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Hump Day Giveaway: Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes

January 12, 2011
by

Sometimes running does seem to transport my heart right outta my body.

Although running feels like a lower-body activity, the truth is, I run with every fiber of my being.

My head turns the key in the ignition, pushes on the gas (or, more accurately, slams on the brake). The fumes that come out my temples reek of salt and work, and the steam that funnels out of my mouth on chilly mornings makes me feel like I should be hauling a caboose–which it often feels like I am.

My lower back, martyr that it is, bundles all impact of the run and stress of my life and holds it in one nerve-filled ball. I guess I should be glad it’s neat and compact, but I’d much rather have my left pinky be the suitcase, not my spine, so integral to all movement.

My core, significantly strengthened after my dedication to Pilates, is new and improved, and now tells my back to back off. Still, sometimes after a long run, I realize I’ve been slightly off center for miles. My shirt has done a Flashdance shift off one shoulder, and the exposed side feels correspondingly compressed.

If I’m not scanning by body regularly to remember to relax it, my jaw grinds, my shoulders Frankenstein, my knuckles whiten, my neck feels sparkly twinges.

And whenever I try to run hard, my tongue sticks out. I don’t know I’m doing it, but it pokes out like I’m catching flies. (And like mother, like daughter: Amelia flashed her tongue regularly on the soccer field this fall.)

Which is a long way of saying, it takes a entire body to be a runner. Today’s giveaway, a trio of great products, acknowledges that the whole fan-damily of your cells contribute to propelling you forward.

A time to run, and more time to run.

For your wrist: a New Balance Nduro, a watch that multitasks as well as you do. The water-resistant timekeeper displays splits, laps, and total time simultaneously; holds data from 25 runs; can log 100 laps (um, hoping you don’t need that many); and time intervals.

With these on your feet, your new nickname will be mountain goat.

For your feet: YakTrax Pro, which turn any pair of shoes into four-wheel-drive monster trucks. (Don’t let my son, Ben, hear me say that, or he’ll want a pair.) Stretch the coils across the sole of your shoe, Velcro the top over the upper, and head for the iciest of trails with a confidence you didn’t know you had.

A win/win: water down your throat, water for the world.

For your mouth: a stainless steel, BPA-free MiiR water bottle. The best part? You can pick a pattern, called a skin, and customize your hydration vessel; choices range from a Tigress print (no comment) to Butterfly Pink Splash (more sophisticated than it sounds). But that’s not even the best part: For every bottle sold, MiiR donates $1 to build water wells in developing nations. So while you’re getting your hydration needs met, you’re helping somebody else meet hers as well. (Well, not technically, since this is a giveaway, but you get the idea…)

In order to win this trifecta of prizes, we just want to know this: What part of your body unexpectedly supports or feels your running habit? Your heart, which not only pumps oxygen-rich blood to all those muscles in motion, but is stronger than you could’ve ever imagined? Your fingers, which turn to popsicles on runs colder than 40 degrees? Your calluses, which are a testament to all the miles you’ve put in—and may not be touched when you get a pedicure?  

Let us know, and one random person’s wrist, feet, and mouth will have more to contribute than ever before.

________________________________________________________

And the feet of Julie Weidner, the random winner of last week’s HDG, will be doing an Asics’ happy dance. Here’s her three-sentence elevator pitch for running:

I run for the way it makes my mind body and soul feel! I run for the weight loss! I run because of the competitive streak in me where I can obtain new PR’s for myself!

Julie: e-mail us at runmother at gmail dot com with your address and we’ll get your $100 Asics certificate out to you asap.

327 Comments leave one →
  1. Ali permalink
    January 12, 2011 4:28 am

    Surprisingly it is my shoulders. I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders and when I run they start to become very light. But then they also have to work very hard to keep my neck in line that is holding up my really big head!

  2. January 12, 2011 4:36 am

    Let me give a nod to my tousled running hair. When I first started running I was always pleased when my hair was soaked with sweat, for some reason that meant I got a “real” workout. It’s still a thrill to step into the shower after a long run and wash the saltiness that has accumulated from the top down my face and out the drain. It feels purifying.

  3. Nan permalink
    January 12, 2011 4:45 am

    My mind certainly gets the benefit when I run. I am calmer, more patient with the boys, and I worry less- mostly because I am so intently concentrating on pushing myself forward. 🙂

  4. January 12, 2011 5:00 am

    I think I have to say my butt… for now, it’s where I feel my runs and I hope that means it’s getting tighter and dare I say it… sexier!

  5. Jill permalink
    January 12, 2011 5:00 am

    My stomach gets the extra workout due to the extra yummies I consume with fear of my pants not fitting.. And as was mentioned the other day, when I run I eat better foods all day long…

  6. January 12, 2011 5:01 am

    My hair feels it. I’ve always had long hair and it’s tied to my identity. I will probably always wear a ponytail when I run. After exceptionally long runs, my hair (ponytail) turns into a sweaty knot of mass chaos. It sometimes takes kitchen grease to get the knot out.

  7. Amy Dysart permalink
    January 12, 2011 5:08 am

    The sound of my own breath, which used to be my gasping-for-life enemy, has now become my soothing pacer, getting me into a smooth rhythm or yelling at me to slow down. It’s quiet absence signals me to pick things up a bit. It’s my own motivating mantra that doesn’t contain a word.
    Amy Dysart

  8. ann hardman permalink
    January 12, 2011 5:10 am

    My lungs. They support me on long runs, they supply my air to talk others into running with me, and they give me all the support I need to laugh along the way.

  9. Beverly permalink
    January 12, 2011 5:16 am

    It’s my soul. At first it feels troubled and definitely not happy to be out running – even after three years of consistent running 😦 After a couple of miles it feel OK, at least we are out of the house. By the end it soars! We’ve accomplished a goal, spent some quality time together and last but not least left the troubles and doubts of another day out on the road.

  10. January 12, 2011 5:27 am

    it’s a combination of my lungs and mind. My lungs are taking me places I never thought I could go by letting me run without feeling like I am going to DIE and my mind keeps me going. I am really learning how to push through the “Wall” and keep going. I turn my “thoughts” most of the time and just zone out of everything (when I’m on the treadmill that is)

  11. January 12, 2011 5:29 am

    My neck. It lifts and lengthens when I’m having an awesome run, so proud of how far I’ve come (both mileage and in life) and when the days are hard, it shows…it’s down, toughing it out.

  12. January 12, 2011 5:32 am

    I think the part of me that running supports the most is my brain. Running helps me manage my stress, work through complex problems, improve my confidence, and stay focused in an unfocused world. Running is worth every minute of pain, suffering, joy, and happiness. There is nothing like the power of knowing what you are capable of and running provides me with that.

  13. January 12, 2011 5:41 am

    in the fall. I have I started minimalist running last fall. I have been amazed how much more I feel in my toes! They help me feel and connect with the earth below me. They also provide me more stability doing this type of running than I have ever had in standard running shoes. I love it!

  14. January 12, 2011 5:42 am

    My ears! Music is what keeps me going when I want to quit, or feel like I’ve got nothing left. If the right song comes on my playlist, I can always dig a little deeper and find a little more.

  15. January 12, 2011 5:43 am

    Mind, Body and soul…but out of the three I would say my running supports my mind the most. I have always said that running seems to calm me and help me think straight. It gives me the the ability to problem solve without any distractions. I love running for many reasons but this is the number one reason I run…to keep calm and sane =)

  16. KateL permalink
    January 12, 2011 5:43 am

    My right index finger – despite wearing gloves it develops a small crack of dry skin that opens up. The culprit? The on the run swipe of a runny nose. Definitely worth it to get the winter miles in outside instead of on the dreadmill!

  17. karen permalink
    January 12, 2011 5:44 am

    My brain- my best runs are when I slam the door behind me in Mom/Wife issues or start out with “that” attitude of “I probably can’t do more than a mile or two today” and yet….by the time I return my brain is full of solutions, new attitudes and “can-do’s”.

  18. January 12, 2011 5:47 am

    After suffering through injuries last summer I can say that it’s all in my head. If I told myself it’s just one more mile, or just to get to that next street lamp, it truly was all in my head. Visualizing the finish line has helped me as well. I knew it was possible to get past the finish line. I just had to will myself there and I did.

  19. Julie permalink
    January 12, 2011 5:47 am

    I lost a lot of weight this year before I started running, then when I did start running, I dropped a few more pounds but looked much more slender than that because running really benefited my abs. I figure that continuing to breathe through a hard workout are like little mini-crunches. I’m not sure of the science of that but I know it paid off for me!

  20. January 12, 2011 5:48 am

    I’m not terribly comfortable boasting about my physical qualities…. but I gotta say my legs look pretty damn good. (My 19-year-old niece, who’s hipness is not in question but who’s dedication to fitness is less apparent, saw me at Christmas and said, “Man, looking at your legs is almost enough to get ME to start running.”)

    On the other hand, I have my first chiropractor appointment in SEVEN years scheduled today and after 2.5 years of being back at running the litany of my ouch spots is endless: right hip, right knee (yeah, I know it’s probably my IT band), right foot, shoulders, low back….. What the chiro can’t fix today I’m hoping the massage therapist can fix next week!

    Each of these, of course 100% worth it… and not just for my smokin’ legs! ; )

  21. Laurie Allin permalink
    January 12, 2011 5:52 am

    For me running is 90% about my mind. The legs will do it I have learned, but if the minds not willing, it’s not going to happen.

  22. Marne permalink
    January 12, 2011 5:58 am

    Oh, my poor, poor pinkie toe on my left foot. During marathon training, it was a constant cycle of blister, callus, blister, blister. It’s a tiny little thing, barely a 1/2 an inch long with a nail too small for a polish brush, but it bore the brunt of a body’s worth of misery. Tape didn’t work, new shoes didn’t work, socks with toes didn’t work. So I just ran. And I still do. It’s a small price to pay for the happiness that running brings to the rest of my body – for example, running is the ONLY time I relax my jaw! I even clench it during sleep, massage, and yoga. But when running…aaaahhhhh.

  23. Rose Stuart permalink
    January 12, 2011 6:01 am

    My spirit. On days when I don’t run, the emotional and spiritual exhaustion of being a mommy really wear me down. Running empowers my spirit to go another day.

  24. Marissa permalink
    January 12, 2011 6:02 am

    Without a doubt my head! A run clears my head and allows me to process whatever issue I’m grappling with that day. Running also helps me feel more confident in everything else that I do.

  25. Mary permalink
    January 12, 2011 6:02 am

    My calloused feet bear the signs of abuse. But I can’t complain the benefits far outweigh my scratchy heels!

  26. Jennifer Alvarez permalink
    January 12, 2011 6:05 am

    My toes…the are callused and are always the only part of me still tired hours after a long run.

  27. January 12, 2011 6:06 am

    for sure my abs and my shoulders and really any muscles from my pelvis up to my shoulders. I find that my core is always recruited and when I am being consistent about my Pilates and yoga it makes all the difference in the world especially on long runs.
    When i run in the freezing cold my nose is a faucet and just drips and drips … I have not yet discovered a way to make it stop!

