Ask Yourself: What’s Your Ultimate Running Motivation?

Throughout the year, we've relied on our Role Mothers for advice, tips, support on everything from training logs to nutrition, so it's only natural we ask them...why? Why do they run? What's their ultimate running motivation? Check out their answers below and tell us if any resonate with you below in the comments section. (Raise your hand if you love the alone time!)

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Ashley, the beginner
My initial motivation to start running was for myself. A half marathon was on my bucket list and I wanted to lose that last little bit of baby weight. About half way through training my motivation shifted. My half marathon goal remained the same but I had already proven to myself through my training how strong I could be, both physically and mentally. Now my motivation is to be a great #RoleMother for my daughter. I quickly found that running is much more than just distance and time. It is determination, persistence, and goal setting... All things I want my daughter to learn to achieve. I want to lead by example, showing her to set high goals and then work hard to crush them!

Ashley's daughter, Reese. We're pretty sure that's a jogging stroller.


Nicole, the regular runner
My biggest motivation to continue running is me, quite frankly. It’s my overall health and wellness. Running makes me feel active and connected to the spinning world outside. As a writer, I spend a lot of time in my own head, thinking about stories and characters and lives that our not my own. Hitting road to run lets me reconnect to the life being lived outside my head. Plus, while running, my mind gets to wander freely. Running also makes me feel strong and committed to something. I like providing this example of putting my health first to my seven-year-old son. It feels good to see him seeing me get out there and put my time and energy into something that takes work.

Melissa, the marathoner
My biggest motivation for running continues to be my sanity. I crave the alone time, the endorphins, the tired yet completely satisfying feeling I get after a long run. I do my best thinking while running, as if somehow my mind can better process the ups and downs of life with each of my strides. Sweating is a cathartic experience for me, and I rarely return from a run not more calm, centered, and inspired than I was before I left. Oh, and I like baked goods (my secondary motivation!).

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So much for alone time. A recent Instagram from Melissa with the following caption: Just trying to get one damn run in this week. I've been out here 10 minutes and my phone has rang 4 times with kids calling me asking me what we're doing today. UNFREAKIN-BELIEVABLE. I literally have to RUN in 80 degrees to get a kid break and its STILL NOT A BREAK. No. Words. #leavemealone #motherrunner #amrrolemother #thisisbullcrap


Pam, the grandmother
My back went out the middle of May, I have a narrowing that causes sciatic pain down my right leg. Had an injection May 26 and I haven't been able to run. But I can walk, ride my bike, and do the SSSC exercises that don't cause pain. And of course foam roll. So my perpetual motivation is to stay healthy.

Tania, the sputterer
My BRFs. We check in with each other. We motivate, support, and complain to each other. If I have someone to run with, even better! The company makes the miles go faster. For some reason it's easier to disappoint myself than to disappoint someone else, so I try harder when I run with someone. Although it may be hard to start, I never regret getting out there and getting a run done. BRFs are the best!

Who else can you dress up with like this? Tania with her BRFs.


Sarah, the triathlete
Why do it? Because if I didn't, I'd be living my life in a perpetual state of FOMO. Because I'd be checking race results every week, wistfully wondering where I'd stack up among the names. Because without a long bike ride, or a track workout, or a swim, I'd go through my days like a shaken-up soda bottle, full of frenetic energy and ready to explode at any second. Sure, if I didn't train or race, I'd probably find another passion, or another activity to pour my heart and soul into. But would it offer as much as a return on the investment as running and triathlon does? Not likely, at least for me. The reason I run, the reason I race is because it is a permanent part of my being. I thrive on goal setting, on chasing dreams, on achieving personal victories. There are few things in life that offer that sense of satisfaction, and as long as my legs and lungs can carry me past those finish lines, I'll continue to cross them.

Tell us: What's *your* ultimate motivation?

5 responses to “Ask Yourself: What’s Your Ultimate Running Motivation?

  1. I run to keep my diabetes under control. I started walking 10 years ago when I was diagnosed with DM2, When the walking wasn’t as much of a challenge, I started running. I’m running for my life. At 60, I am stronger and feel better and more fit than I did in my 40’s.

  2. I run for health…physical and mental. I work full time, kids and husband and a lot of stress. My dad got type 2 diabeites when he was in is 40s and has suffered terribly. When I hit that age, I said, No way is that happening to me! I’m 51 and very healthy, training for my 5th marathon.

  3. My running has fostered my love and connection to nature and the outdoors but it is my health and total well-being that got me going and remains the truest reason why I put one foot in front of the other.

  4. I began running to combat postpartum depression. It helped me find light in a very dark world. Now, I run to race half marathons in all 50 states, I run to challenge my perception of what I can and cannot do, I run to stay fit and able to keep up with my kids… But when it all comes down to it, I run for my mental health and so that I can be a better mom. I’d continue to run for that reason, even if all the other reasons went away.

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