Name Your 5K Giveaway

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Wise words:


My allergic reaction seems to have subsided.  I guess all I needed was Benadryl, macaroni and cheese, and a good night’s rest.  My arms still look sunburnt, but I feel fine.  Thank goodness! 


We got room service for breakfast:


Steel cut oatmeal with brown sugar and bananas. 


We stayed at Le Meridien, a very swanky hotel in Center City Philadelphia.  This is actually my second time staying here, and I would highly recommend it!  Great location, cool décor, and wonderful room service.  Heh.   We’re switching to the official wedding hotel for tonight, which I hear is equally amazing.


IMG_0257 IMG_0261

Rooms are normally $250-ish but we snagged a spot for $120 through Priceline!  Love that website. 



In fact, Le Meridien is so cool that they have a Fitness Centre, not a fitness center.  Swank all around.


After breakfast digested, I hit the gym, challenged my inner honey badger,  and did a speedy 5K workout similar to the Camel Humps interval program.


I worked up to 7.5 mph sprints and held that speed for a full minute.  I was pretty proud of myself… it was hard, but I held on!  I find it’s easier to hold a sprint when you’re listening to really good music and can zone out – and you can’t stare at the clock on the treadmill!  Watching the seconds slowly tick down is like torture.


Megan introduced me to The Cataracts station on Pandora.  It’s perfect running music.  I play it on my iPhone.


Fun giveaway for you guys!


While I was pounding out my 5K this morning, I was thinking how the 5K distance is so perfect for runners of all levels and experiences.  If you’re totally new to running, a 5K race is ideal because you can train for it in just eight weeks using a program like Couch to 5K.  If you’re more experienced, a 5K race is a great distance to test your speed.  And if you just want to be active and have fun, a 5K provides a challenge without being too much of a commitment.


So – I’m giving away an entry to ANY 5K.  That’s right – if you win, name your 5K and I’ll buy you a race entry. 


Simply leave a comment telling me what running means to you.  Why do you run?  Why do you want to get started?  I’ll pick a winner tomorrow morning.



  • Jamie@ Food in Real Life September 9, 2011, 10:49 am

    I’m not running right now, so I’ll leave my spot open to another reader. Just wanted to say that this is an awesome giveaway idea! Very creative and thoughtful. Have fun in Philly! I got married in the city two years ago at the Crystal Tea Room. I can’t wait to see where your friend is having her wedding!

  • Allison September 9, 2011, 10:52 am

    To me, running is peace, joy, fun, and character building. I’m so glad I stuck with it!

  • Caitlin September 9, 2011, 10:55 am

    I’ve been running for the last eight years, ever since my sophomore year of high school when my favorite teacher convinced me to join the cross country team (which he also happened to coach). The rest is history! I love the sense of accomplishment I get after a good run, and now that I’m in grad school, it serves as an incredible stress-reliever. Because of my years of running, I don’t truly feel like I’ve worked out unless I’m covered in sweat (gross, I know). I’m doing my first half marathon next month, and I can’t wait!

    Thanks for the giveaway, Caitlin!

  • Khushboo September 9, 2011, 10:55 am

    Running to me is a healthy drug–> it gives me a buzz every time without fail!

  • Carolina John September 9, 2011, 10:58 am

    but wait… Honey Badger doesn’t give a shit!

    I’ve recently gotten hooked on runners high endorphins.

  • Margaret September 9, 2011, 10:59 am

    I didn’t realize how much running meant to me (health, fitness, freedom, stress release) until I pulled something in the back of my knee while doing an easy jog last night. Trying to get an appointment with the doctor today. Hoping I can at least walk the HSWC 5K in 2 weeks. I feel like my world has stopped. 🙁

  • Sara September 9, 2011, 11:00 am

    Running to me is my alone time! I get my workout done, but I also get time alone to think, to rock out to my music, and to feel accomplished when I’m done.

    There’s a 5K right near my house next weekend. I haven’t signed up! In all my years of running, I’ve never done a race. I just do it for me, but I can’t stop thinking that I should just do a race already, especially one that’s right by my house!

  • Natalie September 9, 2011, 11:01 am

    I started running about a year ago as a means to get in shape, but the surprising and most beneficial part about it has been the boost in my confidence and self esteem! I find that running helps me believe in myself. There’s nothing like the feeling of accomplishment after reaching a new goal, whether that be a new distance record or speed! I am so proud of how far I have come and running has helped me feel so much better about myself!

  • Jenny September 9, 2011, 11:02 am

    I’m just getting into running for the first time, but somehow ended up running Hood to Coast with some friends last month. I had the longest leg – 8.1 miles…and even though I walked a lot of it, I felt so proud afterwards. I love running because it gives me that amazing sense of accomplishment.

  • Amy Q September 9, 2011, 11:03 am

    Running = my Prozac.

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife September 9, 2011, 11:04 am

    I love running outside because it is peaceful, energizing, and a great way to think! I love reaching new goals and running new races too 🙂

    Love your idea of a great b-fast!!

  • Kate (What Kate is Cooking) September 9, 2011, 11:05 am

    Running has made me so self-confident! I’ve never found a hobby I enjoy quite so much, and the feeling of training hard for a race and crossing the finish line is incomparable.

  • Allie September 9, 2011, 11:05 am

    I’ve only been running for about a year, and it hasn’t been easy at all. I think running is something that makes me improve on myself everyday, and gives me goals.

  • Devonshire September 9, 2011, 11:07 am

    Running means freedom to me. In high school i was an avid runner on the track team. (8:30 min/mile!!!) But as i progressed to college, life after college and marriage, i gained over 80 pounds and stopped running. I want to start running again to loose weight, but i miss the freedom that came with running. Running was my hobby, my ‘high’, my way to escape my reality. I did treasure the alone time to collect my thoughts or not think at all. Whether i win or not i’m aiming to start C25K and run in the Mainely Moose 5k in October in Portland, ME.

    Thanks for writing your blog! I always look forward to a new entry, recipe or just reading about your adventures. I hope everything is going well with your new book and have fun in Philly!

  • Karla September 9, 2011, 11:09 am

    I want to get started running because today I am starting a grueling treatment and the side effects are suppose to be horrible. I want to start running as an outlet and I pray that it works!

  • Elizabeth @ reads recipes runs September 9, 2011, 11:09 am

    I am getting back into running as we speak! Ok well not literally, unless you count sitting at my desk…

    I’ve had an interesting relationship with running and it dawned on me how much I miss it. I signed up for a half at the end of January so I am planning on a 5K in mid October. I’m excited to race agian! It’s been a few years 🙂 I run because it helps me realize that there is so much more to life… it’s freeing and invigorating, and I love it!

  • Christine September 9, 2011, 11:12 am

    I run because as a busy mom, wife, and violin teacher it is my “me” time. Running helps me de-stress and has helped me lose 30lbs so far. When I started running 3 years ago it was so good for me mentally and physically that I was able to go off my ADHD medication – it’s my natural medicine 🙂

  • Krysty September 9, 2011, 11:13 am

    I run for my Mom. She is a 4 time cancer survivor. She received her 5th diagnosis in July. You can read more about her story here- (sorry to plug my site- but maybe people want to know)
    I run because I can, I run because I am stong enough. It’s not always a stress reliever, it’s not always fun- but I CAN. Not everyone can. I run for Natalie my TNT teammate and Leukemia survivor who passed this spring from an infection, while training for a marathon, I run for Alie, a 9 year old who lost her battle with Leukemia just a few weeks ago very suddenly. I run because it makes me feel free. And now I will be running to inspire girls for GOTR!

  • Jan September 9, 2011, 11:14 am

    I run so I can keep eating all of my favorite foods as I age and to let my kids know you always need to stay active to live a long fun filled happy life!:)

  • Kelly September 9, 2011, 11:15 am

    I run to feel strong. I run to push myself. I run to feel myself getting faster. I run because it helps me sleep. I run because it quiets my nerves.
    I run because running is the glue that keeps me together.

  • Carly September 9, 2011, 11:16 am

    Running makes me feel like an athlete! I never played sports growing up and always felt so awkward doing anything active. I signed up for my first 5K in October, the Run for the Cure (breast cancer fundraiser)and have been training for it religiously. Running made me realize I am not awkward, and I am totally capable of being athletic. It also clears my mind, keeps me calm and centered and makes me feel a sense of accomplishment. If I win your contest I’m hoping you will donate the amount of my sign up fee to the cause because I’ve already paid to sign up.

  • Julie (A Case of the Runs) September 9, 2011, 11:17 am

    I ran because I saw other people doing it and thought I MUST be able to do it, too!

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) September 9, 2011, 11:18 am

    Running is my proof that I can go beyond what everyone expects of me and expect more. I run to keep my back healthy, to build my endurance and to be sane. Running gives me something to do for me.

  • Hannah Hawley September 9, 2011, 11:18 am

    I run because it is not easy for me. I started running because I wanted to do a triathlon. I kept running because it is hard, it is a challenge, and I have so much room for improvement.

  • Claire September 9, 2011, 11:18 am

    Running empowers me. I have completed two marathons and whenever I do something difficult, I say to myself, “if I have run two marathons, I can do this.”