  28. Janette permalink
    January 12, 2011 6:12 am

    My lungs and my calves: My lungs, after smoking for 15 years! what was I thinking? Now they are so much better and can propel me through 13.1 miles without me thinking I’m dying, and my calves which are strong and muscled now. (Wish I could say the same about my thighs, lol)

  29. Jenny Womble permalink
    January 12, 2011 6:16 am

    Breathing is something we do all day every day, but I noticed my breathing changed when I became a runner. I noticed a difference one night as I was sitting down (after my kids were in bed) and my breathing was slow and even. My lungs have no doubt felt the positive effects of running but it was not until months after regularly running that I actually noticed.

  30. Debra permalink
    January 12, 2011 6:19 am

    My feet, toes and toenails, which may never have another pedicure again…and that’s okay. It’s only been the last three long races that I have had blisters under the toenails and on a toe. It’s really not as bad as it sounds. Sometimes, before a long run or race, I have these moments of questioning myself if I can do it. I know I can. I’ve done it before but there is sometimes that thought. Then I put my socks on and see my crazy looking toes and they remind me of where I’ve been and where I’m going. That I’ve done things I never would have imagined myself capable of and the amazing journeys I’ve had.

  31. Alecia permalink
    January 12, 2011 6:23 am

    My neck and shoulders never seem to relax. I feel like I gave to micromanage them, making sure that they don’t get too tense.

  32. WendyLD permalink
    January 12, 2011 6:25 am

    I have to believe that my back feels my runs more than anything (not counting the obvious, legs). I am a new runner who was wary of beginning to run due to lower back problems (rotated pelvis resulting in pressure on a nerve root). When I began to run, I had shin splints aggravated by wearing heels every day. I dropped the heels to help with running and voila, my back is 100% better! I think running has improved my posture and core as well, both of which contribute to the lack of pain that used to control much of my life.

  33. tami permalink
    January 12, 2011 6:26 am

    I will go with my lungs…..it was a “wicked” cold run yesterday and I think all the winter running keeps me healthy!

  34. January 12, 2011 6:28 am

    I think it’s my jaw – TMJ sucks! And then there’s my bursitis in my hips. Oh, and my shoulders are tense. I think I’m concentrating too hard on the run – you know, one foot in front of the other, don’t trip, keep your hands loose, etc.

    But my eyes are unbelievably bright after I finish a decent run (which for me is very puny). I look like I’m getting a full night’s sleep (Which I’m not. Ever.)!!

  35. January 12, 2011 6:32 am

    Right now it is my lower right leg and it is stopping me from running :(.

  36. January 12, 2011 6:43 am

    My mind – my best asset and sometimes my worst enemy on a run. When it’s good my self talk is great (“You’re strong, you can do this, you’re tough”) but when it’s bad the mind monkeys are brutal (“Who do you think you are, what do you think you’re doing?”) New Year’s resolution (though I am usually loathe to make them) is to slay the mind monkeys once and for all and to make my internal voice my best, supportive friend!

  37. ShelleyMM permalink
    January 12, 2011 6:50 am

    My shoulders carry me through long runs. If and when I get them to relax, my entire body melts into the correct running form (or at least where I feel the most comfortable). Sometimes, though, it takes a few miles to ease the tension that tends to make my shoulders creep up around my ears. Practice, practice, practice!

  38. renee permalink
    January 12, 2011 6:53 am

    My left shoulder when i run fast(er) gives me a painful reminder to relax and go with the flow. I think I tend to tilt my head to the left and lift that shoulder up making my trap muscle hurt. I’ve had this issue since high school.

  39. Kelly permalink
    January 12, 2011 6:57 am

    Is this weird? My digestive system…I have exercise induced anaphylaxia and cannot have food in my stomach when I run. I am a marathon runner, even qualifying for Boston this year, and cannot eat before I go. I can do some GUs but I have to be careful not to fill er up!

  40. January 12, 2011 7:01 am

    My mind, for sure. When I started this running journey, I started for overall body fitness. I had NO IDEA how much my mental fitness would also improve…

  41. January 12, 2011 7:10 am

    My neck unexpectedly tenses up on one side. I have to concentrate on keeping it loose. If not, I will have to pop it every few miles. Weird, I know.

  42. Callie permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:11 am

    Besides my lower body, it’s easily my head/brain that’s doing all my running for me. I’m an over-thinker, always have been. And I can think myself into and out of a run in no time flat. Even mid-run, if I don’t keep myself focused, I can change my mind no matter how far I am already into the run. So, I’m constantly working on my mental strength…legs, glutes, core, etc strength are second to what’s between my ears!

  43. Rose Keith permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:11 am

    Without a doubt, my mind. When I run, I push myself physically, psychologically and emotionally and each of these factors are directly impacted by the positive or negative feedback from the ‘ol gray matter. Whenever I think “I can’t” for any reason, only my mind can turn the situation into “I can.”

  44. Roxanne permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:19 am

    The part of my body that really feels my running is my brain. I have to tell it to be strong and that “there’s only one more hill” and it makes my body do things that I never thought were possible when I weighed 200lbs. Now, 30lbs lighter and healthier, my memory and happiness is improved. Thanks, brain!

  45. Laura Humes permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:22 am

    Running is all about heart. That’s where the passion lies. That’s what pumps the blood to all the other parts of my body to allow me to make it up that hill or around that bend.

  46. Kari Butler permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:25 am

    This seems so obvious, but my feet! After a good run I can feel the muscles in my feet, like the arches have just had a great workout. How else can I strengthen my feet?! I’ve even told people my arches are muscular, mostly just to see the funny look on their face. 🙂 It’s kind of like wearing pretty underwear: you just feel pretty even though no one else sees it. With my feet, I just feel strong, like I have a great foundation, even though no one has a clue.

  47. kim permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:25 am

    my mind. it clears. my ears. they hear the uninterrupted music.

  48. Cynthia permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:27 am

    I would have to say my head…I think about a ton of stuff while running and sometimes I feel like I don’t even have time to think otherwise.

  49. Allison M permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:28 am

    The part of me that really feels it after I run is my hips.
    One great thing about the running is how much weight and inches I have lost. I bought new (bigger) snow pants last year and they were still tight, this year after all our snow (in NJ) I slid them on and they were actually loose! And we just got snow again, I could really use those shoe things to run!! 🙂

  50. Lisa Zieger permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:31 am

    Like the first post above, it’s my shoulders that I feel when running. I, too, carry my stress in my shoulders and it’s not until I am running that I feel it and remember to relax and let my lower body carry me down the path. Which means my quads also get more noticed during a run — they never look as good to me as they do when they are propeling me up a hill!

  51. Megan permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:37 am

    My calves have felt the benefit of my running sessions the most. They are very muscular, if I do say so myself. My real estate agent, an avid runner of 20 + years, remarked to me that she would like to trade calves with me, because her skinny ones don’t do her the justice she deserves. She told me after years of seeing runners, the most powerful ones she has seen have wide, muscular calves like mine. Thanks, strong, beefy calves!

  52. Kathy A permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:40 am

    My calves. I havent been running long and I have always had very skinny calves. They are getting better, but sometimes just ache for the first couple miles. They are not so stick-like now though, I am building some muscle!

  53. January 12, 2011 7:42 am

    My trapezoids. Ouch. When I’m running hard the left one in particular gets really tense, so it’s always a reminder to relax, settle down, and enjoy the run.

  54. Sherry permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:43 am

    My brain! When I run I can ponder as much or as little as I want. Usually how I think determines how good of a run I will have. Mind over matter!

  55. Koby permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:44 am

    My Mind-Although Sometimes Attempting to Accept Those Excuses for Not Running-Knows I Will Feel So Much Better a Couple Miles In-So Not Giving In-Total Release-Pushing Beyond Limits-Challenging-Supporting-Enabling Me to Be a Better Me-Relaxed-Focused-Patient

  56. Sandi permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:44 am

    I would say my brain. Positive thoughts, being able to concentrate on my ipod music, thinking about my mantra and goals, etc. keep me moving. On the other hand, sometimes my brain says your too tired, you can’t do it and those negative thoughts spoil my run.
    Sandi

  57. Darrah permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:50 am

    My thumbs. When I’m running loosely and with correct form, my thumbs and hands are relaxed and unclenched. As the run gets tougher, I tend to tense up in my arms and hands, which radiates to my shoulders and to the rest of my body. If I check my thumbs/hands and see that they’re out of whack, I know everything else is too. One look down reminds me to relax, loosen up, slow down (if need be), and reset. And thinking about my form and making sure it’s relaxed and loose gives me something to think about when things get hard! My thumbs are the easiest way for me to mentally check myself. 😉

  58. ashley griner permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:53 am

    What I consider to be my first ever LONG run was also my first ever double digit run (10 miles) while training for my first half marathon last year….lots of “firsts”! This run was important for lots of reasons but it definitely provides the answer to the issue of your “whole” body being affected by running. I was most worrisome about my legs, feet or my lungs when going out to tackle the 10 miles, but “unexpectedly” the part of my body most affected by this milestone run was my SKIN! WOW! Learned a lot about chaffing that day and after all the yucky blood, scabs, cream and finally healing, I will never forget it! It did not, however, make me stop running….ironically it made me feel more like a “real runner” and I am currently training for my first marathon!! But, this time it won’t be my skin that gets the brunt of these longer runs….been there, done that!

  59. Angela G. permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:54 am

    I’m not sure which body part is responsible (and thus who to blame), but I’ve recently discovered I dogtrack slightly when I run. Who knew?! I came across this recent discovery when I was forced to run on an indoor treadmill that faced some mirrors instead of outside like I prefer (we were on a family vacation in Chicago. I decided it would be a real downer if I twisted my ankle on the ice or snow while out running and pretty much ruined our vacation). My only hope is that this actually results in an endearing, cute sort of little trot that people see and say, “Oh, look at her trotting along, well isn’t that cute?”. You know, like a pug dog, instead of the things we all think when we see someone with odd form running like, “Ouch, that looks painful” or, “Do you suppose that’s a learned behavior?”. I suppose this is my karmic dues for occassionally thinking those snarky things in the first place. I’m a recreational runner for chrissakes. If I had perfect form, then I’ve got a lot of explaining to do for those 2:04 half-marathons- ha!

  60. Corinna permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:55 am

    My shoulders definitely feel it. They get extremely tense even though I try my hardest to keep them relaxed. Hopefully one day (sooner preferably) I’ll learn to not hunch them up so much.

  61. katie permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:56 am

    I usually would say my shoulders…when I run long and hard my shoulders tighten, and I have to conciously tell them to relax. But lately (the last 9 months or so), n omatter how much I stretch or foam roll, I have been feeling hard runs in my IT band.

  62. January 12, 2011 7:56 am

    My butt. Shocking I know. For some reason the impact of running goes straight to my butt. Major piriformis issues here. Also, when I wear a fuel belt and some water drips out and it’s 0 degrees it freezes creating a nice layer of ice on my butt. So yes, it’s all about that part of the body.

  63. Susan in Denver permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:58 am

    You know what part of my body feels my running habit? My toenails! My second toes are freakishly long and so those toenails are often black and blue! Gross, I know!

