentors. My first couple of runs were struggles but they stayed with me and somewhere along the way I caught the bug and haven’t stopped. I owe the initiation of my running life to my dear friends but I dedicate every mile to my mom who died of lung cancer. And I keep going b/c of all the cool new friends I meet along the way.

  63. May 5, 2010 7:02 pm

    I was inspired to start running by my father, who has always run a little bit as part of his routine to stay physically fit and by unknown runners I would see in my community. Runners always looked so fit, focused and independent. I wanted to be all of these things. Besides, it’s an inexpensive way to stay in shape! ~K

  64. May 5, 2010 7:08 pm

    My mom. She…. not a runner, knowing nothing about running simply did what moms do….encouraged me from my first step

  65. May 5, 2010 7:28 pm

    I’m inspired by other running mothers, whether I know them personally or not. Life is a tough gig especially when you’re trying to get through it with kids in tow. Any mother than has the will and determination to get out the door and put one foot in front of the other has my upmost admiration and respect.

  66. May 5, 2010 7:58 pm

    my uncle inspired me after he ran his first marathon at age 62! I have been hooked ever since. 🙂

  67. May 5, 2010 8:42 pm

    I’m pretty sure it was my kids that inspired me. They are only 4 and 7 but knowing they can see me active was important to me. So, I decided to pick up running by starting the Couch to 5k program and took off from there!

  68. May 5, 2010 8:46 pm

    My dad was a marathoner in the 80’s. He never was a runner body type, was never incredibly speedy, but he ran every. single. weekday when I was growing up. Looking back, it was his stress relief in a pretty awful time of his life. I never realized how much this effected me until I was already running.

    More recently, a friend went from nothing to a half in a very short period of time. And then I realized that I was surrounded by women who had started running recently. If they could do it, what the heck was wrong with me?

  69. Amanda permalink
    May 5, 2010 8:53 pm

    During my 10 miler last weekend, I got a little tired around mile 7, and I thought to myself “this isn’t far. There are people who have to walk more than this to go to school or to get clean water.” It doesn’t seem all that far when you think about people going that distance for necessities. And, then I start to think about the refugees and asylees I know who have run for their lives through jungles and countrysides to get to a “safe” refugee camp. It nearly brought me to tears. I didn’t think so much about the distance after that. I think anyone who has had to go that distance just to live inspires me to keep going.

  70. May 5, 2010 8:57 pm

    I started running on Nov. 3, 2007, the same day that I quit a 25 year smoking habit. I have never touched a cigarette since, and I have now logged appx.25-30miles a week. My family had urged me to quit for a long time, so I figured that if I replaced it with running then I would not want another one. The problem now is that I can’t stop running and I plan my off work schedule around my runs. I run for myself and my family!

    • bowenshea permalink*
      May 6, 2010 6:38 pm

      WELL DONE, Candace!! That is huge to kick a wicked smoking habit, and replace it with such a healthy habit as running.

      • Candace Feinstein permalink
        May 6, 2010 9:00 pm

        Thank You! I really appreciate the compliment. Have a wonderful mothers’ day!

  71. May 5, 2010 9:20 pm

    My inspiration for running is my husband. He never ever commented that I had packed on a few pounds in the the first 8 years of our marriage. When I started to notice, and decided to start running, he was my biggest supporter. I have to say that the look of pride on his face when I crossed the finish line of my first 5k was priceless and of course I love hearing him tell me how much it has changed my figure. It is awsome to share your life with someone who supports you no matter what stage in life you are in!

  72. May 5, 2010 9:25 pm

    My son inspired me to run. When I was pregnant he was diagnosed with spina bifida. We were told due to the severity he wouldn’t live, but that if he did, he would never walk on his own. I decided that I sit while my legs work and other people would give up everything for a pair like mine… See More. After giving birth to my 4th child I decided I’d start … See Morewalking when my feet decided to start running. My son walks and he does so without aid. As a matter of fact… he runs (only 2, but he’ll get there) and it’s because of him, that I just ran my first marathon, because when the going got tough… I realized that some people are forced to keep going, so I might as well do the same. I thank God every single day for my son… and every single day my son inspires me to run… because I can… and I hope that one day… we will run together.