  • Michelle September 9, 2011, 11:19 am

    I’ve always wanted to be a runner; it just doesn’t come easy to me. But I’m challenging myself to complete a half marathon before my 30th birthday! So a 5k would be a good starting point to get me in gear 🙂

  • Lindsay September 9, 2011, 11:19 am

    I run because it makes me feel strong. I have only been running consistently for 6 months but I am already feeling better about myself, my life and I am in love (with running that is….well and my husband too).

  • Erin September 9, 2011, 11:19 am

    Awesome giveaway! I run because it’s given me a new appreciation for my body. Instead of caring about having skinny legs, I’m proud to have legs that power me through mile after mile.

  • hippierunner September 9, 2011, 11:19 am

    I run because it keeps me sane and makes me feel strong!

  • Gillian @ That's G September 9, 2011, 11:20 am

    What a great giveaway!

    I’ve been running since 5th grade (youth track) and then I did cross-country and track in high school, and then transitioned to Half Marathons. I’m training for my first marathon now, and am excited about it! Running for me is a great de-stressor, and it is a constant in my life where if I put in the time, I will see improvement and results. The benefits are endless – I love how a good long run lets me zone out and listen to some great music and lets my mind wander, and I get to be outside in nature!

  • Faith September 9, 2011, 11:22 am

    I’m planning on running my first 5k at the end of October. I started running because I needed a new form of exercise that challenged me. Before July, I had never ran longer than a mile and a half, and now, I am over three and a half! I love seeing my progress and having the goal of a race really challenges me to stick to a routine. 🙂

  • Laura Jean 2 September 9, 2011, 11:22 am

    I lost 50lbs. training for my first 5K using the C25K program. It took me 1 year vs. 9 weeks of training, but I DID IT. I DID IT. I “ran” my first 5K in 30:20 on August 27, 2011. I am most proud I have inspired my husband to train for a 5K now too. I am going to do it again in 2012. I would love for you to buy my race entry.

  • katie @ KatieDid September 9, 2011, 11:23 am

    no need to enter me, but I think that’s an awesome idea for a giveaway. Your very creative and thoughtful!

  • Julie September 9, 2011, 11:24 am

    I started running with my mom when I was 6 years old and never looked back (well, ok, when they made me run for my allowance in middle school, I wasn’t super pleased…) Running has made ALL the difference with my health. When I finally stopped running to look “good” or lose weight, and focused on strength, health, and speed, my entire lifestyle changed!

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen September 9, 2011, 11:24 am

    Running has for me has been the way to reidentify myself as an athlete. Growing up I played soccer from age 4-19. When I stopped in college, I honestly felt lost without the “athlete” tag. When I started running 8 years later, it brought back all the things I missed so much of athletic competition: pushing my body to new extremes, seeing the physical and mental benefits and honestly just being all around more happy!

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen September 9, 2011, 11:24 am

    PS- awesome giveaway!

  • Shrinking mommy of 2 September 9, 2011, 11:25 am

    When I first started running it was to lose more weight. I had been exercising for awhile and wanted to give it a try. So I signed up for a 5k and started in! But now I am still running for exercise but more. I run because it helps me focus on the day or life in general, feel strong and helps me realize I can do ANYTHING I put my mind to! It is amazing how good I feel afterwards.

  • Lauren September 9, 2011, 11:25 am

    I identify myself as a runner (former cross country runner and cross country coach), but truthfully haven’t been in good running shape in a while. In the last four years, I’ve spent all but six months either pregnant or breastfeeding. My second daughter was born nine weeks ago, and I’m ready to lace up my shoes and again feel the confidence in myself that running always has given me. Not to mention the “me” time that going for a run affords a new mama! I want to feel strong and be strong to take good care of my girls and be a positive role model for them.

  • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday September 9, 2011, 11:25 am

    nice to see they spell ‘centre’ correctly 😉

  • Ashley A September 9, 2011, 11:26 am

    I’m a new follower to your blog as of this week. I’ve been looking for new recipe ideas and omg you post the best ideas. Thank you soooo much for sharing! 🙂

    I just started running about a year and a half ago. I run because I want to stay healthy (lungs and heart) and I needed to find some type of exercise I love. I’ve never ran a 5k or a marathon. I’ve thought about it, but just been intimidated. Winning would be the PERFECT push to get me going.

  • Gavi @ Gavi Gets Going! September 9, 2011, 11:27 am

    To me, running means feeling strong, happy, and centered. I love the sense of peace and relaxation that comes over me during a great run, and I enjoy the challenge of a tough run. Thanks for the chance to win this great giveaway!

  • Danielle September 9, 2011, 11:27 am

    Running means HEALTH. I began running about 2 years ago, when my aunt was very ill with cancer. I took a look around and realized that, cancer aside, my family was not healthy. My parents were overweight — my dad is in his early 50s, smokes, and has already had heart surgery. While running won’t prevent cancer or heart disease, it’s certainly a good place to start. After I began running, my parents made an effort to healthify their lives as well!!! Seeing me be so active encouraged them to get fit — they take evening walks together now and have both lost weight.

    Sorry for such a long comment, but it’s something I have become very passionate about. Love your blog! Thanks for doing this.

  • Kaitlin September 9, 2011, 11:27 am

    Running to me is a way of getting somewhere. As I’m now beginning my 18th consecutive year of formal education (I’m a 2nd year Masters student), I sometimes feel stuck and like I’m not accomplishing anything. Running helps abate my anxiety and allows me to reflect on the metaphorical and literal distance that I’ve covered.

  • Tania September 9, 2011, 11:27 am

    I run because 70 pounds ago, that didn’t seem possible. I wonder what it will seem like another 50 pounds from now (goal weight). Finished my first 5K this weekend (okay it was really, really, really slow) but eager for the next.

  • Tori September 9, 2011, 11:27 am

    Hey Caitlin! Awesome giveaway idea…you are always so inspiring (and generous!) Anyways, throughout all the craziness in my life: moving to 3 different states in 3 years, going to undergraduate then grad school, working during my dietetic internship, makeups and breakups…running has been the one constant I have found I can rely on. Running has helped me make new friends, learn my way around the city (or country depending on where I am!), keep my sanity, and makes me stronger every day. However, this past summer has been rough: while I should have been excited that I finished grad school, my internship, and found a great new job, I tore my ACL and meniscus on a jog through the sand dunes with my dog and boyfriend. I had surgery to repair the torn ligaments, but was ordered not to run for at least 2 1/2 months. I have FINALLY been cleared to run again and I am looking for a 5k to sign up for as my first run post injury. I have made a goal to come back stronger and faster than ever! Whether or not I win an entrance fee from you, I am determined to get back on the horse and rock it out! 🙂

  • Wendi @ A Southern Yogi September 9, 2011, 11:28 am

    I started out running because I wanted to lose weight and be fit. Then I liked it because of the camaraderie. Now, I use it as time with myself and time to meditate. I love going on long runs with no music and just being quiet. I get into a no thinking mindset really easily while I’m running and I enjoy the time to not have to worry about anything else.

  • Cari September 9, 2011, 11:30 am

    Running means freedom to me. I used to hate running, but when I suffered a severe shin injury that lasted for over 2 years, running became something that was taken away from me. Now that I’m finally able to run without the excruciating pain I used to experience, running has become a privilege and a gift. When I run, I’m so thankful that my body is able to do it– after all, I know what it’s like to be on the other side.

  • Jen September 9, 2011, 11:32 am

    I don’t want to up the cheese factor too much by saying that running means everything to me, but it certainly means a lot. As a child I could not run, I got out of breath quickly and gave up. I never had anyone encourage me to keep trying or teach me how to breathe properly. About two years ago I began running on my own – reading up on form, breathing, etc, and trying everything until I found what worked for me. I might not be amazing or incredibly speedy but I can definitely (and proudly!) call myself a runner. To me running is my favorite form of exercise, the best way to make my heart pound, my favorite stress reducer. It’s what prevents me from snapping at my coworkers and family, from having too much wine after a long day at work, and from caring if I have one too many slices of pizza. I don’t know where I would be without it, it really is one of my most favorite things on earth.

  • Amanda September 9, 2011, 11:32 am

    Fun giveaway! Nowadays running means getting my butt in gear about my IT band issues. I’m all about committing to that foam roller!

  • Mel September 9, 2011, 11:32 am

    I actually just posted about my experiences with running starting in high school. It hasn’t always been easy, but it’s been a constant standby in my life. I feel like you can stop running for weeks, months, or even years but decide one day to lace up your shoes and hit the pavement. It’s very cool like that. These are the reasons I posted about why I run:

    “I run:
    because running helps me celebrate and appreciate the body that God has given me
    because it strengthens my heart, mind, body, and soul
    and simply, because I can.”

  • Whit September 9, 2011, 11:32 am

    I have the same energy level as my Jack Russell Terrier. Running allows my JRT and I to not only bond but to release all of our craziness.