  64. Nancy permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:59 am

    My support comes often from my eyes–happily taking in the distractions and sudden beauty

  65. Maralee Saulters permalink
    January 12, 2011 8:00 am

    My mind definitely supports my running habit and feels it in a great way! Running helps me clear my mind and sort through all the crazy stuff that comes up! It helps me see with more clarity and return a better mom for my kids.
    ps I’m drooling over those yaktraks! We’ve got snowpacked roads until the end of March and I’d love to take those for a spin! Thanks for the great giveaway 🙂

  66. January 12, 2011 8:03 am

    my soul – It probably sounds cliche – but I think I find myself when I am running – I am a naturally lazy person and when I run/walk I feel like I am so doing something I never thought I would be doing. I thought I would never be a runner – but run I do and when I run I feel free – my mind works through the tough stuff and my soul just smiles.

  67. Tracy permalink
    January 12, 2011 8:10 am

    It’s definitely my mind. Before a run lately, my mind is usually racing. A run always seems to slow it down and put things in perspective.

  68. Linda B permalink
    January 12, 2011 8:13 am

    My mind for sure! Sometimes my mind wanders to the past… sometimes my mind takes away the stresses of the present… and sometimes my mind thinks to the future. While I’m running my mind is at it’s best and growing stronger.

  69. Cynthia permalink
    January 12, 2011 8:13 am

    My rear! If it’s not sore from running, then it hurts from falling down on it when I don’t run 😉

  70. ami permalink
    January 12, 2011 8:14 am

    my shoulders–the rotation from swinging my arms starts to really bother them. i always try to do a few arm circles before running to loosen them up.

  71. Christina permalink
    January 12, 2011 8:14 am

    When I started really upping my distances for my first half marathon, I was shocked to find out how much my shoulders really feel it!! When I finished the half, it was so strange to tell people that my SHOULDER hurt, and not my legs! I guess they work harder than I thought they did!

  72. Janice S permalink
    January 12, 2011 8:18 am

    My lungs! Running works them out like nothing else. Except maybe swimming.

  73. Susan Arnold permalink
    January 12, 2011 8:24 am

    My mind is the best (and worst) supporter of my running. I need to mentally prepare to run and it’s the only part of me that never hurts when I’m done! I can’t believe I actually have to fight with my brain to get motivated, but in the end, my head gets me going!

  74. Katie permalink
    January 12, 2011 8:32 am

    Definitely my poor feet! I don’t get pedicures because my feet are so calloused from all the running but it’s worth it!

  75. Tryna permalink
    January 12, 2011 8:37 am

    My lungs. I notice that when I’m not running I get out of breath way too fast, but when I’m running I can take stairs two at a time and be fine. And with asthma in the family I think I’d better get out for a run tonight.

  76. elizabeth randall permalink
    January 12, 2011 8:41 am

    I feel the pain of running most inside my head. I often have lengthy complaint-filled debates with myself about getting out the door. Of course once the good twin has won the argument, even the bad twin enjoys the fresh air, exercise, and virtuous feeling when I step back in the front door.

  77. January 12, 2011 8:44 am

    My abs. They’re surprisingly sore after a running hiatus. Those are the muscles that always take me off guard. Thanks for a chance to win!!

  78. Jennifer Dewaele permalink
    January 12, 2011 8:46 am

    My knees never stop amazing me as I truck along through runs. Although there are many days they are filled with pain, they keep supporting every stride I take and encouraging me to take a few more! 🙂

  79. January 12, 2011 8:52 am

    For me it is 100% my head..or I should say my brain
    It makes the decision for me to go run and it also support me WHILE I run telling “you got this” “no giving up”

  80. girlsworld permalink
    January 12, 2011 8:54 am

    My ankles. They are weaker than I ever thought possible for being a runner. But they are what tried to give out on me on my quest for my first 26.2. (FYI, they held out this past Sunday at the WDW Marathon!!)

  81. Kristen F permalink
    January 12, 2011 8:56 am

    My thumb goes to sleep on long runs from holding my handheld water bottle. Definitely was unexpected. I have learned to make some adjustments and swap hands.

  82. Suzanne M permalink
    January 12, 2011 8:59 am

    My quads. I’ve really made a conscious effort to incorporate strength training into my workouts and I really notice a difference. Not only are my quads more muscular looking, but I feel like I just bound up hills now instead of slowing and slumping and shuffling.

  83. Jen C permalink
    January 12, 2011 9:04 am

    My lungs. They are one of those little things taken for granted. My son has asthma so i always tell people I run to catch his breath. I have been teaching him how to run (slowly) so that he learns to control his breathing, he’s my favorite running buddy!

  84. LAM permalink
    January 12, 2011 9:06 am

    My mind, it decides how the entire run is going, or going to go. At the end no matter the outcome it is clear of the days events, which is why it insists on going for a run every day.

  85. January 12, 2011 9:06 am

    More than anything else– My head feels my running. For me, it’s more of a mental breakthrough to make myself get out there and run. When I get out there, my head has to stay in the game or I’ll want to quit and stop pushing myself. Though it’s what is affected most and determines the most on my runs, it always benefits the most too! When I have completed something difficult (every run, as of now) I get back home, and my mind is fully charged and able to concentrate with much more focus than I had without the run. My mind feels powerful and strong, because I made it grow more determined with that painful discipline.

  86. Michaela permalink
    January 12, 2011 9:08 am

    My brain. When I run on the treadmill at the gym in the winter, I watch the news and love starting my day knowing what’s happening in the world. When I run outside during the rest of the year, I sort through ideas, plans, and random thoughts until the world makes sense again. And when I don’t run? Oh boy, mommy brain takes over and I can’t seem to remember anything!

  87. January 12, 2011 9:10 am

    My mouth… running makes me happy and I can’t help but smile!

  88. cindyAz permalink
    January 12, 2011 9:11 am

    My mind. Running is like mental floss.

  89. barbara permalink
    January 12, 2011 9:15 am

    Our weather here is cold (read: frigid!) right now, and what hurts the most on a cold-weather run?? My TEETH! I have sensitive teeth to begin with, and being the panting mouth-breather than I am, my teeth let me know on no uncertain terms that they do NOT like the intake of icy air!

  90. Catalina permalink
    January 12, 2011 9:17 am

    How do I participate in this awesome drawing??

  91. otherjulie permalink
    January 12, 2011 9:22 am

    In a negative – my hair…feels the wrath of multiple washings.

    In a positive – my stomache…is soo much stronger since I am trying to engage my core more.

  92. Czarina permalink
    January 12, 2011 9:22 am

    My spirit supports my running habit. When I don’t run, the emotional and spiritual exhaustion of being a mommy really wear me down. Running empowers my spirit to go another day.

  93. Alison H permalink
    January 12, 2011 9:22 am

    I’ve been surprised to see a positive impact on my skin. All that blood pumping though my body during a good run gives me a really nice glow that lasts all day. Much cheaper than fancy skin creams!

  94. January 12, 2011 9:23 am

    My brain gets the most out of my runs. It seems to get creative and start working through my current stressors. It relaxes and lets me take in the beauty of nature around me. After a run, my brain is ready to take on the demands of homeschooling and caring for five kiddos.

  95. Heidi permalink
    January 12, 2011 9:25 am

    My hips, both not one more than the other … since the birth of our son this fall, family and friends have asked if I’m running again – with a sheer sense of joy, I respond ‘yes’ and never fail to add to those that are runners and some that are not, that I’m running ‘differently’. I haven’t found all the words to describe the soul-full ness of it but one aspect of the physicality are my hips. All the times I ran and didn’t stretch = yoga is this year’s #1 resolution!

  96. Ann permalink
    January 12, 2011 9:32 am

    Definitely my eyes. I run my best when I step outside of myself and let go of negativity. In order to do this I have to tell myself to “look around…take in the beauty, the air, the sun” . It always works.

    Eyes forward = positive thoughts
    Eyes Down=self-doubt (“you can’t do this, you’re too tired, its too cold, this sucks”)

  97. January 12, 2011 9:32 am

    I would say it is my upper torso. I don’t feel it in just my shoulders. My upper arms help move me along also. I am not sure how it would feel to run without that part of my body moving with the rest.

  98. January 12, 2011 9:35 am

    Running really supports my core. I strength train as well, but a good run really engages everything, especially if its a hilly one! After a good run, I feel strength radiating from the middle of me outward and empowers me for the rest of the day.

  99. January 12, 2011 9:35 am

    My sinuses. While nothing clears them out quite the way a bowl of hot green chile stew does, nothing clears them and keeps them clear the way a run does. Of course, I’ve learned to spit and I’ve mastered the farmer’s blow (something has to be done to deal with the mucus), but I always feel better afterward, and usually for many hours afterward.

  100. Heather Gocke permalink
    January 12, 2011 9:41 am

    I definitely feel it in my neck and shoulders. Every mile or two, I try to become a jiggly marionette and “shake out” any tension that I’ve accumulated. Sometimes, it works, most of the time, not so much…

  101. Jules permalink
    January 12, 2011 9:42 am

    Definitely the brain! When I’m running I am thinking. Creative thinking. I can solve the worlds problems in simple half hour run!
    Plus, since I started running 4 years ago, I have had a significant decrease in my migraines…almost none! That speaks volumes in itself 🙂

  102. January 12, 2011 9:52 am

    My core helps me run tall and keeps me my center connected with my upper and lower body. When I feel as though I haven’t worked hard, my core muscles tell me that I have and the definition in these muscles remind me on the good that running is doing for my body.

  103. Aimee Cordero permalink
    January 12, 2011 9:52 am

    My poor big toenails. After my marathon, they turned black and all I have to say is thank goodness for dark red nail polish. I love my feet. I have been a fan of sandals and showing off my feet until now. Such is the sacrifice for running but one I gladly make. I have been running for a year and a half now and it makes me so happy. I am so grateful for my ability to run, no matter how slow.

  104. Margaret permalink
    January 12, 2011 9:55 am

    My shoulders! I have to constantly, consciously relax them during a run. Shoulder rolling has become an every 30 minute activity!

  105. Ann S permalink
    January 12, 2011 10:00 am

    My left glute med! It aches when I run, it aches when I sit. It has been the source of much PT work, I dedicate 20 minutes to it each day to make it and the surrounding areas stronger. I purchased a laptop so I can work standing up. It apparently wants a lot of attention, and gets it!

  106. sarah permalink
    January 12, 2011 10:00 am

    My runner thighs! I love how strong and sinewy they are when I am training. And call me crazy but I love that I can’t fit into a lot of jeans because of my thighs. i love a strong runners body!

  107. January 12, 2011 10:07 am

    Sadly, my feet–more specifically my toes, which have had arthritis for 12 years. (And no, I’m not old. Just unlucky and with bad foot genes.) Also, I just have to say, I have wanted YakTrax for 2 straight winters. I run in Minnesota, where it is routinely verrrrrrry icy. I don’t know why I haven’t gotten some yet. Maybe it’s because I’m destined to win some?

  108. marcy permalink
    January 12, 2011 10:09 am

    my wrists – I know, sounds strange. If I’m not aware of tension in my upper body, my wrists get really sore the next day…

  109. sharla permalink
    January 12, 2011 10:10 am

    I would have to say my butt. but my mood is great after a run. and my family likes me way better too.

