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Part of a series of runner profiles we’ll be featuring throughout the summer

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The Run to Home Base in 2014, the first time that a race really felt meaningful.

It’s not about being fast. It’s the feeling when I finish the run – a feeling like all the troubles and stresses of the day have (at least temporarily) lifted and flown away. I chase that feeling every day.

I started running in college as a way to get out of my own head for a little while and explore the nuances of the city. I quickly fell in love with it, but had trouble finding balance. I was either running all the time or not running at all.

I think there are two huge struggles we all face with running or fitness: learning how to meaningfully fit it into a hectic, busy daily life, and feeling like you’re not good enough.

It seems like there’s always something that can get in the way, and as an all-or-nothing kind of gal, it was either more more more, more running, more workouts, more meal prep – or no miles at all. Clearly unsustainable for health and happiness, right? And missing the whole point of why I run. Further, it seems like all you see all over Instagram is people posting pictures of all the miles they ran, the stats on their watch (I am guilty of this on more than one occasion!) When’s the last time you scrolled through the discover feature on Instagram and felt better about yourself for having done it?

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My team at Ragnar Reach the Beach, which was by far the most fun athletic experience I’ve ever had.

After some lengthy reflection and self-discovery (we’re talking years, not like sitting down one afternoon), I’ve come back to the center of why I run, and in the process have rediscovered my love of the sport. It’s not about looking good on Strava, and it’s not for a hot bod. I run because it forces me to get okay with discomfort. Human beings instinctively go out of their way to avoid being uncomfortable or in pain. Running forces us to choose – deal with it and keep pushing, or quit. Sounds a little bit like life, doesn’t it?

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A view from my run through Dingle, Ireland on a vacation a few years ago.

So even if I’m having a crazy day and can only get out for 20 minutes, I really try to do it. Sometimes I succeed, and sometimes I don’t. When I do succeed in getting my shoes on and getting out the door, I never regret it.


RELATED CONTENT: [Why Do I Run: Katie’s Story] [Why Do I Run: Kathy’s Story] [Why Do I Run: Ailish’s Story] [Why Do I Run: Preston’s Story] [Why Do I Run: Joe’s Story] [Why Do I Run: Tiffany’s Story]