  • Cari September 9, 2011, 11:33 am

    also, I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying Philly! I’m a student at the University of Pennsylvania (just across the Schuylkill from where you are now), and I love it here 🙂

  • Britt September 9, 2011, 11:33 am

    I run for ME. Running is my time to reflect….on the good and bad things that occured during my day. I don’t get caught up in the pressures of what my time SHOULD be…I simply run and appreciate that I have legs that can carry me 🙂 I started running before I started college 10ys ago…to lose 10lbs…this was to make the “freshman 15” not so bad. Little did I know this would create an addiction that led to a full marathon!! 🙂

  • Elana September 9, 2011, 11:33 am

    I started running a year and a half ago (ish) on a whim, essentially. I didn’t think that I would be where I am now–still going strong, having run a few shorter races, two half marathons, and hopefully currently training for the Philadelphia Marathon (if an injury holds out!). I love running because it is still incredibly hard for me, and I still see huge improvements in my running on a regular basis (I think mainly because it doesn’t come easy for me!). I LOVE the times I can just run and zone out. Would love to have this inspire me to do a 5k and not just the snail-slow long runs I have been!!

  • Callie @ The Wannabe Athlete September 9, 2011, 11:33 am

    What a great giveaway! Running to me represents strength. There is nothing like the feeling of accomplishment when I pound out a few miles or accomplish a new distance!

  • Holly @ The Runny Egg September 9, 2011, 11:33 am

    I run because it feels so good — my body feels good and I’m able to just zone out and think things through. I also end up feeling extremely emotional when I run long distances and often I find myself bursting into tears — for some reason that is such a great feeling to be so full of emotion and feeling.

  • Errign September 9, 2011, 11:34 am

    Running means stress relief, smiling, free therapy and an excuse to get out there and play in the rain on some days. 🙂

  • Amanda September 9, 2011, 11:34 am

    Thanks for the fun contest, Caitlin! For me, running means doing the impossible because really often I won’t believe that I’ll be able to finish a certain run/race/goal time but it’ll happen anyway. Because of my experiences running, I feel capable of tackling any kind of challenge 🙂

  • Meghan September 9, 2011, 11:34 am

    So glad that you’re feeling better! Running is my therapy. it makes me happy, it clears my mind and it’s FUN!

  • Ashley September 9, 2011, 11:35 am

    Running was the way that I lost over 30 pounds about five years ago. Now it is my stress reliever and “me time”

  • Yin September 9, 2011, 11:35 am

    Running means ‘me time’, destressing, and staying healthy. I started to run to be more active since all I did was sit in front of a computer.

  • Lauren September 9, 2011, 11:38 am

    This is such a great idea for a giveaway.
    Running is different for me each time I go out for a run and can even vary throughout the run. Sometimes its an escape, sometimes its to connect. Sometimes is a strenuous workout, sometimes its all about relaxing. The fact that running can be so many different things for me is why I love it.
    Thanks for giving me the opportunity to reflect.

  • Lauren September 9, 2011, 11:38 am

    Sweet giveaway, I haven’t run just a 5K in forever! Running for me is my time when I can just escape from internet/school/etc. for a bit and just run, reflect, or catch up with friends. I love that “me time!”

  • Carolyn September 9, 2011, 11:39 am

    Running makes me feel strong, which for some reason is something I’ve always craved. Not skinny or fast, but STRONG. 🙂

  • Leslie September 9, 2011, 11:39 am

    Running allows me to build confidence in myself. I don’t love running but I love the feeling I have after running. I think its one of the best ways to start off a day.

  • Erica @ Eating On The Run September 9, 2011, 11:40 am

    Running was a way to get fit, now its an emotional journey. I use running to challenge myself mentally and physically, and to prove to myself that I CAN DO IT.

  • kim September 9, 2011, 11:40 am

    I started running back in March as a way to get out of the house after a looong winter. I like the fact that I could get outside, get exercise, and bring my dog. Running to me is a great way to start my morning before work and to feel energize for the rest of the day. I have worked myself up to a 5k ad I am doing my first 5k next weekend. SO EXCITED! I plan to do another one in october that I would love a free entry for!

  • Sunny September 9, 2011, 11:40 am

    Great Giveaway! Running is my escape, MY time to concentrate on nothing other than listening to my body. I love the release it gives me and I love how good it makes me feel.

  • Jacqueline September 9, 2011, 11:41 am

    I started running to lose weight. I checked that off the list, and I’m still running, because it makes me happy. 🙂

  • Emily September 9, 2011, 11:41 am

    After a 3 year battle, I lost my best friend to cancer at 21. I vowed to find something positive to do in her memory. I started by doing a race for the cure 5k. I was pooped but finished it in 35 minutes. To date I have done many 5k’s, a 10k, 2 15k’s, 3 half marathons, and one 26.2! And two triathlons. I think of her and use her memory as a source to push me. The best part is sharing my race recaps with her mother. Running has given me so much.

  • Rachel Woods September 9, 2011, 11:42 am

    After starting my undergrad in exercise physiology, and joining the military, I learned how important running (and exercise in general) is to a healthy and happy lifestyle. Then, while on active duty training, I broke my hip, needed emergency surgery and two follow up surgeries over the next two years. Now my hip is finally better and I can FINALLY run again! Its still a slow process, but im up to running 6 miles now and relatively pain free. It took me three surgeries to realize how much i love to run, and now that I am all healed, im doing it every day!

  • Christin September 9, 2011, 11:43 am

    I run to feel the breath in my lungs, the wind in my hair and the blood pumping through my body. It eases headaches, lifts my mood, and just feels awesome.

  • anya September 9, 2011, 11:43 am

    i started running to get in shape more, but have fallen in love with it just for the sake of running. 🙂 it requires hard work to see progress but i’m glad i found something i truly enjoy!

  • Cindy September 9, 2011, 11:44 am

    I run because it is my “me” time. I run because it is the only time in my day where I can shut my brain off. I run because it is what inspires the girls I coach with GOTR to be the best people they can be.

  • stephs September 9, 2011, 11:46 am

    I run because it allows for me to think and process things I never do any other time. It has given me hope and redefined the way I see myself 🙂

  • Lanie September 9, 2011, 11:46 am

    I love running first thing in the morning before the day gets too hectic. I can be alone with my thoughts and have genuine me time. Also, tackling my workout in the morning gives me the motivation to do everything else I need to do!

  • Cheryl September 9, 2011, 11:46 am

    Hahaha I totally misunderstood this at first. I thought you were looking for clever names for a 5k when you said “Name your 5k”, and no, I couldn’t come up with any great names :-p

  • Jes September 9, 2011, 11:47 am

    I run for the sense of accomplishment I get when I am able to achieve something new. New distance, new speed, new PR, etc. Because I know my hard work and efforts are the reason for the accomplishment. I also do not have to rely on the accountability of others to run.

  • Julia September 9, 2011, 11:47 am

    While I love running for myself because of all the “me” time it gives me, I’m not ashamed to say that I run to prove something to other people. Growing up, I was not the athletic girl of the group. While all my other friends were playing soccer or basketball, I was in dance class. Though I was just as active, I was looked at as the more frail, girly girl that probably couldn’t keep up on the field. In 8th grade, I joined my track team with something to prove. I was going to be an athlete…both in my own mind and in the minds of my friends, coaches, and teammates. I continued through high school, and I’ll never forget running the 200m dash in the lane next to my older, bigger, faster, and WAY more athletic next door neighbor who had given me so much grief when I was little. Now, I’m training for my first half-marathon and I can’t wait to wear that medal with pride! Running makes me feel like a strong, sweaty, booty-kicking, superwoman athlete, and I’m thankful for it every day!

  • Maddie September 9, 2011, 11:50 am

    I started a very long (and not done yet) weight loss journey 2.5 years ago with the couch to the 5k program. Running means finding a healthier me and a happier me. It means lots of sweat, some pain, and a lot of “I hate this” but the rewards are so so worth it.

  • Kelly September 9, 2011, 11:52 am

    This could not have come at a better time. I’m on week 6 of C25K right now, and I’m just starting to run again after an injury. I know that I NEED to sign up for a race to keep myself motivated – but it is so intimidating!

    To me, running means proving to myself that I can do something. That I can do anything if I work hard and dedicate time to do it right. I am NOT a runner, so this is a challenge for my brain and body. Without the inspiration of yourself, and other blends, I would not have taken up this challenge, so THANK YOU! 🙂

  • Michelle September 9, 2011, 11:55 am

    Running means freedom! I love it so much. It’s challenged me in ways i couldn’t imagine and taught me to respect my body 100%.

  • Lucy September 9, 2011, 11:55 am

    Running means a healthy outlook on life and pride in my body for the amazing distances it can carry me. Any distance, 1 mile to a half marathon needs to be celebrated!

  • Lucy September 9, 2011, 11:55 am

    Running means a healthy outlook on life and pride in my body for the amazing distances it can carry me. Any distance, 1 mile to a half marathon needs to be celebrated!

  • Sara Kent September 9, 2011, 11:55 am

    I found running a little over a year and a half ago and it has been a life saver. I run to prove to myself how strong I am…mentally and physically!

  • Taya September 9, 2011, 11:56 am

    Cool!! To me, running represents change for the better. In terms of exercise, running was the first thing I did when I decided to live a healthier lifestyle a few years ago. Running was my gateway to being an active woman, and it is my perfect metaphor for making positive changes: it’s hard, but crazy exhilarating and I feel so strong when it’s over!

