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Tips, Tricks and Gear Recommendations for Chicago Runners

Why I Run: It's Who I Am

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC Chicago's Stride blog aims to cover Chicago's dedicated running and active lifestyle committee. We've asked some of those individuals to share with us their motivation for getting out there and pounding the pavement. This is why they run.

    Why do I run? Well, when I was 6, I ran my first race. I didn’t know the distance, I just knew that I had to run and run fast. As I approached the finish line, I was in second place, but I just had to win. And I did. In high school, I ran track. I never actually won anything and only placed if the other schools forfeited. Looking back, if I’d spent more time doing intervals instead of teasing my hair, I might have done better. But I digress.

    Fast forward 10 years, I’m living in Toronto. I have two small children, and I’m a stay-at-home mom. I needed something, anything that would allow me some peace and quiet. Running was the answer, again. I completed my first 10K, which turned into a half marathon, and then, a full marathon. It took me another 10 years to qualify for Boston, but who’s counting?

    When I moved back to the U.S. and met my husband Doug, he had just qualified for Boston and encouraged me to pursue my dream. We trained together, and he crossed the finish line with me as I qualified.

    Boston. It’s hard to put into words how it felt to run this marathon. The runners know how to race, and the crowd knows how to cheer. There wasn’t a moment where I felt disheartened. Marathons are hard, but this one was pure joy.

    I’ve been running for what feels like my entire life. When I look back, I realize it’s the common theme in all of the good things I’ve done. When I was 6, running gave me confidence, and when I was 16, it gave me focus. When I was 30, running gave me solace; it also gave me the courage to realize the monumental goal of a marathon.

    There've been times in my live when I've needed a community and running provided that too. I started the Bad Angel Running Club and the rest is history.

    Running is something I share with my family, my best friends, and a community of amazing strangers. It spills into every aspect of my life.

    It’s who I am, and that’s why I run.

    Amie Bracken is a mother of four who still finds time to run and blog about it. Read more of her running advice at rulesforrunning.com. She realized her dream of running Boston in 2011, and now sticks to the half marathon. Follow her on Twitter at @muffinbracken and at the Bad Angel Running Club.