    • bowenshea permalink*
      May 6, 2010 6:39 pm

      What an inspiring story, Jen. Thank you for sharing.

  73. Christine permalink
    May 5, 2010 9:48 pm

    I was inspired to start running by a good friend. She has been a runner for a couple of years and was lacking a running buddy and therefore the motivation. I have never been a runner or althletic for that matter… but I’ve been trying to lose weight and thought I’d give it a try. I started slowly with the Couch to 5k program and gradually worked my way up. I’m still slow but working away at it.

  74. maysette permalink
    May 5, 2010 10:04 pm

    My brother joined Team Fox after my dad was diagnosed with Parkinsons last year. I wanted to be able to run with him and help raise money. When I reach a slump, if I tell myself “Run Like a Fox” ten times, I can get out of it. About the same time I started running, my husband starting training for sprint triathlons. Road races have turned into fun “dates” for us, even if he finishes way ahead of me! I also am inspired to set a good example to my kids…and I am a better mom for having taken the time to take care of myself several times a week.

  75. May 5, 2010 10:21 pm

    They weren’t runners, but each time I think of my grandpas I get a big boost and feel like they are there pushing me along. 🙂 Even though they aren’t here anymore, they truely inspire me to do my best in all I do including running. 🙂

  76. Lisa Sison permalink
    May 5, 2010 11:03 pm

    My friend and co-worker, Theresa inspired me to start running about 20 years ago. She was diabetic and controlled her blood sugar level by running everyday during her lunch hour. She made a perfect running partner since she was always reliable and a great conversationalist. She provided me with the encouragement to run 5Ks and 10Ks.

  77. Rene Whiteley permalink
    May 6, 2010 4:56 am

    My parents inspired me to run. when I was in 6th grade my Dad decided to quit smoking and in quitting smoking he started running. He then got my mom to join him. Every morning they would head out to do 6 miles and then every weekend we would be up at 5 am to go to various races all over southern CA. Now 20 years later I am running in a few races, getting ready to do my first half in June and every time I head out I think of my Mom and Dad who were doing this many years before.
    P.S. Taking a bread from being “Mom” for an hour is pretty inspiring too!

  78. May 6, 2010 5:02 am

    I began walking two years ago. I had some health issues. I guess it has always been in the back of my head that I really wanted to run. I was talking to my husband one day and told him that I wanted to run and he encouraged me to do so. I have only been running since March 20 of this year. I am planning on running in my first 5k on May 29. I started a blog and try to do some sort of exercise or running each and everyday. I also am inspired by all the women out there that are my age and running. I love reading their blogs and knowing that if they can do it so can I.

  79. Renada permalink
    May 6, 2010 6:09 am

    I would say it was a combination of my dad’s girlfriend and my mom. As a kid, I spent summers with my dad and his girlfriend, and even after they broke up she would always invite me along to run the Bay to Breakers and Wharf to Wharf races with her. At the time I thought I was doing pretty well considering I didn’t run much the rest of the year, but in retrospect, I must have really held her back! Running with her let us develop our own relationship and made me feel very much like one of the girls and not just a kid. My mom has never run in her life, but she gave me a lot of the skills that I now use in my running — goal setting, perseverance, and knowing how to have fun!

  80. May 6, 2010 6:47 am

    My husband inspired me to run. I had watched people all around me run for me whole life (my sisters were both in xcountry and I never even bothered to go to a meet), but my husband began doing it to lose some weight and after a couple of years and a few pounds gone, I realized that it was something I could do too. I went runnning around the block with him a couple of times to begin with. He was so patient. I was gasping and was sore for days afterwards and he was nothing but encouraging!

