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#WhyIMove: Bad Habits to Health and Happiness- Pam M.

I never really imagined myself becoming an endurance athlete when I grew up. I ran track in middle school and the early part of high school but I didn’t enjoy running much. In fact, I hated anything running long! For several years I didn’t run. In fact I was the opposite of a runner. I was a smoker (I know gross right?), I ate too much fast food, I drank too much – you know all that stuff that typical young adults do. It wasn’t really a healthy lifestyle by any means.

In my mid-20s right around the time, I was finishing grad school I decided to make a change. I wanted to be a better example for my then 8 or 9-year-old daughter. I didn’t want her to think smoking was a good choice! I quit smoking – basically cold turkey for Mothers Day back in 2005. I never looked back…but I did gain a few pounds, which made me start getting into running again. I remember barely being able to run 400 or 800 meters but slowly it turned into a mile, 2 miles and before I knew it I was signed up for my first 5K! That was a big, scary goal for me back then but I did it. Before I knew it I was hooked on running and being healthy.

I was running a 5K almost every weekend and soon doing a 10K, half marathon and then a marathon. I would never have thought I could do all that! It gave me confidence in myself and my daughter Marley was there to cheer me on. My love of the sport continued to grow! I ran many marathons and finally after some hard work I qualified to run the Boston Marathon with a time of 3:35! I completed many triathlons including a half dozen half ironmans and a couple full iron distance races as well. I completed a few 50ks and then last year I completed my first 100-mile ultramarathon! Today my daughter is 22 years old and I am trying to get her to run with me!

My love of running and being active is still going strong –  I am signed up for my second 100 mile run this summer and planning to do some triathlons and maybe bike races as well!

Why do I continue to run and workout day after day, year after year? Here are some of the things that keep me motivated:

  • Endurance sports have become a part of who I am. I am not just a runner but running is one of the things that I think defines me in part.
  • I love setting running goals and working towards them and of course, achieving them!
  • Running helps me set a good example for my daughter, stepkids and other family and friends.
  • My husband met through running and we train together so it’s a shared interest for both of us and it keeps us both going.

  • Running reminds me that I am strong mentally and physically and that I am free. I define my own plan, my own goals, my own limits
  • I like meeting other runners and seeing them at races and training runs. Running friends are the best! And this year I have a ton of new running sisters thanks to becoming a Skirt Sports ambassador!
  • I like feeling healthy and strong and capable of pushing myself to be faster – even as I grow older.
  • Running is always there for me on the good days, the bad days and the mediocre days that just float by.
  • After a race, I like to reward myself with a good craft beer or ice cream and I feel like I have done something healthy to earn it!
Why do you run? What got you started? What keeps you going on the days when your motivation is running low?