Why I Am A Distance Runner

TORONTO. June 6th. Our fourth blog in the “Road to #STWM” series comes from Digital Champion Lori Christopher. Injury has stopped Lori in her quest for 42.2 before, but it’s not going to stop her this year! Follow Lori’s training journey on Twitter, and connect with her and other runners via our Epilogger SOCIAL HUB.

Why I Am A Distance Runner. By Lori Christopher

I never would have imagined that I would be a runner, let alone a distance runner.

Running started for me as a way to help my daughter feel better about herself. I never imagined that it would so completely change my life. I always thought I would just be a 5 to 10k runner and I swore up and down that I would never run a half marathon, let alone a full.

Was I ever wrong!

My journey to being a distance runner started with a crazy idea that I could run the 30k Around the Bay race. There was so much hype and excitement at my running club that I just had to do it. I was assured by everyone that if I put in the time and effort I could do it. 9 months after I laced up my shoes for the first time, I did it.

I have a Type A personality; I’m your typical overachiever. My drive to push myself makes me need to be faster and go farther. It’s part of the reason that I am a distance runner. There are always faster times to be had and bigger distances to conquer. I thrive on the challenge.

That being said, the biggest reason that I am a distance runner is my parents.

My mom has early onset Alzheimer’s and is in the late stages of the disease, even though she is still in her 50s. To say that life has been tough is an understatement. Losing someone you love little by little is hard to get through everyday. It’s been a long, hard road watching (and helping) my parents navigate this road and running is what gets me through.

Running has been my therapy, comfort and refuge. Running has give me an outlet for stress and a place to decompress. Running has saved my sanity.

Running gives me time alone, to sort out my thoughts and to put some miles (both literally and figuratively) between my mind and the stress eating away at it. It gives me freedom to just be me. When I run, I’m not somebody’s daughter, wife, or mother – I am just another runner pounding the pavement.

The further I run, the more I feel like me. Although I am not as carefree as I once was, when I run I forget everything and just feel the pure joy of running. My mind is clear and I belong to me.

When runs get tough and I begin to doubt myself, I think of my parents and keep on going. In my heart I feel my dad and the love that drives him to take care of my mother, and in my mind’s eye I see my mom in her wheelchair and know that I am not just running for me, but I’m running for her because she can’t.

I am a distance runner and I run because I can.

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