  110. January 12, 2011 10:15 am

    I would say my lungs. I have to concentrate on my breathing every run. If I get above a talking pace I have to focus on my breath count. I hope one day this will become natural and automatic, but at this point it’s not. Focusing on my lungs has allowed me to be able to run faster and to push myself harder.

  111. Sara P permalink
    January 12, 2011 10:19 am

    My arms help me run hilly courses. I ran cross country in high school, and I remember my coach yelling “arms! arms!” as we ran up hills. I actually prefer running up than down – easier on my knees!

  112. Julie B permalink
    January 12, 2011 10:31 am

    Like many others, my head feels my running the most. Letting loose with thoughts while running with friends or while running alone, is why I run.

  113. January 12, 2011 10:39 am

    My knees! I’ve been very fortunate that since I’ve started this running habit I’ve had no serious issues with my knees. Little injury has stood in the way of my goals…and gives me no excuses to get out there.

  114. Terry C permalink
    January 12, 2011 10:39 am

    My knees! When I have fallen into a slump of not running, my knees pop and ache. The worst part is that when I start running again, they are sore when I increase my mileage and I risk pain when I squat. When I am consistently run and keep my mileage up, my knees are strong and pain free!

  115. Lee permalink
    January 12, 2011 10:41 am

    It depends on the day. Some days as I start running, I’m aware of how tight by shoulders/upper back are. Other days it’s my lower back (but only if I haven’t been doing enough ab/core work. Fortunately though, neither are regular occurrances.

  116. Shaygram permalink
    January 12, 2011 10:42 am

    My brain… the part that says I am strong, I accomplished something big, I did something I didn’t think I could… Running gives me confidence that doesn’t come from any other activity.

  117. ashley H permalink
    January 12, 2011 10:43 am

    My lower back, too! I never realized how much it supports until I started marathon training and had to go longer distances. It gets sore faster than any of my leg muscles. Clearly, I need to do more core work.

  118. Joelle from Canada permalink
    January 12, 2011 10:45 am

    My mind… when I start a long run, and I don’t think I can do this, my mind kicks in and says, yes you can!

  119. Marilee LaFond permalink
    January 12, 2011 10:48 am

    My left wrist- chaffed from the dog leash that holds back (the otherwise well mannered dog) that just doesn’t agree with my “still new to running” pace…she was born to run FREE, and those moments where we fall into a running rhythm or sync are few and far between. Her four legs outpace my two, and every step I run, working so hard to keep moving myself forward, my left wrist and arm work to constantly pull her back.

  120. Alissa English permalink
    January 12, 2011 10:48 am

    For me, the most surprising body part to feel the effects of my running has been my abs! It was after a good speed work session at the track last summer. A friend of mine and I decided to try out a ladder workout, which I had never done before. After an hour of pushing our speed as best we could, we called it a night. The next day… holy crow my abs were burning! I was so confused, I mean I don’t run with my gut… literally! LOL! But when I really thought about it, I realized that your core is the base for everything you do and I am certain I had to hold my core tight as I ran as fast as I could and leaned into those 100m sprints. It was kind of an awesome feeling, realizing that running did so much more for me than I really realized!

  121. January 12, 2011 10:50 am

    I would have to say my shoulders. Running makes me conscious of how tense I am and reminds me to relax. I find it hard to relax while running but when I am done my shoulders feel amazing – its the only time they are ever loose 🙂

  122. Jenni permalink
    January 12, 2011 10:50 am

    My hands. They FREEZE on every single run (no matter how many layers of gloves I’m wearing)!! One more reason to LOVE warm-weather running…warm hands! =)

  123. Kari permalink
    January 12, 2011 10:58 am

    My brain…it always seem to get the best of my run. I am able to come home a better wife, mother and overall person because I can clear my head on my run.

  124. Katie Kunshier permalink
    January 12, 2011 11:05 am

    By and far, hands down…my back. I’ve been running for just over a year now, never thought I’d be able to. I have scoliosis and had a spinal fusion in 1994…what an amazing thing the human body is. It is mind boggling to process it all!

  125. Karyn permalink
    January 12, 2011 11:09 am

    Frankly, it would be the unglamorous urinary tract. Being a runner and after having three kids, well, nothing quite works the same. Kegels, Kegels, and more Kegels please!

  126. Cheryl permalink
    January 12, 2011 11:12 am

    My toes. It has always been my toes. I get blisters and then callouses on the ends of my toes. When I go long especially, I get out of the shower and it doesn’t matter how cold it is or how cold I am, I do not want anything on my feet because my toes hurt.

  127. Lelia permalink
    January 12, 2011 11:13 am

    My moody callus on my left big toe. Moody because there are days I don’t feel it; and others when it hurts and it’s all I think about while running.

  128. canuck_grad permalink
    January 12, 2011 11:13 am

    This doesn’t directly answer your question, but it really reminded me of the “head, heart, feet” model a youth organization I am involved with uses. So when they ask they youth to journal about their experience at the end of a conference, for example, they talk about:
    – head (i.e., what have I learned)
    – heart (i.e., how did I feel)
    – feet (i.e., what am I going to do in the future)
    So using this model, my running has taught me that I can do more than I thought I could, and that baby steps add up quickly. I feel proud of my running accomplishments so far, and sad that I’ve been unable to run for a while and have to start from scratch again. I AM going to start again though, and keep that “head” and “heart” stuff in mind as motivation to trust and work through the baby steps – and hopefully do a 5K at the end of March, a 10K in June, and my first ever half in September!

  129. Amy permalink
    January 12, 2011 11:19 am

    Mainly my head! running takes away stress, headaches and tiredness. I can start a run with my head pounding and ready to strangle someone and finish with a smile on my face, its a perfect mood lift! If I’m falling asleep at 3 in the afternoon, a run always gets me energized enough to finish out the day (and more productively).

  130. Karen Falat permalink
    January 12, 2011 11:28 am

    My big toenails feel the running mojo- they are just now growing back-just to be lost again. My eyes feel the burn of the salty sweat, my nose runs along with the rest of me. But with each dip, each creak-each and every run is worth it.

  131. Sarah permalink
    January 12, 2011 11:30 am

    My low resting heart rate. I recently had to go to the walk in clinic, the RN who did my work up said “Hmmm, you must be a runner”. Oh yea!

  132. January 12, 2011 11:35 am

    My extremities as in my head and my feet.
    ~No makeup, don’t want mascara to sweat into my eye and blind me.
    ~No fancy haircuts so I can always throw my hair into a ponytail and look reasonably human.
    ~No paint job on the toenails because it’s a collosal waste of time and effort
    ~No pedis because my calluses are in all the right places and there’s no need to fiddle with what works!

  133. Stephanie permalink
    January 12, 2011 11:37 am

    My butt. Took up runnign afetr having 2 kids to help shed the baby weight. Got to say it looks better now than it did before kids! Firmed up and gettign firmer with every run. The plus is I know on those hilly runs I’ve got soem major muscle back there to get me up those hills. I pay homage to it by keepign “Baby Got Back” on my playlist =)

  134. Anne permalink
    January 12, 2011 11:39 am

    My knees – I used to think I couldn’t run multiple days in a row. I used my knees as the excuse. Last summer I threw caution into the wind and ran. It was my summer of trail running – it was a blast. My mileage numbers aren’t huge but my knees have hung in there.

  135. Tammy Sanders permalink
    January 12, 2011 11:41 am

    Perhaps oddly, it’s my thighs. They have developed a great deal of strength by force (read: it is so hilly where I live). They downshift when I start up another hill and keep on working until I crest the top. I never feel more alive that when I hit the summit literally and figuratively.

  136. ice cream addict permalink
    January 12, 2011 11:56 am

    My brain feels the best… my legs, not so much 😉

  137. Emily M. permalink
    January 12, 2011 12:04 pm

    Wow, that’s a hard choice between mind, knees and hips… I’m going to go hips b/c they’ve given me problems since I was in junior high, but surprisingly don’t bother me unless I’m NOT running regularly! So I don’t know what’s up with that, but I’m thankful that they let me keep on running.

  138. Kristen permalink
    January 12, 2011 12:13 pm

    My OCD brain loves to “unplug” during my runs, I worry about nothing, which is great. My second to the last toe on my right foot, my “ring toe” hurts like a mother on my long runs, worse than my hips, damn toe!!!

  139. Ruthie permalink
    January 12, 2011 12:20 pm

    When I’m really on a good run my waist and hips really drive my legs forward and feel really happy to be part of the run. I often forget how this is a whole body experience. Thanks for the reminder.

  140. Amie permalink
    January 12, 2011 12:26 pm

    My mind — it both benefits from and helps my running. Running helps clear my mind. At the same time, my mind challenges me to run my best, especially on tough days.

  141. jennie permalink
    January 12, 2011 12:30 pm

    its all brain. I’ve found a way to focus my thoughts, my body has to be in motion.

  142. Patty permalink
    January 12, 2011 12:32 pm

    My mind supports my running habit. Tells me to keep going and I can walk when I get to the next block only to say, “Well, this new song just started and it is a good one, run through this then you can walk”. It also reminds me to relax as I run and to stop clenching my thumbs and grinding my jaw. The body part that takes the brunt of my running is oddly enough the second toe on both feet. I can’t keep a toenail on those toes to save my life! (and they aren’t even longer than my big toe!)

  143. Beth permalink
    January 12, 2011 12:48 pm

    My thirst supports my run – I’m constantly thirsty on runs and have trained myself to drink H2O on runs longer than 30 minutes. I’m dogging it on runs longer than that without water or an electrolyte drink. My legs feels my habit – dang are they sore after long runs but man they look good!

  144. Sue permalink
    January 12, 2011 12:53 pm

    Supports: the balls of my feet. Go forefoot running!
    Feels: my upper back, where I hold all my tightness. I really need to strengthen my core!
    Thanks!

  145. January 12, 2011 1:00 pm

    My hip flexors feel my running habit. And they told me during my first marathon that they wanted a lot more love and attention (actually they screamed at me and refused to lift my legs). So now I do strength exercises 4x week and they’re getting more amenable to my long distance running.

  146. pam permalink
    January 12, 2011 1:01 pm

    My poor feet! Even my 2 year old will look at the calluses and ask “what is on your feet mommy?”. I just know when I’m getting a pedicure the ladies are talking about them in their native language!!

  147. Christine permalink
    January 12, 2011 1:03 pm

    For me, it’s all in the mind. Just love that less stressed feeling after a good run.

  148. Andrea permalink
    January 12, 2011 1:11 pm

    My brain definitely. I start getting that need for a running fix, and my brain just won’t let me off the hook. Of course, in the winter my poor nose gets the most grief – it runs faster and harder than my feet

  149. Tara permalink
    January 12, 2011 1:11 pm

    My heart……running supports my heart literally and figuratively. Iron rich blood freely flowing through a healthy heart while many thoughtless miles help to mend brokeness and superficial scratches. Running is like my psychardiologist :).

  150. KOTurner permalink
    January 12, 2011 1:13 pm

    My feet- I used to always have perfectly painted toes but now I have both a black toenail and a missing toenail. To me, they are more beautiful than before.