  81. May 6, 2010 7:35 am

    I grew up with a mother who did not feel that it was proper for women to run. That was for boys only. So I didn’t. Run, that is. Until I met Jacki, my friend and my coach. She is the one who inspired me to run. She is an incredible runner and an amazing woman. She pushes me to do my best. She listens patiently to all my running woes and she answers the many questions I have. Best of all, she feels that it is entirely proper for women to run and run as fast as they can! : )

  82. May 6, 2010 7:44 am

    As crazy as it sounds, my husband inspired me to explore distance running! (He’s not my biggest running fan…) However, after getting my feet wet running when my daughters were babies – this was an effort to get fresh air, lose weight, and keep the girls happy – I realized I could run my typical course which was right about 3 miles…oh, this was after looking on the internet to find out how long a 5K was!!! Anywho, I really liked it & my husband looked at me & said, “Don’t ever run over three miles…that’s just too far and there’s really no point.” Okay, he said something to that effect, I just put quotes for effect…BUT there was this look in his eye & before another syllable could be thought, I thought, “Oh, I’m there.” Yes, that’s what I really thought! I just wanted to know what was on the other side of those three miles & boy did I find out…I found my deepest self out there, what I’m really made of…what I found out there makes me the person I am EVERY day…thank you, my husband!

  83. jen@theevolvinghomemaker.com permalink
    May 6, 2010 7:59 am

    My sister. Of course I have always wanted to run. To be a ‘runner’. And I always looked up to those around me that did it…but this is Boulder…who doesn’t run? And I just wasn’t that motivated. But when my sister took her own health and well being to task a few years back, she began a journey to becoming a ‘runner’. Now she is my hero and inspiration. She remains dedicated with 4 children. She is winning races in her age group. She keeps putting one foot in front of the other. I want to put one foot in front of the other…a few steps behind her.

    🙂

  84. Liz permalink
    May 6, 2010 8:26 am

    I am inspired to run by the memory of my grandfather. He ran the 10K in the 1948 Olympics in London, only to come home and raise a family of olympic proportions: 15 children and 41 grandchildren (and counting). Running was an integral part of who has was and what he stood for. He left his family (of many many runners) a legacy that has been defined by perseverance, integrity and always putting one foot in front of the other.

  85. Cori permalink
    May 6, 2010 9:03 am

    My friend, Anna, inspired me to run. Up until a couple of years ago, she was a marathon runner. She was having pain that made it difficult for her to keep going. Finally, this last winter, she was diagnosed with non-hodgkin lymphoma. When she told me, the first thought to enter my head was “I need to find a run for lymphoma and participate” That was a pretty outlandish thought for me to have since I had never been a runner. But I followed through with it and now I am training to run the Nike Women’s half marathon in October with Team in Training! I am actually enjoying my runs now and find it is the one time in the day when all of my mental chatter will shut off and it allows me to relax and feel free :). I started this journey for Anna…but I think I will continue on for me 🙂

  86. May 6, 2010 9:19 am

    I played pro soccer so I was kind of “forced” into running. However, nowadays I’m inspired by everyday people who doing incredible things to reach their running and fitness goals. I think it’s incredible.

    Yuri
    Interval Training Man

  87. Christina permalink
    May 6, 2010 9:54 am

    I run in memory of my nephew, Ayden. Ayden passed away 2 1/2 years ago at the age of 3. Ayden had just celebrated his 3rd birthday, but died a few days later from a very common childhood illness (croup). In the video from his 3rd birthday party, you can tell that Ayden has a common cold, but nothing that would indicate that three days later, he would no longer be with us. It was a shock to our entire family and completely devastating to my sister, brother in law and their other son.
    When I am on runs, I often feel that Ayden is with me. When I am doing a speed work out, and am breathing hard, I think of Ayden gasping for air, and know that I can finish the work out just by taking deep breaths. Sometimes when my mind wanders during a run, I try to come up with an inspirational running acronym for AYDEN.
    He was a child so full of life, that even now it is hard to believe that he is gone. However, when I run I feel his presence – through the wind blowing, or sometimes through funny stories that just pop in my mind, giving me a feeling of contement and peace.

