Stop! Enjoy the Run!

Encouragement to runners of all levels.

When I began my running journey a few years ago, I had no idea what to expect. I was always a
fan-girl of runners. I admired their perseverance and found it unfathomable that their legs
could carry them for miles upon miles. It’s hard to believe that now, I too am a runner; and I am
so proud.

As I started training for the 2020 Chevron Marathon I was mentally at my lowest. I had 50
pounds of extra weight from carrying two precious babies, and my endurance was low. I was
about to begin the journey through separation and divorce, and I was wrecked.

But, running saved my life.

When I first began, I could barely run one mile without stopping. By the end of training, I
finished with a nine-mile long run before tapering down before the 13.1-mile half marathon!
I’m still so proud of myself. I truly believe anyone with a strong will, a little guts, grit, and
determination can do it. And it’s so worth it!

Getting out there and releasing natural endorphins was game-changing.

Long run Saturdays are now my favorite day of the week. Getting out with my running friends
and hitting the pavement early before the world begins stirring is something special. The
running community is unlike anything I’ve experienced. It has all types of people, all walks of
life, and we have one common bond. We encourage each other, push each other, motivate
each other, and as we run, we have deep, heartfelt conversations. They nourish my soul. My
running group (a part of Northside Running and Tri) calls it ‘run therapy’, which is so fitting.

So, here is my encouragement to you, runner. Whether you’re just starting out, experienced,
pro, or elite. Whether you have a running group or run solo, my advice is the same.

Stop! Take a minute. Quit worrying quite so much about your next PR or your current training
schedule. There’s a time for that, definitely. But make sure that you are stopping to enjoy the

There is so much I have learned about myself and running since those beginning moments. I
know that I am an imperfect woman who has carried grief and trauma, but who knows deep
hope thanks to my faith in God, and believe it or not… running. I know that I tend to carry the
weight of the world on my shoulders and it’s hard to release. Unexpectedly, running has
become a natural therapy that helps stabilize me, clears my mind, and helps release tension
and anxiety. Running has been a lifeline, and it can be for you too.

Every run is significant. As runners, we must remember that. We all have a ‘why’. Don’t lose
sight of it.

  • Stop. Take a deep breath, friend. Breathe in the air, spread your wings and let go!
  • Stop. Listen to your heart. Listen to your body.
  • Stop. Smile while you run… it’s incredible to release joy through a simple smile. A
    passerby may look at you like you’re crazy, but hey, give them something to ponder.
  • Stop. Laugh while you run.
  • Stop. Cry while you run. That’s what sunglasses are for, right?
  • Stop. Enjoy your run.

If you’re an elite or professional runner and facing burnout, I challenge you to ditch your
mileage tracker and run for fun. Listen to music, meditate or pray. Get back to your roots.

Stop! Enjoy the run. Recenter. Now, go!

Your mind and heart will thank you.


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