  151. January 12, 2011 1:21 pm

    Most definitely my “core.” I am working hard on re-learning correct running form (ChiRunning) and when I am running correctly, it is my abs that feel it. Love that!

  152. Celeste permalink
    January 12, 2011 1:25 pm

    My ankles–they have always been the weak point in my body (after a high school cross-country sprain), and I’m always thinking of them, making sure I’m pushing off properly…

  153. realrellim permalink
    January 12, 2011 1:26 pm

    If I don’t pay attention to form, my shoulders never fail to let me know the next day. Or worse, my bad form shows up in a race photo with my shoulders up to my ears!

  154. January 12, 2011 1:30 pm

    Currently, my shin bones are supporting AND feeling all of my running. I am working on losing 80 pounds of baby weight (how long can I call it that?) and I desperately need new shoes. But I’m out there, pounding the pavement, because I AM A RUNNER! And I know that soon enough my body will remember that!

  155. RunnergirlPNW permalink
    January 12, 2011 2:02 pm

    Definitely my feet! They have the callouses, black and missing toenails to prove it!

  156. Tara permalink
    January 12, 2011 2:10 pm

    I am always amazed at my abs. Before exercise was a regular part of my life, I had horrible balance, so the natural progression is to choose a sport in which I am MORE likely to fall, right? Anyhow, today I keep feeling that momentary soreness right under my ribcage that reminds me why I didn’t fall on the treadmill yesterday.

  157. January 12, 2011 2:13 pm

    My poor heel is feeling the running right now! I am a newbie, having read your book over Christmas, I decided to get out there. After running a few days, I went to my local running store and got ahold of a recommended expert. I am soooo thankful! I had been helping myself along to another case of Plantar F. with the wrong shoes. How fast did she figure this out for me….2 minutes. I am running 3 early mornings a week right now and am battling the mind–feels like a boxing match in my head when I wake up. Nice to know I’m not alone! My saving grace is my running partners. They are 10 and 12, my two oldest and get paid $1 each, each day, to be my trainers–keep time, get me out the door. Sometimes its frustrating reigning them in–reminding them why we are out there, not to chase them around the block, but to get Mommy in shape and not let her quit. They will be released from duty when I get myself an Ipod and can hopefully motivate myself a bit more. A current frustration is the snow!! We have had two storms in a week–lots of the white stuff and the snow plows don’t come down here regularly. I’ve been able to rearrange schedules to get out there–but nothing like having to have a boxing match in your head all day wondering when you will get in a run

  158. Aubrey R permalink
    January 12, 2011 2:14 pm

    My shins are not too happy with this new running plan. Slowing me down. Thanks for the giveaway!

  159. Sarah permalink
    January 12, 2011 2:23 pm

    I always have to remind myself to relax my shoulders – when I run they are up by my ears for some reason!

  160. Carolyn permalink
    January 12, 2011 2:25 pm

    My mind, I run with no music and love to run things through my head, think about upcoming events, pray and have quiet time with God. All of it leaves me with a relaxed mind.

  161. January 12, 2011 2:39 pm

    The abs definitely feel it… I’m constantly putting mental effort into engaging my core while I run, and especially when I kick the speed up a few notches. I’ve also started noticing it toning up and leaning out over the last couple months (ahem, except for during the month of December, in which case I ran just to *maintain* what level of fitness/weight loss I had achieved). So, definitely the abs.

  162. January 12, 2011 2:42 pm

    My back. I broke it in college and it took years to get it back to where it was. I love to run so much even though it was a struggle to come back. Pilates let me love the run again, without everything falling apart. So I take care of my core, and back so that everything else can hurt in the good way!

  163. January 12, 2011 2:53 pm

    For me it’s definitely my lungs. Asthma has always been my biggest problem and running has helped me master my breathing more then any medication I’ve tried.

    It’s a huge feeling of accomplishment to be running down a trail and not breathing too hard or erratically.

  164. Susan A permalink
    January 12, 2011 2:54 pm

    Gotta be my calves. When I fell how strong they have gotten since beginning running again this summer, it fuels me to keep at it! Sometimes I even “flex” a leg in the mirror (making sure no one is watching, of course) for proof!

  165. January 12, 2011 3:03 pm

    Heels + walking at the school where I work (think old, hard, cement floors) and running/slipping.sliding in the snow/ice we have right now=very sore knees. Those yaktrax would be helpful! 🙂

  166. January 12, 2011 3:09 pm

    every part of me at some point supports or feels my running habit… but my hair may be the big winner. i have long, semi- straight blonde hair that has a tendency towards chia pet-ness at the slightest hint of humidity. at the end of my marathon in memphis? total afro. which looks weird on a white girl.

  167. Laurie R. permalink
    January 12, 2011 3:16 pm

    It would have to be cracked and blistered toes. Even though they are sometimes bloody and sore I love to show them off to my family to boast of my accomplished long runs! Out of 4 daughters my youngest one who is 7 LOVES to massage my feet and will do so without me even asking. She truely has a love for me to do that.

  168. January 12, 2011 3:38 pm

    As I train for my first marathon, an accomplishment I so want to claim for myself, the mental toughness I feel I am gaining is so gratifying. So I’d say my head, followed by my heart — I get up, get dressed for running, drop off the kiddos at school and then head out for my 3-, 4- or 6-miler — six straight days a week of training at this point — and I’m amazed at how I’m keeping at it, no matter the snow, the ice, the work deadlines and mommy guilt that tempt me to do otherwise. I just know how badly I want this — and how my heart and head are in much better conditions than ever before. Which, as we all know, benefits not only me, but everyone in my life. I truly get the runner’s high after many of my runs, and I savor every second of it.

  169. January 12, 2011 3:55 pm

    my knees seem to support my running. sometimes they pop but they still keep going. If the knees feel good, I figure I can keep going, too.

  170. Michelle permalink
    January 12, 2011 4:08 pm

    Last summer, I developed a tan line in the wrinkle between my eyebrows. Since I only notice this wrinkle if I grimace in the mirror, I was obviously doing way too much grimacing while I was out there running last year!

  171. Amanda permalink
    January 12, 2011 4:57 pm

    My hair! No matter how much I braid it or put it in a hat, I get some major dreads after even a short run. I go through a lot of detangling conditioner.

  172. Suzanne permalink
    January 12, 2011 4:57 pm

    When I run, my mind goes blank and I feel the rest of my body release the stress of the previous day. When I stop, the top of my hamstrings (or bottom of my glut) is the first place to tighten up as if saying, “noooo, don’t go back to work. I don’t want you to sit down on me all day!”

  173. January 12, 2011 5:19 pm

    My left arm, I noticed the other day that all my gadget (mps3 player & garmin) are on my left side, I tried switching to the right and it feels so weird and uncomfortable.

  174. Michelle permalink
    January 12, 2011 5:32 pm

    Without a doubt, my heart and soul feel running more than anything else. I’ve often found myself moved to tears during a run – sometimes they’re happy tears, and sometimes sad ones. And just as often, I find myself overcome with such gratitude and joy and utter bliss; so unbelievably content and at peace to be able to step out the door, put one foot in front of the other, and move myself forward. In tough times, running is therapeutic and cathartic. In good times, it’s celebration in motion : )

  175. Brenda permalink
    January 12, 2011 5:39 pm

    This is a very tough question… one I have not really pondered. When I am running, my calves tell me that I am. I also would say my mind – I always have music playing but I like it more for the beat to keep pace but I love how all the thoughts just tumble through my mind – about the day, what is coming later, my kids, my husband, my friends… I love that time to just think, to be… I love to run outside – even in the snow and cold.

  176. Kelly Hill permalink
    January 12, 2011 5:47 pm

    My toes; my second and longer toes to be exact. They rub and chafe and peel and look nasty but happily participate in my running goals. They never ask for thanks either…

  177. Lori permalink
    January 12, 2011 6:06 pm

    My hair suffers, actually it’s more like it annoys my running. It’s always in my face. No matter how much I pull it back or even put a hat on, some how there is always hair in my face.

  178. January 12, 2011 6:06 pm

    My abs usually let me know I had a great speed workout. Maybe it was a speedy hill workout or the fast track sprints. I am always sore the next day and it always surprises me – in a good way! 🙂

  179. Susan permalink
    January 12, 2011 6:08 pm

    my abs get really flat when I am running consistently. I hate any abwork, I call running my abwork!

  180. Marnie Brian permalink
    January 12, 2011 6:30 pm

    The sides of my big toes feel the effects of all my running. They are prone to callouses generally but, when I’m training, the callouses are ginormous! But it is definitely worth it for the mental health my running brings.

  181. Christy permalink
    January 12, 2011 6:31 pm

    tie between my head (so nice to clear it out once in awhile) or my abs…love how strong they feel when running hard! Now if only they could stay that way all the time.

  182. Jen B permalink
    January 12, 2011 6:44 pm

    Toenails, definitely the toenails. Thank god for OPI Lincoln Park After Dark, or I could never show those ugly black nubs in public!! Never would have thought that a “good for you” sport could do such damage to the tops of my toes!!

  183. Sue permalink
    January 12, 2011 6:45 pm

    Definitely my head. When I don’t run, I am a total grouch. When I run, the high carries through to everything I do. My body indirectly benefits from the workout my mind and spirit get!

  184. cindy f permalink
    January 12, 2011 6:45 pm

    I run for heart health. I have severe heart disease in my family and I would like a better, healthier and more active life for long, long time.

  185. January 12, 2011 6:47 pm

    It’s my back that feels it first for sure. It has helped when I realized that I had to start pulling my shoulders back.

  186. January 12, 2011 6:54 pm

    I feel it in my calves. When they’re tight or sore I feel it from my head to my toes. Nothing better than a good calves stretch or a deep tissue calve massage.

  187. Lizzy W permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:02 pm

    I would say my brain…running gives it a time out:)

  188. January 12, 2011 7:03 pm

    Currently it’s my nose….which runs constantly in the winter chill. So not only am I running, my nose is right there with me : )

  189. Carla O. permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:04 pm

    For me, it’s all about the shoulders and neck. If I lose focus, I start to tense up far too much and I REALLY feel it later!

  190. Jessica permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:05 pm

    My neck/shoulders… I always have to relax… Usually a mile in a I can and most of my worries go with the tension 🙂

  191. Rhonda permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:06 pm

    I will try not to be x rated, but I feel my running in my breasts. Not while I am running, thankfully, but post run I feel a hormonal high similar to breastfeeding.

  192. Carolyn permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:06 pm

    My head. Without my run it would be mess of confusion, self-doubt, and noise!

  193. Kristen permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:06 pm

    Running definately clears my mind and heavy heart! Stress is washed away, I am able to think more clearly, reflect on what I want to achieve, and become a better Mom, wife, and worker! Running makes me a better person! :0)

  194. Tammi permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:06 pm

    I would have to say my brain. When I complete a run my brain is clearer and more focused. I feel more alert and organized because I know I have accompished something!

  195. Melinda permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:06 pm

    My smile. Before I go running, I can feel very stabby, but let me work up a sweat and feel the pavement under my feet & I can’t help but smile.

  196. Kelly weekes permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:07 pm

    My hips feel it the most. Like i am a sherpa carring provisions up Everest….but i love it. I can stretch my hips and they feel like new again.