  88. Dana permalink
    May 6, 2010 10:43 am

    My dad initially inspired me to run when I was in high school — he’d joined the late ’70s running craze and we liked to go for a run every weekend together. We’d run about 2-3 miles along Palisades Park in Santa Monica, talking about where I might go to college in a few years. Once in college, I ran with my boyfriend (now husband) along the Strawberry Canyon Fire Trails in Berkeley. So my early memories of running are very positive, and are all about spending time with people that I love. I got more serious about running after having children, when I wanted to get back in shape. Now when I need some inspiration, I think about Kara Goucher or Paula Radcliffe — they’re incredible athletes.

  89. May 6, 2010 10:46 am

    My oldest sister motivated me to start running after she lost a TON of weight after her 4th baby. She looks amazing and feels great. I would picture her in her new body as I pushed myself to loose all of my “baby fat” from my 5 kids and tell myself that if she could do it then I know I could. She is 6 years older than me and lost MUCH more weight than I had to loose for sure. I HATED running and most exercise my whole life until I started having babies and had plenty of motivation to start loving it. After initially needing some inspiration from my sister to get started I now run because I love it! I love the feeling and the freedom and the wind in my hair and the strength that I feel as I push myself just a little farther than I think I can go. I’m training for the Saint George Marathon now and I’m so thankful for my sister (and others too of course) who inspired me to get moving!

  90. Katie permalink
    May 6, 2010 11:14 am

    My mother. She used to take me to the beach after work/school and I’d play in the sand while she ran. Later, I would run at the track with her and I still remember her encouraging me and it helps me now to remember her words when runs get hard.

  91. Gen Drapeau-Cumpson permalink
    May 6, 2010 11:15 am

    My girlfriend Niki is my inspiration this lady to me is a friend, a mom, a wife, a runner, a running buddy when needed, a boot camp guinea pig, a kickboxer, and a kindergarten teacher (which i think is the only reason she can tolerate us sometimes)
    I teach a cardio kickboxing class one day a week Niki says “There is this race in Ottawa and we (her best friend and running buddy Jen M) are going to run you should too” In the spirit (heavy on the spirit) of my motto with my kids and all things in my life Practice what you Preach, I sign up… Not only do I sign up I drag, as per my usual, my best friend (Angie S.) as well. Snow balled from there we currently have 12 RMs running in Ottawa on the 29th. Without her I can honestly say it wouldn’t have happened. So she is not only my inspiration she has inspired a community.

  92. May 6, 2010 11:21 am

    I grew up with my dad running with his dogs every morning, so I kind of feel like I’m following in his footsteps when I go for a morning run.

  93. Shay permalink
    May 6, 2010 12:24 pm

    My sister inspired me to run. It started as an excuse to spend time with my sister – we are both busy working moms, so play time for us is limited. I typically felt guilty about taking any ME time… but family and fitness seemed legitimate. The more we ran, the closer we became – TONS of time for talking about everything. I found that I loved the running as much as I loved the time with my sis. We started running races together – our first was in Canada with 50K other runners! Over the years we have traded leader/follower rolls – one pushing the other thru whatever they were struggling with. This weekend, we will be running the Hippie Chick half marathon with our mom – for the 7th year in a row. I love my sister and the gift she gave me in running.

  94. May 6, 2010 1:15 pm

    Not to sound narcissistic, but I am my inspiration.

    I was very athletic growing up but let it all fall to the wayside with marriage and kids.

    Then I turned 40 last year…tired of being overweight and tired so I decided it was time for a change. Added to that, my youngest child, now 4 y/o, was a sick and challenging baby/toddler so I needed time to myself to preserve my sanity.

