This Valentine's Day, Hoppe Feet outlines the top 12 reasons she loves running.

For The Love Of Running

Even as a child, I loved nothing more than running. My parents tell me that my first spoken sentence was, “I want down!” And when I was put down, I was off and running. In elementary school, I can vividly remember my excitement for “mile day!” In fact, in third grade, I indicated in my end-of-year report that my greatest accomplishment was, “Getting an A+ on the mile.” My love for running has grown and evolved over the years.

So, instead of a dozen roses this Valentine’s Day, below are the top 12 reasons why I absolutely adore running:

  1. Romance revealer: Our mutual love of running was the first thing over which my now-husband Matt and I bonded. While we later discovered many additional common interests and values, our shared passion for running was the first thing that we loved about one another. We even ran a marathon the week before our wedding; if that’s not true love, I’m not sure what is.
  2. Friendship finder: Running has enabled me to form lifelong friendships. The running community is comprised of such down-to-earth, driven, friendly and uplifting folks. Ever since high school, I have found that building friendships with other runners comes easily, and I have running to thank for some of my most cherished friendships.
  3. Constant challenge: I am always seeking new ways to challenge myself physically. I love that running provides a perfect method to do just that. With each new training cycle, daily run and race, there is an opportunity to improve. Whether I am chasing a new personal record or completing a new course, I love setting ambitious goals and working hard to achieve them.
  4. Exceptional elites: Thanks to social media, it is incredibly easy to follow the training regimens and race performances of my favorite elite runners. I love tracking their journeys and using them as inspiration.
  5. Hugely humbling: Another product of following elite athletes is that my pride is always kept in check. With each of my successes, I am reminded that there is someone faster and stronger than I am.
  6. Mood mender: If I am having a bad day, going for a run is a surefire way to make me feel better. Whether I am sad, angry or frustrated, running improves my mood.
  7. Energy enhancer: Similarly, if I am tired, running is my elixir of choice. As counter-intuitive as it may seem, I get more energy after running; the endorphins provide me with an immediate energy boost.
  8. Crystal clear: Anyone who knows me knows that overthinking is something I do very well. However, while running I am able to put my overthinking tendencies on hold. Miraculously, while moving my body, my mind is able to rest. Because of this, I am often able to solve many of my daily problems and challenges while running.
  9. Healthy habit: Knowing that running is good for my body is an added benefit. Over the years, running has encouraged me to adopt other healthy habits, such as daily crunches and strength training. Running has also helped me improve my nutrition; I try to choose meals and snacks that will provide optimal energy for my runs.
  10. Race ready: I truly love racing. I revel in the competitive atmosphere, the opportunity to push myself and the post-race celebrations. However, as much as I adore racing, I also love getting race ready. The months of training and preparation are often just as enjoyable for me as the race itself. I view the race as the cherry on top of a gratifying training cycle.
  11. Travel time: Matt and I love taking our love for running on the road. We plan our vacations around destination races, which we use as an excuse to visit new cities and countries: from Quebec to Iceland, Las Vegas to Philly and Chicago to Phoenix. We are always looking for our next running adventure.
  12. Great gear: There is nothing better than a brand new pair of running shoes. Well, maybe new tank tops, running tights or a new GPS watch! As running has gained popularity and become more mainstream, running and fitness companies have stepped up their game. Gear and gadgets are more fashionable and functional than ever. Gone are the days of running in soffe shorts and using apps like MapMyRun to calculate my mileage retroactively.

Related:

10 Romantic Quotes That Perfectly Describe Our Love For Running

5 Perfect Running Date Ideas You Haven’t Thought Of Yet

10 Ways New Running Routines Are Like New Relationships