  197. AliciA permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:08 pm

    My strong legs!

  198. Katrina permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:08 pm

    I must say it has to be my shins. They don’t hurt when I rub or even after. Just when you touch them and my 3 year old is an expert at finding those sensitive spots!

  199. January 12, 2011 7:09 pm

    My brain feels the best when I’ve run. It reminds me I’m strong enough to get through the rest of the day, and I CAN accomplish something that once seemed impossible.

  200. ShootYeahGenius permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:09 pm

    Left ankle swells like a mofo. Probably need to take a rest day now and then…Nah!

  201. Sharon permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:10 pm

    My thighs. Though they may get tired, they never fail to take me that extra mile or two.

  202. Jennifer permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:10 pm

    My mind. My run gives me time to clear my head, regroup from the stresses of the day or to prepare for what lies ahead. I always feel like I have a fresh perspective on the day after my run, no matter if I go out at morning, noon or night.

  203. Jolene Cannady permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:10 pm

    My neck and shoulders definitely feel it on more stressful days.

  204. Beth permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:12 pm

    My thighs! They are, well, cut now which is a nice side effect of running. And when I’m on my last half-mile or so, my legs are burning but I can feel the power and strength that my legs carry and it always reminds me I’m a lot tougher than I think

  205. Michelle permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:13 pm

    My hips. They are the curse of my family. They are a constant reminder of who I am and the stock I come from. They make me happy and sad at the same time.

  206. Angie permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:13 pm

    My shoulders! I have to make a conscious effort to relax them and everything else while I run. The days I succeed are the days I have the most rewarding runs. Which is more rewarding for my family too. 🙂

  207. January 12, 2011 7:13 pm

    My heart–physically and metaphorically speaking. When I haven’t gotten my run in my heart aches! I’m sad but more than that my heart feels like its going to beat out of my chest! I have needed this Yak Trax this week in the great Alabama blizzard.

  208. January 12, 2011 7:13 pm

    My abdominal obliques–the sides of my waist (if I have my terminology right–I was a medieval studies grad student) do some unexpected hard work. I know I have run a race or tempo run as hard as I should when I wake the next morning with the sides of my waist sore, in a good way.

  209. Cyndy C. permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:14 pm

    My head in the part of my body that supports my running.
    It’s the part of me that convinces me I am worth the time away from my everyday responsibilities to run.
    It’s the part that tells me those “thunder thighs” (as they were called by others in high school) can carry me to distances I’ve never dreamed possible.
    It’s the part that takes me to places far and near during my lone runs.
    It’s my head that supports all that I am as a wanna-be runner. 🙂

  210. Danielle permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:14 pm

    My head. I often start my early morning run with my head running amock, thinking of everything I need to do in the short time I have. By the end of the run, I have a plan established, feel relaxed, and my family is happier because I’m not stressed!

  211. January 12, 2011 7:14 pm

    I feel my running in the center of the ball of my right foot. Something in there is unhappy. But everything else is so happy that I won’t stop.

  212. Darcy Bailey permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:16 pm

    My heart and whole body. Running has given me a new love and self respect for myself. I respect what running does to my body, good and bad. While running clears my mind and helps me enjoy the conversations I have with good friends while running, my body also cleanse’s itself of stress I have endured throughout the day.

  213. Heather permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:17 pm

    The good: my head…I love that clear-headed after-run high. My productivity soars!
    The bad: my hips are the things most likely to hurt after a long run (especially on pavement)
    The ugly: TMI (as usual) but running improves my “mood” in many ways!

    And I could REALLY use the Yak Trax. I had some, but my dog ate them. Actually, she only ate one, but I didn’t figure hopping on ice was a very good idea, traction or not. 😦

  214. Rene Whiteley permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:17 pm

    My brain…I struggle with anxiety and running is the only thing that lets me get it all out. When I take off running and put my ipod on I can just let it all go. Thank God for those runs.

  215. Lauren permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:18 pm

    Before I had a kid, I never had any problems with my hips. Now, I feel the bulk of my running pain there. It’s a reminder of how important running was and is to my life, but also how I am different person, and runner, now that I’m a mom.

  216. January 12, 2011 7:19 pm

    My mind supports my running efforts. Sometimes when my legs get heavy it is my mind that talks me through and keeps me going. During long runs my mind might go into a meditative state and I finish the run physically spent but mentally energized.

  217. Judy permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:19 pm

    While everything else improves (my legs, abs, butt, etc) my feet and toes just keep getting worse and worse. The get the worst part of the deal. But at least I can easily hide them.

  218. JenniB permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:20 pm

    My heel spurs and plantar fasciitis bear the brunt of my runs, but not nearly as terribly now that I have dropped 20 pounds! I usually feel it the next morning….

  219. Carol permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:20 pm

    I was a swimmer, not a runner, in my youth. And I crashed my mountain bike 10 yrs ago and screwed up my right ACL.
    I swear all those hormones that loosen and tighten your hips for childbirth healed my knee, but maybe it was just time, and carrying 4 kids and laundry up and down stairs….
    I am thrilled and astonished every time I finish a run and my knee feels fine.

    I am running outside on weekends this year – a new thing. Training for 3 triathlons this summer. And a half marathon(1st!!) in April.
    Those goodies look cool!

  220. Rebecca permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:21 pm

    My ears. Living in MI, they are always cold when I run outside in the winter…even when I have something over them. And they turn bright red. It is worth it though, to avoid a run on the dreaded treadmill.

  221. Alyson Yoder permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:22 pm

    My feet! I have had size 10 feet since I was 9-years-old; big foot, sasquatch, water skis and flipper were some common nicknames (all lovingly adorned!). But seriously, I have the best balance, my tree pose is incredible, I NEVER fall while running and I owe it all to my size 10s!!

  222. Rhonda C. permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:22 pm

    My neck feels the stress when I have an ‘angry run’. My mind feels the runs, but that part’s all good.

  223. Becky Gillis permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:22 pm

    My mind. There is nothing like time alone on the trail with just me & my ipod. I love listening to worship music when I run. It feeds my soul 🙂

  224. KathleenB permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:22 pm

    Usually my knees….they just don’t seem to like me running!

  225. Renae permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:27 pm

    It is most definitely my calves. I am proud of my well muscled calves which propel me faster and faster each year. I am especially happy to show off their definition in high-heels & a skirt!

  226. January 12, 2011 7:28 pm

    It’s my thunder thighs that amaze me. Yeah, I can complain about them all I want but they power me through one run after the next!

  227. Amy permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:28 pm

    my brain…it is the reason I run, to clear it, the reason I keep going, because it reminds me to relax and breathe

  228. January 12, 2011 7:33 pm

    my running habit is a holistic ritual, however, my form is sparked by my fingertips.
    a tight-fisted, white-knuckled grip signals me to loosen up, straighten out and breathe (I mentally tell myself to pretend there’s a potato chip between my fingers)…when my hands are comfortably holding an imaginary hard boiled egg, everything else falls into place.
    proper form is freeing.

  229. January 12, 2011 7:33 pm

    My mind carries all the strength. Sure, my muscles move me, but they always beg me to stop (especially my hamstrings and quads). It’s my mind that reminds me that my body does amazing things– it creates life and it’s unstoppable. If it weren’t for the strength of my mind and it constantly telling me how powerful I was, I never would have been able to become a runner.

  230. January 12, 2011 7:34 pm

    Lately, it’s my arches! I’m running outside in the snow and the trickiness of staying upright on slick, snow covered roads seems to be causing some strain in my arches.

  231. Amy permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:34 pm

    My mind! I started running two years ago as exercise for my body, but what I’ve found is that it’s my mental health that benefits the most from running. It’s fairly easy to tell which days I’ve had a run, just based on my mood.

  232. Christine permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:35 pm

    My hamstrings are what “speak” to me the most (especially the left ham lately 🙂 and give me the ability to go the distance. They are the body parts that support my runnning addiction and provide me with that extra muscle power to help me through some of my toughest runs. 🙂

  233. Jen permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:35 pm

    My heart & lungs have become stronger!!! I no longer huff and puff! 🙂
    But lately my knees have been talking to me 😦
    I am a newbie runner (less than a yr. run ~5 miles, 3x’s a week)
    Do they get stronger? just a phase? bad form?

    • Selene permalink
      January 12, 2011 7:41 pm

      My fingers. The only time I ever pop my knuckles is on a run. I have also discovered, by seeing some race day pics of myself, that I run with my thumbs up!

  234. Elaina Hunt permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:36 pm

    Ahh! Surely my abs have noticed a change – I’ve certainly recognized a difference in choir practice, of all places! My core slimmed quite a bit and gotten much stronger. I can’t wait for more; I’m just a beginner!

  235. Elaine permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:37 pm

    running clears my head and fills my heart with happiness. How cheesy is that??? But true!!!

  236. Kate B. permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:37 pm

    I would have to say my lungs. I have exercise induced asthma that caused me to pass out twice and eventually quit running track in high school. Twelve years later, I run with such ease. I have not had to use my inhaler once this year and I know it’s because I’ve worked hard to build up my lungs.

  237. Becka Gartner permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:39 pm

    My legs fuel my runs! Not just for the obvious reasons, but for a more liberating reason. I am a single mother of three boys, well young men, and when I run I feel strong. The stronger I feel when I run, the stronger I feel as a mother. Running teaches us we can do more than we thought! It help in most parts of our lives!

  238. Joy permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:41 pm

    I would have to say it’s my breath. When I started running at the end of the summer, I couldn’t go for more than four minutes without feeling like my chest was going to explode and I couldn’t breathe. As I slowly increased my endurance, the sound of my even breathing calms me as I complete mile after wonderful mile.

  239. Laura permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:42 pm

    the knots in the middle of my upper back/shoulders are my running buddies. They let me know when it’s been too long between runs, when I get settles in I can feel them start to tense then relax as I run longer. I wish the rest of my body could go as long as it takes to completely release them. My booty is a close 2nd b/c running makes my badonkadonk look amazing, lift in the cheeks and everything!

  240. Danielle C permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:43 pm

    My ears!! For some reason my ears are super sensitive and if the weather is cooler than 50* or if it is windy I have to wear something over my ears even if the rest of me is fine temperature wise–between bondi bands, ear warmers, and hats I always have something ready that fits with the weather so I don’t get a horrid ear ache!!

  241. Kimberly Lawrence permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:44 pm

    I have to say I feel the biggest change in my kids, I know, they are not a “body part”, but they are a part of me! I love how they praise me to others, and try new things because Mommy does too. I run for peace of mind, and I know they benefit from me getting in a run when I can.

  242. Vicky permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:48 pm

    I run with my heart. Nothing else on my body can keep up with it. I would probably be lying on the side of the road facedown if I didnt have it.