  • Alyssa @ Don't Look Down September 9, 2011, 11:57 am

    Running is my way to take some me time. I love the way I feel when I get done running and how it always is a stress-reliever. But more than anything I love that feeling you get when you cross the finish line. That feeling of accomplishment and doing something that you didn’t know your body was capable of is amazing.

  • Moni'sMeals September 9, 2011, 11:57 am

    well, I don’t run! But I BIKE! I bike because it changes my mindset every single time and keeps me young, happy, healthy, and reminds me that I am alive! 🙂

    Glad you are feeling better too!

  • Hilda September 9, 2011, 11:57 am

    Running is the only physical activity I am better at than my husband. I love it when I have to wait for him at the finish line, or when I run solo and describe my mileage/time as soon as I get home. Sometimes, I will even compare our times on a chart and post it on the refrigerator, haha. His defeated face is priceless (:

    • Hilda September 9, 2011, 11:59 am

      I meant to start with “I run because”…oops.

  • Mary September 9, 2011, 11:57 am

    Running is what keeps me grounded – no matter if I am stressed, PMSing, or just having trouble battling the negative self-talk, I always feel better about myself and life when I get a run in! I actually feel my most confident and beautiful when I return home drenched in sweat, red-faced (my huz disagrees, but whatever), because I feel most like myself. I tend to underestimate my abilities in a lot of areas and short-change myself, but I love running because it proves me wrong when I think I can’t reach a certain goal!

  • Leah @ L4L September 9, 2011, 11:58 am

    Running has always been a challenge for me – many unsuccessful training attempts, injuries, and even losing a scholarship because of my lack of physical fitness. And now I finally feel successful, even though I’m not speedy at all. In the past 6 months I’ve been officially running, I’ve ran a 12k, a half marathon, and a 190-mile relay race and I have a 10k and another half on the docket to round out the year. I’ve logged over 300 miles and am injury free.

    So to me, running means overcoming obstacles, challenging yourself, and doing something you never thought you could.

  • Kristie September 9, 2011, 11:59 am

    I love running because it keeps me healthy, is a good way to channel negative AND positive energy, wakes me up in the mornings, and lets me just tune out and think about whatever I want! And you are the bomb for doing this giveaway! 5ks are harder for me to justify spending money on than longer races for some reason, even though I enjoy them.

  • Christina September 9, 2011, 12:00 pm

    Running is my mood elevator and makes me feel accomplished and proud of what my body can do.

  • Kathy September 9, 2011, 12:00 pm

    I got into running by signing up for my hs xc team not realizing what xc really was… running. but the friends I made through it kept me going. It wasn’t until hs was over that i actually began to enjoy running! Whenever I’m having a bad day even a quick run helps, it clears my head and the feeling when I’m done makes me feel so accomplished! love those endorphins!

  • Taylor @ Crumbs Don't Count September 9, 2011, 12:00 pm

    Running is my “me time”. My time to get away from stresses of life. My ESCAPE.

  • Selena September 9, 2011, 12:00 pm

    Yay! I started running in May and did my first 5K in August. I’d tried to start running about 2 years ago but found out I was pregnant with a surprise baby so I stopped. I think running means proving to myself that I am a strong woman, it means being a role model to my 3 girls, it means being healthy, it means 30 min to just be with my thoughts…it really is beginning to be such an important thing to me.

  • Sara @ OurDogBuffy September 9, 2011, 12:02 pm

    Glad you are feeling better. How scary! I am hoping by commenting that maybe I’ll be selected and it will be motivation to start really working at running. I have just been jogging/running/walking fast with my dogs here or there and I want to set a training plan and stick with it. My goal is to go to the park’s fitness trail a few times a week and then do my other runs with the dogs three times a week (not crazy distances). I just think running is a fun way to increase your fitness and stick to a plan. I don’t belong to a gym (can’t afford it) but we have a great park nearby (where we could play tennis and basketball too) and our nearby streets are pretty accessible to runners. Plus being close to my workout works into my schedule better. Enjoy the wedding!

  • Chrissy (The New Me) September 9, 2011, 12:02 pm

    What a sweet giveaway!

    To me, running is a chance to be alone with my thoughts, challenge my strengths, and see how far I can push myself. Knowing I can run anything from a 5K to a marathon gives me confidence in other areas of my life. I often think, if I can run x number of miles, I can do anything!

  • Suzanne September 9, 2011, 12:02 pm

    Running is so special to me. I ran for years in high school sports but it was always for punishment. I ran my first 5K in May 2010 on Memorial Day and it was so emotional running in a race honoring our troops. My second 5K was in support of Breast Cancer research and in memory of my sister-in-law. I love to run now but something about running for a cause is so dear to my heart! (Glad to hear your allergic reaction is better and I’ve never met anyone allergic to mushrooms either! How cool!)

  • jamie @cueyourlife September 9, 2011, 12:03 pm

    I know I’ve shared this with you before, but it is exactly why I run…and will continue to run.

    Thanks for the inspiration! Jamie

  • Marian @ marianwrites September 9, 2011, 12:03 pm

    hahaha – I love the “Easy –> OMG DYING” axis on the graph. So accurate and scientific.

    My relationship with running has really changed over the past year or so – a year ago I was running all the time, obsessed with my weekly mileage. And it was a huge part of my relationship with my BF at the time. Now, I don’t run as much, but when I do, it’s because my body craves it and I want to be outside and appreciate the way that it feels! I love it! I’m actually writing a post on it as we speak, what great timing 🙂

    Enjoy the wedding weekend!!

  • Tyler September 9, 2011, 12:03 pm

    I was overweight through high school and most of college and couldn’t dream of running even a mile. I remember in college hearing people say there were running a marathon and “knowing” that I would never, ever be able to do that. Then, I changed my life. I lost weight and ran an entire marathon. Running, to me, symbolizes how far I can push myself mentally and physically, and that anything I set my mind to I can accomplish.

  • Samantha September 9, 2011, 12:04 pm

    Such a fun giveaway! Running really means a lot to me. It’s my me time, the chance I give myself to be completely alone and work for only me. I wear a lot of hats in my life, and running is the one thing I truly do for just me and nobody else. Running my first half-marathon lit a fire under me this year and I really don’t ever want to let it burn out.

  • Jordy September 9, 2011, 12:04 pm

    I run for release. There’s no other sport like it. And I’ve never felt the sense of accomplishment like I do after finishing a race. I’ve been running for almost two years now, and I’m in love with what it does for me – physically and mentally. :]

  • Sarah September 9, 2011, 12:04 pm

    I am 24 years old and my father past away of a heart attack 7 months ago while I was in another state finishing up my masters. My family has always had a long history of heart disease so to combat it I shaped up my eating habits and decided to take up running. For me it is a reminder of my dad and a way for me to be a good influence on the rest of my family. It also helps to bring balance to my day .

  • Michelle September 9, 2011, 12:04 pm

    I’m new to running (still working my way through the C25k program), but what I thought was going to be a free workout, might be turning into a lifestyle change. Several times now I’ve gotten up when my hubby gets up (45 min before i usually do)and gone for a run with the pup. I’ve seen the sunrise while running and thought it was a beautiful way to start the day. Anyone who knows me would still be saying “YOU were RUNNING at SUNRISE and weren’t being chased!?!? And was HAPPY about it!!??!” So far, so good. 🙂

  • Laura September 9, 2011, 12:06 pm

    I’m in the midst of my third attempt at Couch to 5K and I think I am actually going to make it this time! Doing one of my runs each week with a friend and running in a flat area (versus my very, very hilly neighborhood) is making a huge difference. It has been fun to run for ten minutes straight before taking a walk break and thinking back to when running for 90 seconds before taking a walk break was challenging. Hurray for running!

  • Emma September 9, 2011, 12:07 pm

    I am not a runner, but I would like to be. I’m currently trying to lose some excess weight and get healthy. I haven’t been able to incorporate much exercise yet, but now I have some motivation to get started. A good friend of mine is going to be an Assistant Coach for Girls on the Run, and, knowing I believe in the work of the organization, asked me to run the end of season 5k. I want to do this to show my support for my friend and all the girls, but I need to feel like I’ll be a good role model for them first. I believe that being active and healthy can boost self-esteem; I just need to practice what I believe.

  • Megan September 9, 2011, 12:09 pm

    I run b/c I love the competition I have with myself. Races help me make goals and work towards breaking them

  • kelly bean September 9, 2011, 12:10 pm

    I’m re-new to running. I ran for a few years and fell away from it for a bit too long and thus am now trying to get back into it.

    I would want to do the Brooksie Way 5k in Rochester, MI
    ( )

    • kelly bean September 9, 2011, 12:11 pm

      Oh, and I love it when I do it because it just feels good.