    So when I run I visualize a stronger, healthier me, and I tell myself I’m grateful that I can run so keep running no matter what. I love to run and can’t imagine not running for many years to come.

    There’s truth to the saying “When momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” The folks in my house are a lot happier these days. 😉

  95. Tara Keeler permalink
    May 6, 2010 1:23 pm

    My fondest memories of childhood are the 5 mile runs the four of us (mom, dad, me and my brother) used to do when I was 10 or so. My parents both worked and were busy. My dad was a doctor and frequently on call and my mom was a nurse, who often worked the overnight shift. Those family runs in the evenings were such a treat because we were all together and were doing something fun! No chores, no fighting. Just running through town.

    I’ve been active at the gym and with pilates classes for a few years since my kids were born. Now, I want to get back into running so we can have that fun family time that I remember from so long ago.

  96. May 6, 2010 1:56 pm

    is it still midmorning? LOL. Here’s my story anyway! My older sister. She was an avid runner and beginner triathlete when she was diagnosed with stage 3 malignant melanoma. But the cancer diagnosis and year of chemotherapy didn’t sideline her…she KEPT training, and STILL ran the marine corps marathon despite all her body was going through! I ran the army ten miler with her that fall (2005) and watched her kick butt despite the fact that so many people would be lying on a couch or in a hospital bed questioning “why me?” or feeling sorry for themselves. Her strength and motivation are what got me into running. To this day she remains my number one motivation!

  97. Katy permalink
    May 6, 2010 4:31 pm

    My brother and my daughter ganged up on me. After having my kiddos I stayed 2 sizes too big. My precious (very thin daughter was running around and I was relenting to my brother about my weight. He said, “trapped in there is a kid who looks just like that, find her.” Since then, I have been inspired to take better care of myself including running. I hope the more I run, the more the running bug bites me.

  98. kateinct permalink
    May 6, 2010 6:09 pm

    My high school math teacher Albert Rothfuss. He was instrumental in getting the Jan Peek 10K race going in Peekskill, NY in the late 1970s and inspired many of my fellow students who ran track and XC as well as those of us who learned algebra, trig, calc from him. I was not a runner back then as I did other sports, but when he died suddenly at the end of my junior year of high school I resolved to get in shape the following year to run this race to honor him. It started me on a journey which included walking onto my college (D3) XC team, too many 5 and 10K races to count, 5 half marathons and hopefully some day a full marathon and BQ …I still remember how hard that first race was but the memory of him kept me going and has led to incredible experiences and friendships in my life…

    • Brenna Rothfuss permalink
      October 2, 2010 6:58 pm

      I do not even know how I managed to stumble across this page, but I’d just like to share with you that Albert was my grandfather! Although, he passed away before I ever got the chance to meet him, I find it rather inspiring to know how many lives he impacted when he was alive. My dad (Barry Rothfuss), is now following in his footsteps and helping me become a better runner today. I do have to admit, I am jealous that you got to meet him, because he seemed like he was a very inspiring man.

      Thank you for writing such kind words about him.
      Keep on running,
      Brenna

  99. Jenny C. permalink
    May 6, 2010 6:57 pm

    Here’s my good deed for the day. I posted about the book on a runners forum that I frequent. Hope that helps. 🙂

    http://www.runango.com/forums/topic_show.pl?tid=133158;msg=NewPost

    • Jenny C. permalink
      May 6, 2010 7:06 pm

      Oops, I posted this comment in the wrong place.

  100. May 6, 2010 8:06 pm

    I live in a community that hosts part of an Ironman, and I work at a University Hospital that is overflowing with athletes! I used to sit and listen to their stories and feel jealous of their strong, fit (and yes THIN) physiques. One day I stumbled across the Couch to 5k program. I let it go for a while, but the seed had been planted!! I’m on my second attempt at completing the program and I just finished Week 5 day 1. It was tough, but I DID IT! The running, blogging community inspires me everyday as well!! And I LOVE your book!!

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