  243. January 12, 2011 7:53 pm

    My skin! I ran my first big race (the Falmouth Road Race — not a super long race, but one with a huge, partying crowd and plenty of cowbell, which is good, since I usually have a fever that only cowbell can cure) for Melanoma research. My mom died from Melanoma when I was a kid, and it’s made me lifelong paranoid sun exposure person, and I ironically spent more time outside last summer while training for that race (and subsequent races) showing my unintentionally goth face to the world. Even slathered in sunscreen (which usually finds its way into my eyes(, I’m sure I still did some damage. Alas. I haven’t really solved this one yet, even with hats, BUT I’d like to think that I’m doing some overall good, encouraging/forcing my friend runners to slather down, too.

  244. kat charles permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:54 pm

    Got to go with the obvious…my feet. The left one has had constant low level heel pain for about 5 months (what exactly am I supposed to do about that? the pain never goes above a 3 or so but it is always there) and then the right one has a bunion (minor, but hubby affectionately refers to it as a sixth toe) that then generates a GIANT always present callous that tends to blister underneath. Tons of fun, but I love to run and wouldn’t change a thing!.

  245. Kim permalink
    January 12, 2011 7:57 pm

    i would have to say may poor tendonitis affected right foot. even though i’ve gotten two injections in the past few months, it still lets me know that its there.

  246. Lisa permalink
    January 12, 2011 8:00 pm

    I will echo many of you and say my mind. It is what controls the rest, and it is truly ‘mind over matter’ when it’s time to run. It feels so amazing when the run is accomplished and it lets the rest of my body enjoy the benefits. When my mind is exercised through a run, I have more patience in my heart and more confidence and power in my limbs, waist, butt, feet, arms, back and neck.

  247. Tracy permalink
    January 12, 2011 8:04 pm

    My stomach muscles, usually the lower ones, unexpectedly/surprisingly feels my miles! I love feeling the bit of soreness that usually develops in my stomach muscles after runs of over 3 or 4 miles. Not sure what is up with that, but if feels like I’ve done a pretty hard core sit-up session for a while! Perhaps I “suck” my gut in when I run….I don’t know!
    I’m a new runner, only 2.5 months at this point, but I love how my body feels after a run, fatigued/energized at the same time.

  248. Joanne Figueroa permalink
    January 12, 2011 8:04 pm

    The very tips of my toes regularly peal off, with the occasional toenail.

  249. Julie Weidner permalink
    January 12, 2011 8:05 pm

    Imagine my excitement reading this weeks HDG when I get to my name as the winner of the Asics gift certificate! My feet are definitely doing a happy dance! I’m beyond excited!!!! Thank younso so very much!!!!!

  250. Tyler permalink
    January 12, 2011 8:07 pm

    My bladder feels it the most, lugging my pregnant body on a run!

  251. January 12, 2011 8:10 pm

    Used to be my IT band on my left side only, but I think I’ve got that one cleared up. Now it’s my wrists, and I promise, I’m not clenching my hands. Weird, I know. I also have foot issues, but they are so nondescript that it’s hard to explain or figure out.

    As far as what supports my running…it’s my spirit, by far. Today’s running mantra was “energy, power, speed” and I connected that to my soul, mind and strength.

  252. Jackie permalink
    January 12, 2011 8:11 pm

    My toes! The poor things have callouses, black toenails and go numb if they aren’t in the perfect running shoe.

  253. Susan permalink
    January 12, 2011 8:13 pm

    The good- my legs, I am very proud of how sculpted and strong they look.
    The bad- my neck/shoulders, I’ve always had issues with them and I have to pay close attention or I’ll wind up running with my shoulders all hunched up and pay the price later. On a long run I’ll usually slow down every few miles and try to relax and shake out the tension that builds up in them.

  254. Joamne permalink
    January 12, 2011 8:15 pm

    My core powers my legs and arms. But my brain gets the rumning process started.

  255. Alison Price permalink
    January 12, 2011 8:17 pm

    My eyes are unexpectedly feeling the benefits of running. Running outside opens my eyes to the beauty of my corner of the world, whether it be a sunny day or a snowy day (like today). It makes me completely aware of my surroundings, whether dodging puddles, saying hello to fellow runners, or checking out a cute dog. My body is definitely in better shape since I started running, buy my eyes are enjoying every mile!

  256. January 12, 2011 8:18 pm

    It’s actually my lungs. Whenever I worked out before my lungs would hurt and give up (especially in cool weather) but when I started running it was January 2010 and I pushed through the cold weather and have trained them to work even in the cold and snow. Now they can keep going on and on even when the rest of me is spent. I never thought I’d see the day that I can run a 21 km race in the freezing rain with a cold and not run out of breathe the whole time.

  257. January 12, 2011 8:18 pm

    My mind. Practicing mindfulness connecting the mind to the body and trying to be in the here and now – recognizing each victory or each pain and adapting as needed. Or at least this is what I strive for….

  258. Jessica R permalink
    January 12, 2011 8:24 pm

    My feet! Especially my second black toenails…have to explain that I am a runner at all my pedicures! Also, my confidence in me and everything I put my mind to. If I can get out the door and run in zero degree weather I can do anything:-)

  259. January 12, 2011 8:27 pm

    My mind…it made me get out of my warm, cozy bed this morning and onto the blasted treadmill.

  260. Denise permalink
    January 12, 2011 8:29 pm

    I have to say that I was completely surprised by the mental tenacity required for running. Yes, it is physical, but I think the mental part is sometimes the hardest!

  261. Sarah permalink
    January 12, 2011 8:30 pm

    My heart! I couldn’t accomplish what I have if my heart wasn’t fully commited.

  262. January 12, 2011 8:35 pm

    I only say this because I felt it while running through snow today: my back. It tweaks with my poor form (and today one some ice) and reminds me to do my abs so it can get some help supporting my mental health.

  263. January 12, 2011 8:43 pm

    I started running about a year ago, after my 3rd baby, at age41. My bladder was my achille’s heel. Stress incontinence, I believe is the medical term. In other words, I pee while I run. So I had to wear large pads -I helped support the Poise company 🙂 It got to the point I had to run on our rural road after dark and take frequent breaks on the side of the road ;0.
    But as of 4 weeks and 5 days ago, I have a brand new sling in place that supports my bladder. I took my new bladder for a test run last week and IT WORKS! So, for the first time ever, I will be able to run in the daylight in public and not worry about looking like I am wearing a diaper. I can’t wait for spring!

  264. rushartist permalink
    January 12, 2011 8:47 pm

    My knees. I had ACL & cartilage repair in both knees in high school. After three babies (and lots of pounds put on and taken off) my knees have taken a beating. Running is my way to get fit and feel accomplished, but my knees are not so happy with it. My orthopedic surgeon is about to be my new best friend…again.

  265. Amy permalink
    January 12, 2011 8:52 pm

    My heart – It’s been plenty of years since I won a race, but the music ringing in my ears and my heart filling with price when I crest the 5th hill of the day makes me feel young. My goal is a half in 2011 and I will get there to show my girls (3 of them) that moms rock!!!!

  266. January 12, 2011 9:02 pm

    The memory of my childs birth is what supports my runs. My labor inspires me to run, and to keep running – especially when I feel like I can’t do it any longer.

  267. Vickie permalink
    January 12, 2011 9:07 pm

    My mind (aka: mental toughness & determination) is what compels me to keep running and keep moving, even when my calves and toes are cramping.

  268. January 12, 2011 9:32 pm

    My hair. I started growing out my hair several months before I “became” a runner in November 2009. When I run, I feel my ponytail swishing perfectly from side to side and I feel equally feminine and strong. Planning to cut the length for charity after The Relay (Google it!) at the beginning of May, but I’m sure the hair feelings will always stick with me.

  269. Meghan permalink
    January 12, 2011 9:36 pm

    My skin bears the brunt of my running, from painful chafing to obnoxious breakouts! My sanity is worth is though!

  270. Jen L permalink
    January 12, 2011 9:37 pm

    Definitely my mind and spirit . . . running helps me clear and calm my ever busy mind, and lifts my spririts!

  271. LindaS permalink
    January 12, 2011 9:37 pm

    My heart and brain feel the tugs of running more than my muscles. My heart always feel a little guilty if I run during the day, when my kids are awake and I’m not with them. If it’s 5am and they’re asleep, I feel a little jealous because my husband has the kind of job where he can run at lunchtime, shower, and get back to work a little late. My brain craves that running time to think about nothing or everything that doesn’t get pondered the rest of the time. My body needs the exercise but it’s my heart and brain that need the running endorphin fix!

  272. Jennifer Brannon permalink
    January 12, 2011 9:46 pm

    Two parts of my body, actually… one, I discovered only as my mileage increased – the armband that holds my iPhone chafes the inside of my arm, after a long run, leaving an UGLY mark; and two, I’ve discovered after running in freezing temperatures before dawn… numb fingertips, that take about half an hour to re-animate!

  273. Jenn C permalink
    January 12, 2011 9:50 pm

    I could say my lungs, heart, or legs, but I’m going be shallow and say my face. I love the feeling of cold air on my face and that nice “glow” from being out in the cold. In the summer, I love (ok, maybe not love) that nice dewy glow from sweating and being in the sun.

  274. Anne Jones permalink
    January 12, 2011 9:55 pm

    I run because I am a runner. I have had to take time off…years…because of injuries, but I come back, because my heart, my mind, my soul can’t live without it. So, as I continue to run, my joints, my ligaments and tendons in pain, but still pushing me forward, are what I respect, appreciate and feel.

  275. Linda W. permalink
    January 12, 2011 10:09 pm

    My feet. They’ve been through so much! I’ve had two bunion surgeries on my left foot, and my right is due for the same surgery someday. My left big toe does not bend down hardly at all. My right big toe joint often aches after a long run or hard hike. Despite all that, my feet patiently carry me on my runs and don’t complain (too much).

  276. Tracey Smith permalink
    January 12, 2011 10:12 pm

    My mind. When I don’t run, I can’t think straight! I become a crabby, awful person. When I run regularly, it helps me to be calm and think through everything. Needless to say, my husband and kids love when I am able to get out and run!

  277. TorieG permalink
    January 12, 2011 10:34 pm

    My heart. I remember when I first moved to Colorado I’d just had my first child and when I first started trying to run here I felt so out of shape, like my heart was going to expand right out of my chest. Now I have three kids and am in much better shape because of regular exercise. When I’m regularly running one of the best feelings is remembering how tough it used to be for me and how far I’ve come. I can breathe much easier now and I know my heart is stronger and healthier.

  278. Jen permalink
    January 12, 2011 11:32 pm

    I’m going to go with my pelvic floor muscles, which are stressed by my 38 week-old fetus and which were recently stressed by my sixteen month-old toddler!

  279. Erin permalink
    January 13, 2011 1:24 am

    My hands. Some days I feel like they are pulling me along an invisible rope leading home.

  280. January 13, 2011 2:16 am

    I am always surprised at how much tension I carry in my shoulders. I have to remind myself to relax my posture.

  281. January 13, 2011 3:56 am

    My tummy is probably happiest of late, because without running I might have gained more than the 50 lbs I did gain during both pregnancies and I’d hate to see how it would look now 6 months after my last baby without running to get it back into shape!

  282. Heather Bennett-Spurck permalink
    January 13, 2011 4:01 am

    My mind. It’s amazing how my mind can be the culprit of talking me out of a run, yet turns into my biggest cheerleader when I’m out there.

