Why I Run: Rachelle Kuramoto

This is from a trail race that I love to do each fall.

I will never forget the first time I went out for a run. I was in high school, and had a rare argument with my parents (about something silly, to be sure). Frustrated, I headed out the door not knowing what I was planning to do. I started to run. Not far, and not fast, but to this day, I can recall the sense of clarity that it created.

At the time, I was a dancer. That run was an isolated moment during that season of life.

This is from Colorado this past summer. My husband, Kenji, and I hiked our kids Sam (10) and Stella (newly 8) up into the Maroon Bells (near Aspen) to the spot where we got engaged. It was a long hike for the kids, but so worth it to share that special place with them.

I married my college sweetheart after finishing graduate school and we rescued Nellie – a sweet pup that came with lots of energy. My husband and I were both working demanding jobs, and I felt it was my responsibility to exercise our pup before leaving her cooped up all day. And so, I ran. But still, it wasn’t a passion. It was a way to exercise the dog – and myself – efficiently, before heading to the office.

Nellie is 13 now. She can’t run with me. Little Ruthie has taken that role now, and still I run. All this time, I have used running for stress relief, weight control, efficient exercise…functional reasoning. But today, running is so much more. It is mine, and it is a passion.

My titles include mom, entrepreneur, PTA president, race organizer, preschool ministry coordinator - and runner. Three years ago, my BRF decided we would run the Disney Princess HM together. Rather than argue, I started to train.

It was in those miles, run simply for the joy of running, that I discovered I am a runner.

Since then, I’ve laid down thousands of miles, taken almost 30 minutes off my HM time, found muscles I never knew I’d been blessed with, and become more thoughtful and contemplative. Yes, running is stress relief. It is weight control. It’s a way to exercise my active dog. But it’s also an important part of who I am.

In a nutshell, I run…

–             For the challenge

–             Because the bar can be pushed farther and farther, and I enjoy chasing it

–             Because I’m a risk-averse adrenaline junkie

–             To hear myself breathe

–             To think

–             For an appetite

–             Time for myself

–             For music pumping in my ears

–             For prayers in my mind and heart

–             For ideas and creativity

–             To be a good listener and friend

–             To be listened to

–             To feel strong

–             To feel sexy

–             To push myself when I feel like quitting

–             To race

–             For the tears of joy at the finish line

–             For the sun rise

–             To be on a trail

–             To know that my family is proud of me

–             To be an example of perseverance and health for my children

–             To be proud of myself

–             To ward off the diabetes that plagues my father

My family and friends know that I am a runner. While I don’t talk about it constantly, they know that I’m up early and running or training. They see that on holidays I’m wearing sweaty running gear and a big smile (not pajamas) at breakfast. I share my love of running by taking friends (and even my husband – when he’s agreeable to it!) with me, and by running with my children and encouraging them. I love to encourage others, and running is a perfect vehicle.

It may not be that I am a runner at my core (though I suspect that may be the case) – it is because I am a runner that I have found the core of who I am.

Check out Rachelle's blog here. She's currently training for her first marathon in Tallahassee on February 3. She's training "with a dear BAMR Gail Nestor," who was featured on our site last year

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