  • Cathy September 9, 2011, 12:11 pm

    I run because it helps clear my mind and keep me healthy. I love running. I also run because I love supporting causes. When choosing a run, it’s so important to me to choose runs that the money is going to help others. My brother was diagnosed with a brain tumor 2.5 years ago, so runs that help organizations and individuals with cancer are especially dear to my heart. Thank you for the opportunity to enter. 🙂

  • Becca B September 9, 2011, 12:11 pm

    Running is my getaway and my attempt to still be an athelete. As a former college athlete, graduation meant growing up and moving on. I needed a way to stay active, fit, and a way to remain competitive. Running gave me a reason to battle myself in a new way. It became my escape from daily stress, burdens, and everything in general, and gave me a way to just BE. I have moved from running 5ks to half marathons to my FIRST marathon in December. It is a wonderful way to constantly push myself, stay fit, have fun, and escape!

  • April September 9, 2011, 12:13 pm

    I run for:
    my health
    my dog’s health
    to try to keep up with my 5 year old daughter. She can run fast. Trust me, she is a lot faster than me. We race all the time. I don’t even have to “let” her win.

  • Joey September 9, 2011, 12:13 pm

    I have tried running at other points in my life and gave up, thinking it was too hard and that I would never be a runner. And while I still don’t consider myself a runner, I run several times per week because I love the challenge of running and the sense of accomplishment after I reach my goal for the day. Doing something several times per week that I always told myself I couldn’t do really helps me build confidence and self esteem. 🙂

  • Valerie September 9, 2011, 12:13 pm

    Oh man, that’s a big question! I could probably list a hundred reasons why I run, but here are my top five:
    1. Keeps me healthy and in shape.
    2. Gives me alone time to think, decompress, plan and regain sanity.
    3. Makes me proud to cover long distances – especially marathons!
    4. I get to really compete when I race, which is huge for me. I’m very competitive, but can’t let it show very often.
    5. It’s fun – really, it is!

  • Laura September 9, 2011, 12:15 pm

    Prayer Time
    Looking good naked.

    That’s why I run!
    Really cute giveaway idea, Caitlin! If I win I’m going to use the free registration for the Wet Nose 5K in Memphis, Tn. It benefits a local dog rescue!
    Love, Laura

  • Liz September 9, 2011, 12:16 pm

    Hey just wondering if the hotel was painting anything yesterday? There is often latex in paint and that could have caused your allergic reaction. My ex-boyfriend’s grandmother was allergic to latex and had to go to the hospital when a hall in their condo complex was painted with latex paint. Something to think about.

  • Sara September 9, 2011, 12:17 pm

    To me, running now symbolizes HEALTHY. Since I started running in June, I am not healthier than I have ever been in my life!

  • Maren September 9, 2011, 12:18 pm

    I run because I go absolutely crazy if I don’t. Running is my therapist.

    • JenATX September 9, 2011, 2:11 pm

      sounds a lot cheaper than my therapist! haha… I run to get outside & enjoy the weather. I run in the mornings because its my peaceful time 🙂

  • Chelsea September 9, 2011, 12:19 pm

    I’m at a not so great situation in my life right now, but there are just some things I have to get through before I can do anything about it. Running my first half marathon this fall has given me a goal to focus on and something I can feel like I’m actually making progress towards, which has been key in keeping my spirits up. I’ve done a couple of 5ks and other races leading up to it, and always love the energy and sense of community at these events!

  • Meredith September 9, 2011, 12:19 pm

    To me, running means something I can be proud of internally. I used to weigh 250 lbs and every time I strap on some sneaks to tackle a couple miles, I am proud of how far I’ve come. And I know others are proud of me too!

  • Leanne September 9, 2011, 12:20 pm

    running is my stress relief! I work in a high stress environment (all hospitals are!) and when I get home nothing beats my shoes against the concrete…except maybe ice cream! But running is my “guilt-free” stress manager!

  • Elizabeth September 9, 2011, 12:20 pm

    Running to me means time alone to just zone out in my music and think about whatever I need to without interruptions. Running also proves that, if I work hard, I can achieve the fitness goals I want. Running is an esteem booster, most of all. Awesome giveaway!

  • Laura September 9, 2011, 12:21 pm

    Running means I can challenge myself. I can compete with myself and not anyone else because in the end, I can only compare a race against my other races and not anyone elses.

  • Natalie September 9, 2011, 12:22 pm

    I run to give me a goal to reach. I run to stay connected with running buddy. I run to be healthy. I run to be a role model for my kids. I run to stay sane. I run because I can.

    If I win I will pick a 5K to run after I finish Chicago Marathon- it will be a great motivator to keep running/training after the marathon. I’ve historically dropped off with training after I run the Marathon and one of my goals this year was to keep running.

  • Teri K September 9, 2011, 12:23 pm

    Running to me is time to decompress from my long day as mom/employee/wife/chef/maid. When I run I try to do it with no music, no watch, no distractions. Just me and my feet hitting the pavement. Its the only thing that keeps me sane!!

  • Julia September 9, 2011, 12:26 pm

    I’m a new runner! I run because even though it’s really hard and I don’t go far (yay 2.5 miles), it really feels like an accomplishment after.
    I go to college in the middle of LA so I’ve been confined to the treadmill, and I would LOVE to run outside in a 5k! Especially since it would be my first one:)

  • Laura September 9, 2011, 12:27 pm

    I started running originally because I thought it was the easiest way to get in cardio – you can do it anywhere, anytime, all you need are shoes. running was my gateway drug 🙂 and has led me to embrace other forms of cardio (and triathlons!), and now I love running because it’s one of the easiest ways to challenge yourself. I can increase your distance or try to increase your pace, do different speedworks – I never get bored!

  • Bethany B September 9, 2011, 12:28 pm

    I run because I can. I spent so many years not letting my body do what it was able because mentally I didn’t care what I could physically do. Running has shown me that I can be stronger then I ever imagined. I am currently training for a half Marathon in March and would love to have a couple races under my belt before then.

  • Meg September 9, 2011, 12:28 pm

    Hi Caitlin! I just started becoming a ‘runner’ about 6 weeks ago when I started couch to 5k! Its a great program and its SO incredible to see improvements each week. I did have an awful run this morning {hills, slow, dead legs} but I know next time I get out there its a whole new chance. I am training for the CVS 5k in Providence on Sept18 but want to find another 5K a few weeks after to keep up the running! The CVS 5k will be my first ever 5k but after reading your blog- i think i’ll get hooked on races! if I win, i’d love to pick a 5k in October around Ma!

  • Mercedes September 9, 2011, 12:28 pm

    I run because I can. I run because when I do, I feel free, powerful, and like myself. When I started running, I was running AWAY from things. Now, I’ve evolved and I run TOWARD a great many things. Running my first marathon made me realize that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE with strength & dedication. That realization took me to the finish line of my first, and second Ironman. That realization is priceless and has set me on such a positive path that I’ve never looked back. I just keep running!

  • Cristina September 9, 2011, 12:30 pm

    I love running because it is so simple. All I have to do is lace up my shoes and head out the door. No need to drive anywhere. I can do it when I travel even if I don’t have a gym, and I love the way I feel after a good run!

  • Jess@atasteofconfidence September 9, 2011, 12:31 pm

    Priceline is amazing, isn’t it?
    What running means to me: I am just getting started running. For me, it isn’t an escape from the world and it isn’t easy. After years and years of swimming, running isn’t something that comes naturally to me. I have to work at it…which is actually a really good feeling.

  • Lacey September 9, 2011, 12:31 pm

    Wow! Running is my me time. It is what makes me feel strong, accomplished, and ready to tackle anything that comes my way. There is a local 5k here next month I’ve been wanting to run, it’s to celebrate and raise money for the opening of a local cancer imaging center they are opening for animals. Cancer is something that is so close to me, but I we are saving $ for a house so I feel guilty spending it to run a 5k.

  • Amanda September 9, 2011, 12:32 pm

    I was never a runner. And I mean never. I was the one who walked the entire mile during “physical fit week” in gym class. During the last two years I lost about 60lbs and decided that running was a much faster way to work out if I only had 30 minutes to get a GOOD sweat in without a gym membership. Long story short, I finished my first official 5k (sub 30:00 I might add!) in August, and I’d love to do more however being a broke college student kind of hinders that at the moment!

  • Angie September 9, 2011, 12:33 pm

    Running is simple for me.. it teaches me that I’m stronger than I think I am. I go out there and try not to let my mind tell me otherwise.

  • Amy C. September 9, 2011, 12:34 pm

    Running is my sanity. It kept me happy and sane in high school. I got off track with my workouts and barely ran in college. Here I am nearing 30 and I am trying my best to get back in racing shape. A 5K would be a great goal to strive for right now.

  • sara @ the foodie diaries September 9, 2011, 12:34 pm

    Ohhhh that hotel is very fancy, I love it! 😉 I’m actually using the Couch to 5K program to work up to running a 5k in the future!!! I used to hate running, but after reading Tina’s (FFF) post about learning to love running I’ve decided to give it another chance. I discovered the Couch to 5K program and had to give it a try! So far so good. I would love an entry to the 5K because although I’m working towards it now, it would motivate me even more in my workouts! 🙂

  • Katalina September 9, 2011, 12:34 pm

    I really want to get into running. Ihad a knee injury and now I do a lot of cross training to be able to run, I know 5k is perfect for me as other distances are too hard for my legs, I hope I win 🙂

  • Tracy @ Tracy's Treats September 9, 2011, 12:36 pm

    I love running! I run because it keeps me in physical AND mental shape. Nothing relaxes me after a rough day like a nice long run!