  283. Rachel permalink
    January 13, 2011 5:18 am

    It’s gotta be my feet. My poor, poor, ugly runners feet! I have nice legs from running, but my feet are not cute. Luckily I’ve never lost a toe nail, so at least I can put some cute toenail polish on to distract from my calloused feet! 🙂

  284. Purplehairgirl permalink
    January 13, 2011 5:26 am

    My toes feel the brunt of my running abuse. I’m constantly amazed that despite losing so many toenails, my feet are still able to recover & rejuvenate. They truly are my foundation. They aren’t pretty, but every callus and gnarly toe tells a fascinating story 🙂

  285. Nancy McM permalink
    January 13, 2011 5:30 am

    My brain – a contradiction of “yes I can do this!” and “no way, you’re too old to try”… I get a workout both physically -and- mentally everytime I go out there.

  286. Alicia Martin permalink
    January 13, 2011 5:54 am

    My shoulders!! I’m large busted and it seems the girls add a ton of strain to my shoulders even though I have a pretty good sports bra. Frustrating!! Then again, it usually means I can con a shoulder rub out of the hubby!!! Maybe not such a bad thing after all, huh?

  287. Christine Lowery permalink
    January 13, 2011 5:58 am

    My mind. I think, pray, plan and compute while I run. I’ve been inspired to do things that i wouldn’t have been able to think of if I wasn’t off on my own with my head.

  288. Kathy permalink
    January 13, 2011 6:12 am

    My heart most definetely. I’ve run for years and it’s stronger than I ever could have imagined, it keeps me going.

    Also I have a deep passion for running in my heart, so anytime I’m running – I feel free and home at last.

  289. Erin permalink
    January 13, 2011 6:47 am

    My “thighs of a linebacker” that help me up our hill-packed neighborhood. Their bright red badge of honor after a long run in the cold air. Running with my other Bad ASS Mother Runners we power up “Helga” and out of the Riverpath. They make buying jeans tough, but they make “the toughest 20K in the Southeast” do-able. Embracing my powerful thunder thighs.

  290. Louise Rothwell permalink
    January 13, 2011 6:53 am

    My mind! With 3 children life is very busy and there are always a hundred an done things going on in there!! When I run I calm down and put everything into perspective and feel like I can take on the world.My mum once asked me what would happen if I didn’t run I told her she wouldn’t want to be around!

  291. Jillian permalink
    January 13, 2011 7:11 am

    I feel like I am a better wife and stay at home mother because I run. I have more patience and more energy but my mind, heart and stomach struggle with the feeling of guilt that I am not spending enough time with my family. Some days the feelings of an awesome run can overcome the guilt but on the other days I still struggle.

  292. Holly permalink
    January 13, 2011 7:31 am

    My mind for sure. I am much happier content person when I run. A run centers for me and helps me face everything the day has to offer.

  293. January 13, 2011 7:32 am

    This week it was my ears. During weekday runs, I run with my shuffle and on Sat long runs with a group, so lots of chatting. On Tue, I forgot my shuffle. What I didn’t expect was to “hear” my body. My footsteps sounded rhythmic and my breathing sounded controlled and the “inside of my body” sounded in tune & at peace. Best way to decribe… euphoria.

  294. Anna permalink
    January 13, 2011 7:39 am

    My brain, without a doubt. I feel so much calmer and clearer after I run. On Modern Family, Phil had a great line about Claire. It was, “She’s like a border collie. She needs her exercise or she goes insane.” That about sums it up for me!

  295. January 13, 2011 8:44 am

    I’ve been running for a good 20 years, and still I’m suprised (and grateful) for the change of perspective a good run can provide.

  296. Jennifer permalink
    January 13, 2011 8:50 am

    Interestingly, the part that feels my running the most is (TMI?) my pubic bone. I had a mild separation of symphysis when I birthed my son (who we affectionately call Charlie Brown from time to time, owing to his large round — ouch! — head). When I’m NOT running enough my pubic bone aches a LOT; it feels better when supported by, I guess, by the strengthened musculature and ligaments in my pelvic area that result from running. Who knew!

  297. Erica R permalink
    January 13, 2011 9:30 am

    My lungs! While running just a year ago, I would gasp for air, especially on hills. It’s a great feeling now to be able to run without the gasping! And knowing that my body and my lungs have gotten much stronger and can now carry me down the road so I can enjoy my run!

  298. January 13, 2011 9:31 am

    Lately it has been my calf, my right one to be precise that is all wound up and won’t let go with out lots and lots of stretching! But my mood is the winner from running, love how much better it makes me feel!

  299. Jen permalink
    January 13, 2011 9:35 am

    My face feels it, I actually think that I smile when I am running.

  300. Theresa permalink
    January 13, 2011 9:59 am

    My legs. I absolutely love feeling the strength they’ve developed since I started running regularly back in 2007. When I’ve felt like I wanted to give up on a run, even if it was a short run, I just put my focus on my leg muscles and let them carry me through the rough spots.

  301. Laurie A. permalink
    January 13, 2011 10:17 am

    After being my nemesis, my mind has become my biggest supporter. Last weeks’ newbie quote got me thinking about running never getting easy. And then I realized, it is really not supposed to is it? And with that my perceived lack of progress (which is contrary to my Garmin data) flew out the window and I just started to run!

  302. Erinn permalink
    January 13, 2011 10:20 am

    Running definitely starts with my brain. It’s my sanity saver when I’m stressed. When I don’t want to get up and go, my mind rationalizes all the reasons why I should. Without my brain, running just would not happen!

  303. kristin permalink
    January 13, 2011 10:36 am

    my shins and my head! i just got back into running last winter and it was a slow and steady process as my shins got acclimated to the stress being placed on them – now- not so much – but i still have to be careful and remember to STRETCH afrter every run! and my head- there’s nothing like that feeling of ” i can accomplish anything!” while you’re running –

  304. Kathy permalink
    January 13, 2011 10:54 am

    My poor Achilles tendons are the main supporters (victims) of my running. Thanks to foam rollers, massage and ice baths(brrrr) I am able to forge on. My fear of the unknown is my biggest limitation; fear of never have done that many miles, fear of not finishing and fear of failing myself. I am letting go of the fear for 2011.

  305. Erica Richards permalink
    January 13, 2011 10:58 am

    My hormones! (is that a part?) I am happier, calmer, more relaxed, more patient when I run. It’s the anti-PMS. 🙂

  306. Michelle permalink
    January 13, 2011 11:23 am

    Suprisingly, it is my shoulders which carry the burden of losing my Mom to brain cancer on 12-28, managing my own 2 kids and hubby while watching over my broken-hearted dad. The little time in my day carved out for me is SO important and makes my shoulders feel better – if for a brief moment. Thanks for the chance!

  307. Wendy permalink
    January 13, 2011 1:02 pm

    The ME part of my body most supports, feels and fuels the ME part of ME!!! Yes, me, me, me! I am what supports my running and running is what supports me! You only get out what you put in and I put in the miles so I can reap the reward that makes me my best me!!!

  308. Cherylyn permalink
    January 13, 2011 3:30 pm

    It’s all about my brain. Whether plugged in or tuned out. It makes me go when I want to stop.

    What takes the most abuse? my poor feet. major bunion, gnarly toes and calluses.

  309. January 13, 2011 7:15 pm

    My brain. Like so many others, it’s my brain that benefits the most from running…and suffers the most when I don’t. It is also the most powerful part of my body in determining whether I’m going to get out there or not and how I’m feeling when I am out there. It’s also the part of me that controls where my thoughts go while running; ie: I can’t do one more mile and Think of how great you’re going to feel (and look) when this is all over.

  310. Donna M permalink
    January 13, 2011 7:49 pm

    My mind forsure..running keeps me sane. Its the only thing I do that makes me feel this way. Its my world and I control it when I run.

  311. January 13, 2011 9:29 pm

    I get shin splints, but my thighs and glutes hold out like champs. They’ve never caused me any grief (or pain or slow down) no matter how far I run.

  312. January 13, 2011 10:52 pm

    My brain. I think clearer when I run and my thoughts are what get me through those long, hard runs.

  313. January 14, 2011 11:47 am

    My face feels and shows my run. When I run my face gets all red, no matter how hot or cold it is, and no matter how far or not far I have gone. But my face continues to show my run all day through the smile that my face beams out all day. Even my 3 yr old can tell if I’ve made it out that day.

  314. Emily H permalink
    January 14, 2011 12:09 pm

    My ponytail. I read an interview somewhere (wish I could remember so I could give credit..) in which the woman said she knew she had a good stride if her ponytail didn’t bounce off her shoulders or back. As I tire, I can get pretty bouncy, but the feeling of my ponytail slapping my neck reminds me to level off and push forward, not up.

  315. Katie R permalink
    January 16, 2011 9:35 pm

    My arms have benefited from my running. Because I want to be a better runner, I have incorporated yoga and strength training into my fitness routine. As a result, my arms (and the rest of me) have become stronger. I now wear racing singlets with pride. 🙂

  316. Andrea permalink
    January 16, 2011 11:11 pm

    My skin, my complexion – when I am consistent with my running, my skin glows, has a natural flush all the time, rather than dull, pale and sallow. I love that.

  317. January 17, 2011 1:31 pm

    When I am out on a run and decide to push it (or do speed-work, which I did for the first time the other day and thought I was going to die!), it’s my lungs that feel it first. This is especially true when running at 7,000 feet where my in-laws have a cabin. My legs feel like they can keep going, but my lungs won’t allow it!

  318. Gail permalink
    January 17, 2011 6:41 pm

    Definitely my mind – it drives me forward, telling me I can do it when my legs and lungs are screaming at me to stop. The mental toughness I’ve gained from running is probably even more valuable to me than the physical benefits.

  319. January 17, 2011 9:46 pm

    Without a doubt, my head. I’ve learned that the real power to a run, is in my head. And I also need to run to clear my head!

  320. hughes064 permalink
    January 17, 2011 10:59 pm

    As my feet hit the pavement while I circle the track for another repeat, lung-burning 400 meters, my mind reminds me to me to push harder: “Only 100 more meters until a rest. Pump your arms. You’ll feel like a champ afterward.” My legs can always run, but without my mind reenforcing why I run, my miles would be simply nonexistent.

  321. Catrina permalink
    January 18, 2011 5:04 am

    My head for sure. It tells me when to run, how to run, and why I run, which is to clear my mind and to be a positive role model to my kids! It can also discourage me to run when injured or needing a day of rest.

  322. Melissa Quinn permalink
    January 18, 2011 6:58 am

    My legs — I’ve just started to run and love the rythmic feel of my legs pumping and carrying me along my route. It’s a strong, empowering feeling.

  323. Melissa permalink
    January 18, 2011 8:50 am

    My lower abs. After two c-sections, who knows what is going on down there. All I know is that when I finally got back to running, my lowers abs and hips let me know that things have definitely changed post-baby. Everyday I stare down my morphed body and try to love the new version of me even a little more than the old one. Running helps me do that.

  324. Liz Rowley permalink
    January 18, 2011 2:27 pm

    My body definitely feels it the most, heart pounding legs burning. But my mind, oh my mind, it can keep me going or can cut me short. I can push through any pain with the right focus and I have controlled myself. I LOVE the power I feel after a good run.

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