  • megan September 9, 2011, 12:36 pm

    to me, running is free therapy and “me” time 🙂

  • Heidi September 9, 2011, 12:37 pm

    for me running is a release. If i’m running alone it’s a time to focus on me, zone out and just run. If I’m running with the husband (which we’ve been doing more lately) it’s time to spend together doing something active that pushes us both. If i’m racing it’s for the challenge. I’ve never tried the couch to 5k but when hubs and i were training for the Annapolis Ten miler we based a lot of our early training off the C25k since he was a newbie 🙂 I kind of enjoyed it 😉 🙂

  • Sinead September 9, 2011, 12:37 pm

    I want to get running to forget about my ex-boyfriend. Embarrassing but honest.

  • Lauren @ therawcure September 9, 2011, 12:39 pm

    For as long as I can remember, I’ve said, “I don’t run, I hate running, I am not a runner.” But then around the time I found an Operation Beautiful note and discovered your blog, I decided it was time to change my relationship with running. From reading your journey with running, it’s helped me see that I can do it too. For about a year and a half now I’ve been trying to run, and I can definitely say I’ve changed my attitude towards it. I still don’t love it, but I’m making progress.

    There’s a 5K in November that I’d love to do with a friend that has asked me to join her, but on my grad school budget I can’t really afford it!

    Running is showing myself that I can conquer and alter my attitude towards certain things. & I’m becoming stronger physically and mentally through it!

  • Britney September 9, 2011, 12:39 pm

    I run to stay in shape and have fun. Beating PRs is really nice too. 🙂

  • Lindsey September 9, 2011, 12:40 pm

    I run to clear my mind, almost like a moving mediation. I love taking in the scenery, and the general time alone with one’s thoughts. 🙂

  • Kristy September 9, 2011, 12:40 pm

    For me running was originally a form of cardio. I did it to lose weight and keep in shape. I didn’t realize how much it meant until I was injured and couldn’t do it. I spent 8 months on crutches, in surgery, in physical therapy – a few weeks ago I was able to start back up running (walk/run for now) and I realized just how much I love it.

  • Raya September 9, 2011, 12:42 pm

    I’m actually in the middle of the C25K right now! Starting to get back into running shape after a few months of slacking. 🙂 To me, running is a lot of things. It’s challenging, difficult, and there’s always someone (or a lot of someones) faster than you. But the main reason why I run is because nothing feels better than the feeling when you finish. Whether you’ve done 1 mile or 10. It’s as if whatever is bothering me/upsetting me/stressing me floats away while I’m running and when I’m done I feel very light.

  • Amy Ramos September 9, 2011, 12:44 pm

    Running is just awesome. Every time I run, I think how lucky I am I have the ability to do so. Not everyone can.

  • Katie September 9, 2011, 12:44 pm

    Running is a way for me to feel powerful and strong. Whenever I push myself to a faster sprint or a longer distance, I feel a sense of accomplisment that’s hard for me to find anywhere else. As someone who suffers from a lot of body image issues, running is a way for me to feel a sense of empowerment and gratitude for what my body can do.

  • Rebecca September 9, 2011, 12:44 pm

    The fact that they spell is “centre” (which my spell-check thinks is wrong) could also be because of the language. “Le Meridien” looks French to me, and the French spelling of “center” is “centre.” 🙂

  • mego @watchmegorun September 9, 2011, 12:45 pm

    Such a cool giveaway! I started being serious about running a year ago. I had my gall bladder removed and it was my wake up call that I wanted to be healthy…for the rest of my life. Now, its also my sanity.

  • Shelly September 9, 2011, 12:46 pm

    I’m doing a couch to 5k program right now to build some speed. I’m loving it! I agree with you that the 5k is the perfect distance. Running is an amazing way for me to challenge my body and become proud of myself. After every run I have a huge feeling of accomplishment. I love going to running events or races and sharing something with so many people. Running is just plain amazing!!

  • Anna September 9, 2011, 12:46 pm

    I run because it’s something I can do wherever I am. It keeps me company in a way.
    In the past 3 months I have spent time moving from England to Germany and then to Belgium (with a short stop in Denmark before), so running is somewhat of a constant whilst I adjust to new flats, new languages and new people.
    It’s something I can do by myself without feeling lonely, in pretty much any city with minimum gear.
    Perfect. And I think it also cures homesickness.

    (I actually registered for a 5k just today, would be great if you could cover the fees xD)

  • Lauren @ Sweet and Twisted September 9, 2011, 12:47 pm

    Running to me is a challenge! I’m by no means a natural at it or fast but it feels so good once I’ve completed a new distance or a fun race! I’m running a half marathon this weekend and that will be my furthest run ever!

  • Alex September 9, 2011, 12:47 pm

    I run because it’s a new challenge every day, a great way to stay fit, and the perfect respite from any day. Oh AND the amazing feeling after crossing the finish line! Whether it’s a 5k or the 50k I’m training for, the feeling is always awesome!

  • Heather Montgomery September 9, 2011, 12:47 pm

    Running is my escape. When I feel stressed, anxious, need to sosort out mmy thoughts, I can lace up and clear my head. Of course its also healthy and fun for a super competitive person like me,

  • Sam September 9, 2011, 12:49 pm

    Aw what a cool giveaway! Running is so much to me! It gives me such a feeling of empowerment to know what my own body can do and how far it can carry me. And when I have a really amazing run it is just the BEST feeling! I am currently training for a 10k, and I can’t really do many races because I work weekends! However I really want to enter a few more 🙂 I can’t wait to see how it feels finishing the line of my first race!

  • Helen September 9, 2011, 12:50 pm

    I run for my mental sanity. Nothing beats that feeling right after a run. Plus I can appreciate it more now that my toe is broken and all I want to do is run

  • PaigeP September 9, 2011, 12:54 pm

    Running has been my salvation in many ways…some more complicated than others. It has helped me to gain both physical and mental toughness, and gives me a sense of peace and calm every single day.

  • Alaina Johnson September 9, 2011, 12:56 pm

    Running means so much more to me than I can say. It means “me” time. It means a challenge. It means something to be proud of and to brag about. Most of all, running means beating my eating disorder. Everyday when I get to run I remind myself of all the hard stuff I put my body and soul through and how I preservered.

  • Runblondie26 September 9, 2011, 12:57 pm

    I’m an endorphin junkie, and running is the easiest fix.

  • Ashley @ This Is The Place September 9, 2011, 12:57 pm

    I run because it makes me beautiful, inside and out. It makes me strong, proud, determined and accomplished…and it makes my legs look great! What more could you want?

  • Kati September 9, 2011, 12:58 pm

    I was JUST thinking about this while on my run this morning. To me, running is the one thing that is “mine”. It doesn’t matter where I am, I can run. It doesn’t matter how fast, slow, our out of breath I get, because I’m still running. It doesn’t matter if someone tells me I can’t, because I can. Running doesn’t make me rely on anyone but myself, which makes me feel proud and accomplished.

  • Veronica September 9, 2011, 12:59 pm

    I really like the lady antebellum song ‘run to you’ because it kind of describes the reason why I lace up and head out the door. When things get overwhelming, a nice long run to clear my mind/mull over life thoughts is exactly what I need.

    “I run my life or is it running me, run from my past
    I run too fast or too slow it seems…
    This world keeps spinning faster
    Into a new disaster”

  • Gretchen September 9, 2011, 12:59 pm

    I run for the sense of accomplishment I feel during and afterwards. I just started running this spring, completed the couch to 5k and ran my first 5k in August! Nothing has ever compared to that glow I got after crossing the finish line. I even signed up for my second race in October! Running has proven to me that body is capable of great things if I want them badly enough.

  • Beth @ 990 Square September 9, 2011, 1:02 pm

    Running is like therapy for me…it clears my brain like nothing else! I started running almost 2 years ago to shake up my fitness routine, and since then I’ve run 2 half marathons and about a million 5ks. My third half is in Philly next weekend.

  • Kristin September 9, 2011, 1:06 pm

    Though I don’t get to do them very often, races are so empowering and provide a motivation to run that I aspire to have even when I’m not training. I never feel stronger than I do when I’m running & it’s the best feeling to see yourself getting better, stronger, faster! Amazing giveaway idea by the way!

  • Carly G September 9, 2011, 1:07 pm

    To me, running (and exercise) is everything. I just found out I have PCOS. Found this out now that my husband and I have started trying(and failing so far) to conceive.One of the important things they have told me to do is to exercise. I’m having a hard time motivating myself but I need to do it. Reading blogs like yours is helping me set up a plan and getting to work on my fitness starting Monday. Thank you for being such an inspiration.

  • Ellen @ Undercover Runner Eats September 9, 2011, 1:10 pm

    Running makes me feel strong and like I can accomplish anything that I set my mind to.

  • linz September 9, 2011, 1:11 pm

    Running means doing something I never thought I could do. It is awesome. Most of the time 🙂

  • Erin @ GoBananasBlog September 9, 2011, 1:11 pm

    I run because it is hard. But once I finish I get such a strong sense of satisfaction. It’s so amazing to push yourself and know that you did the best you could.

  • Anne G. September 9, 2011, 1:13 pm

    To me, running is synonymous with the “new me”. First, I ran to lose weight, but once I hit a healthy weight, I ran because it set me apart from the “me” I used to be! I’m not going back to that unhealthy person, EVER! I also run because I love to compete, even if it’s only against myself!

  • Maura September 9, 2011, 1:15 pm

    This is wonderful! Caitlin you never cease to amaze me with your generosity. Anyway, what does running mean to me? It means a lot of things but for me, running is a way I get my “me” time during the day. Between working full time in a Cancer Center, applying to nursing schools, and volunteering, I really try to incorporate some time just for me during the week. I have ambitions to run a half marathon (sometime in the future!) but right now, 5k’s are my favorite!! Thanks again for such a great blog. I look forward to checking in every day.

  • Sarah W September 9, 2011, 1:16 pm

    To me running is a processing tool. It is time just for me where I can hear myself think and process through the events of the day/week. Or it is time for me and a close friend where we get to process through what is going on in life. To me running is also a security blanket. It is always there – it can be adapted to be what you need it to be for that day.

  • Amy@ahealthyandhappyheart September 9, 2011, 1:16 pm

    All my life, I was very active but I could not run a mile. When I told people that I wanted to start running to get in better shape and feel good about myself, I was laughed at..They said..”Amy, you are NOT a runner. Get Real.” Well I took that to heart and gave up. But not anymore! I am determined to prove to everyone (including myself) that I CAN run! I am about 1/2 way through my running APP Get Running which is very similar to Couch to 5k. Booya!

  • Samantha September 9, 2011, 1:19 pm

    I started running back in June to try and lose the baby fat from 3 kids once and for all. As my stamina has improved, I have gained confidence in myself and what my body is capable of doing. I recently signed up for swim lessons and started doing Yoga 3 days a week, two things I never would have dreamed I’d be doing 6 months ago. I love how running has opened the door to a more active lifestyle!

  • Cindi September 9, 2011, 1:19 pm

    Now that I’m a mom – running is the only time a day that I get to myself. And I don’t take that time (or a run) nearly enough! Getting signed up for a race would help motivate me to keep it up!

  • Lauren S September 9, 2011, 1:24 pm

    One of my new years resolutions was to finish the couch to 5K program. I am looking to run a 5K in December to finish the year off right!

  • Shaya (Eye Girl Eats) September 9, 2011, 1:25 pm

    Running means that my body can do things for me that I never asked it to do before, and will step up to the challenges I put it through. I’ve never experienced a similar activity where you can see your improvement so quickly.

  • Lizz (leadingthegoodlife) September 9, 2011, 1:27 pm

    Running makes me feel stong – physically and mentally.

  • Caroline September 9, 2011, 1:27 pm

    Running is my escape… I use it to go on vacations in my mind, clear my head of stress, and think through my problems. It keeps me sane for sure!

  • Ally September 9, 2011, 1:28 pm

    I am running the Susan G. Komen 5K in October with my mom (she had a friend who died from breast cancer). This is my mom’s first race since high school and is doing a modified version of the couch to 5k program to prepare. 🙂

    As quite a few other people, I use running to clear my mind. Whenever I’m feeling stressed, I know I can run or hop in the pool and feel instantly better.

  • kayleigh September 9, 2011, 1:33 pm

    running truly challenges me like nothing else.

  • tracy September 9, 2011, 1:34 pm

    runnning to me means i can do pretty much anything!

  • Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga September 9, 2011, 1:34 pm

    I run because it gives me freedom. Freedom from being “needed” by anyone and to just be alone with my thoughts, my legs, and the open road. The freedom to smell the fresh air, do something good for my mind, body, and spirit; and to feel strong and healthy!

  • Jess September 9, 2011, 1:35 pm

    Running has become a wonderful social experience for me. I’ve been training with a running group for two years, and I’ve made some wonderful friends. We are roadtripping to WV for a half in November!

  • Ashley @ The Fit Academic September 9, 2011, 1:38 pm

    I LOOOVE running. Running = Therapy! It’s often times my only “me” time and in the midst of the crazy/stressful hustle and bustle of life and work, it’s my saving grace and is the only thing to keep me sane!

  • Jill September 9, 2011, 1:38 pm

    Running has given me self confidence and self live. I treat myself so much better now that I am so in tune with it. I eat enough and good quality foods so much more consistently now because running demands good fuel! I feel more strong and focused and I see this show up in my everyday life with more love, dedication and attention to school, work and life! I can complete x distance running… so I know I can tackle other challenges. Cheesy? Probably but so true and I’m so grateful!

  • lauren September 9, 2011, 1:39 pm

    I run because I can – I am blessed with good health, a supportive family (who runs with me!), and the ability to move on my two legs!

    I don’t want to take my health for granted and enjoy spending time with my husband, family on the road 🙂

  • kalli September 9, 2011, 1:39 pm

    so glad you are feeling better! alergic reactions are the worst. i love running because if you run you don’t need a therapists 🙂

  • Jane @ Broccolini + Cheese September 9, 2011, 1:39 pm

    I run to make myself stronger and happier. It’s new to me, so a 5K entry would be great motivation to push myself harder and accomplish my first race!

  • Faith @ For the Health of It September 9, 2011, 1:44 pm

    I became a dedicated runner because it gave me a reason to pay attention to the nutrients I was putting into my body and made myself fuel well – something I desperately needed as I was recovering from an eating disorder. Now it continues to motivate me to eat the right things and gives me goals to shoot for!

  • Crystal September 9, 2011, 1:45 pm

    When I was a kid, I was not athletic, always picked last for kickball, and HATED P.E. class. The one thing I dreaded most was running, especially running The Mile. I was always one of the last ones to finish, and it was humiliating. I actually remember a P.E. teacher (Mrs. Watson) telling me that I was “not the running type.”

    Well, I run now, at the age of 26, to prove that teacher, and my 12-year old self, wrong. So booyah, Mrs. Watson.

  • Liz September 9, 2011, 1:47 pm

    I run because I love my husband. He LOVES running and I want to be able to share that passion with him. I actually don’t love the act of running by itself (I much prefer tri’s), but I do love that we can enjoy it together. Good for the marriage, good for the soul.

  • Anna September 9, 2011, 1:47 pm

    Running is something I do solely for me. I am a teacher and dedicate so much time and energy to my students day in and day out (weekend in and weekend out). But my running is for me. I am fortunate enough to share it with a great group of friends that understand and have the same philosophy. I’m running a half marathon this weekend, so I’d love to do a 5k soon and focus on a shorter distance.

  • Meg September 9, 2011, 1:48 pm

    I run to clear my head and feel strong. I consider myself a runner, but find 5Ks to be a challenge. This would be a great opportunity to challenge myself with something I normally avoid!

  • Allison B. September 9, 2011, 1:49 pm

    To me, running means happy, healthy and grateful. Not everyone can run, and I am lucky to be able to do so. Running make me happy and an all around better person.

  • Shannon September 9, 2011, 1:52 pm

    Running to me, means that I CAN. My mom has had 20 knee surgeries due to injuries from when she has track in high school and she hasn’t been able to run for 25 years.

    I HATED running as a kid. I was a hardcore swimmer and had the broad shoulders to prove it. But when I graduated from college, I couldn’t afford a gym membership so I started running for exercise. The rest is history. 🙂

  • Melissa Hagemeister September 9, 2011, 1:56 pm

    I run because it helps me relieve stress and cheers me up. When I’m having a bad day it makes me feel better. I sign up for different races, and it gives me a goal to work toward, and I have signed up for different distances, and each time I’m impressed that I’m able to push myself further and do better than I thought I could.

  • Ros September 9, 2011, 1:57 pm

    To me running, means not accepting no for an answer and believing in yourself. I have severe asthma, and I decided to start running as a last ditch effort to improve my dwindling health and because I was tired of letting my asthma control my life. Since I started (almost a year ago) I’ve run three half marathons, several 5ks, and fell in love with running. Not only am I physically much healthier and breathing easier, I’m a much more confident person because of it. I did what I once thought wasn’t possible by sticking with it through the hard times. Every time I run it reminds me that I can do anything.

  • Leanne (Bride to Mrs,) September 9, 2011, 1:58 pm

    Running means I can do anything. When I first started… I could barely run 30 seconds without feeling sick… I love how fast I can progress!

  • susan (mom swim bike run) September 9, 2011, 2:00 pm

    I started running to get in better shape but now I run for sanity and to get some “me time” which is hard when you’re raising 3 kids.

  • Lauren September 9, 2011, 2:01 pm

    I run because it feels like flying.

  • Jessica p September 9, 2011, 2:03 pm

    I want to be a runner so bad but it’s been hard for me to get my head into it. I’m used to Zumba and other fitness classes. I plan on signing up for our local turkey trot with my brother.

  • Jennifer Cook September 9, 2011, 2:08 pm

    I run for me. And it is the one and only thing I do for me. I don’t do it for my career, for my husband, son, family. I do it because I need to in order to be healthy and stay sane.

    I am currently training for my first full marathon and starting to get a little burnt out. I think running a race like a 5k will be just what I need to get pumped up about running again!

  • Heather September 9, 2011, 2:08 pm

    Its simple, to releive stress. I havnt run in weeks and I can feel it. I really need to get back out there, but its horrible to run in 108 degrees 🙁 Luckily, its cooling off here. 🙂

  • Heather C September 9, 2011, 2:13 pm

    Such a fun giveaway idea! Running is a lifestyle, to me. I met most of my best friends through running, learn more about myself with every new race / challenge & learn that I’m not the reserved / shy / timid person I thought I was. 🙂 And ya know, it keeps the mind sane when things get crazy!

  • Neena September 9, 2011, 2:13 pm

    I run to switch the world off for a bit and reflect on my own breath, my thoughts, and get centered again.

  • TiffanyS September 9, 2011, 2:16 pm

    I originally started running as part of my bootcamp program, but then it changed for me. I never saw myself as a runner. But then this spring I started entering 5K’s and did an adventure 5k with my new fitness buddies. What an adrenaline rush! Now I run to prove to myself that I can do this, and I am a runner. Dealing with some IT band/hip flexor issues sideline me for a few weeks recently. I’m coming back to into my first 1/2 marathon training plan trying to be smart. Rembering to rest is difficult, but so neccessary especially for a new person who’s muscles aren’t accustomed this this intensity. To me running and fitness means taking care of me finally! I spend so much time focusing on others, but this is time when I can tune out the other stresses of life and focus on my breathing, music, and the beautiful nature around me.

  • Amanda (Eating Up) September 9, 2011, 2:17 pm

    Running means I have a time of day where I am free from life’s responsibilities. I get to literally run away from them for a bit…and then I turn around and run back to them with a clear head!

  • Nicole D. September 9, 2011, 2:23 pm

    Good afternoon everyone! I’m a frequent reader (interpret that as I check HTP at least 5 times a day) but an extremely infrequent commenter (interpret that as 0 comments in my reading history).

    A close friend is trying to lose 100 pounds by next May and I am trying to support her as much as possible (read her blog here: We have committed to going to the gym together at least 3 times a week and set up plans for the days we aren’t working out together. Guess what? She has lost about 50 pounds this year! Right now, she is on track to surpass her goal!

    One of our endurance goals is to be able to run a 5K. For training, we have been using HTP’s Camel workout because it challenges you to push your limits outside of your comfort zone. She wants to run the Anthem Great Pumpkin 5K in Reston, Virginia on October 8th:

    I would like to run it with her, but there is the catch. I’m paying my way through graduate school and swore off paying for races until I graduate next year. I know it’s a $30 race but if I ran every race I was asked to run, I would be in more debt than just tuition.

    Sorry if this post is lengthy but I felt like this “5K Giveaway” was the perfect opportunity for me to continue showing my support!

    For those in Northern Virginia, wear a rain jacket all weekend during your runs!

    Nicole D.

    • Nicole D. September 9, 2011, 2:27 pm

      Correction: Her website is –

    • Nicole D. September 9, 2011, 2:57 pm

      Is replying to your own post the same as laughing at your own jokes?

      My friend, Nicole H. from livinglifelite, and I have decided that we have a romance with obtaining the title, “runner”. As in any relationship, to earn a title, we have to commit to health and fitness. To Nicole and I, running means commitment to the time required, personal goals, and to our friendship.

  • Kristin September 9, 2011, 2:24 pm

    I started running beach run with my dad and sisters when i was a little girl and running has stuck with me since (i am now 24). I was never tall enough or coordinated enough for any other sport and running was the right price because all you needed was shoes! It is a part of who I am today! Running makes me feel free, proud, blessed and thankful every time finish a run! I would love to win the 5k! Thanks for the opportunity!

  • Angela September 9, 2011, 2:25 pm

    I run for the mental and physical challenge. I love constantly setting and meeting goals and working hard to improve every time!

  • Lesley September 9, 2011, 2:27 pm

    I feel like I’m teetering on the edge of being a runner. I’ve tried it. I’m not disciplined about it. I’ve been a walker for a long time, so I tend to resort back to that quickly. But I think there is nothing more freeing that that feeling you get while you’re running, and I would love something to push me over the edge to really commit. I have never done a 5k either, and I signed up to do my first one last year then had to back out. I must redeem myself!

    On another note, glad you’re feeling better! Mac and cheese for president! (I guess the Benadryl helped too…)

  • Kristin @ STUFT Mama September 9, 2011, 2:30 pm

    I run because I can. It’s my therapy. It helps me be a better mom, perosn, wife, friend, etc. 10 years ago I couldn’t run because of a chronic back injury. Now I feel like running is a gift. I LVOE to run with my boys in the stroller and show them how fun exercise can be. 🙂
    PS- glad you’re feeling better!

  • Kim September 9, 2011, 2:32 pm

    I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Juvenile Arthritis when I was 15. After feeling sorry for myself for much to long I slowly eased myself into running. Everytime I run I remind myself that I can overcome great challenges, and that is an amazing feeling :)Since I started running, my symptoms have become much more managable as well. I truly feel greatful for every run.

  • Hillary September 9, 2011, 2:32 pm

    I run for so many reasons: exercise is the obvious one (I’ve still yet to find a workout as intense as running), but I also do it to keep my sanity, or to work out tough ideas or issues. The clarity I get on a good run is unlike anything else I’ve experienced.

  • Jenn's Adventures September 9, 2011, 2:34 pm

    I am by all means *not* a professional runner. I have had a love/hate relationship with running for as long as I can remember, and only last year experienced my very first 5K and became addicted. I love running because it’s an individual sport that is (in my opinion) equal parts physical and mental. I used to only run on treadmills, but this year I’ve ventured outside and absolutely love it. I’m back on Maui, and there’s actually a 5K on the 17th with the Maui Marathon on the 18th. If you need an excuse to visit in subsequent years, the Hana Relay (tomorrow 9/10) and Maui Marathon are great excuses;)

  • Melissa R September 9, 2011, 2:41 pm

    What a thoughtful giveaway! I live and go to grad school in the philly area, so its cool to see you visiting and having a great time!

    Running to me is stress relief, peace of mind, and it helps build my self esteem after years of being down on myself and my body! I really want to do more races but the cost of them always makes me rethink signing up!

  • Sana September 9, 2011, 2:41 pm

    Running really makes me feel like SuperSana!

  • Nicole @ September 9, 2011, 2:42 pm

    I never really ran when I was younger, but after moving to SF, I got the itch. Now I’m definitely not the skinnest or fastest, but I love that feeling you get after you accomplish something big! I’ve done 7 half marathons and 2 tris. Like you, I’m totally hooked on races. I’m finishing up training for a hilly bike ride in CA (it’s tomorrow!) and then I will be training for another 5k leading up to a half in the spring! Winning an entry would be awesome, since I am planning on running the Mermaid Series 5k in November.

  • Amy @ What Jew Wanna Eat September 9, 2011, 2:42 pm

    What a great giveaway! I run to have fun outside with friends!

  • Kat September 9, 2011, 2:44 pm

    I love how awesome I feel when I run – and the social aspect makes it super fun 🙂

  • Heather September 9, 2011, 2:48 pm

    I have a bad knee, and so running is a way of getting over the fear of hurting it again. If I can run, I can do almost anything. I just have to do it right, start off easy, and build up strength.

  • Sara P September 9, 2011, 2:55 pm

    Running is my sanctuary! It is the only time I can be completely by myself…no cell phone, no internet, no one around me! It is lovely!

  • Lindsey September 9, 2011, 2:55 pm

    After a year of surviving a broken elbow and calling off my wedding, running has helped me get through one of the worst years of my life. Without running I wouldn’t have been able to clear my head let alone get out of bed. Running became my best friend this year especially after I lost a lot of friends when I called off my wedding. It was the only thing there for me, and running never interupts me when I talk to myself!!! I dont run for time or speed, i run because it makes me feel good I love running, without it I wouldn’t have survived
    The past few months.

  • Luv What You Do September 9, 2011, 3:00 pm

    That is the coolest give away EVER! What a fabulous idea to motivate people and get them running. Enjoy Philly! It’s such a fun city!

  • Ashley September 9, 2011, 3:03 pm

    Right now, running to me is taking care of my family.

    I wasn’t living a healthy lifestyle at ALL the past few years. But a little while after my daughter was born I realized I needed to be healthy and happy for my whole family. I made some changes and picked up running. I still can’t say I LOVE it, but I love the accomplished feeling. And a 5K really is such a good distance.

  • Meghan B. September 9, 2011, 3:04 pm

    Running provides a positive outlet for me to destress and feel healthy. I love it!!!

  • Rachel September 9, 2011, 3:06 pm

    Running helps me de-stress, feel healthy and good about myself. And it’s not always easy for me so I like the challenge

  • Carrie September 9, 2011, 3:06 pm

    what an amazing idea! Running is my sanity. I started my senior year in college, when life decisions were weighing heavy on me, and I have not stopped!

  • Adrienna September 9, 2011, 3:07 pm

    I used to run because I wanted to lose weight. Now I run because I can. I don’t know how long I’ll be able to run (no reason, but anything could happen – I could get sick or hurt), and I am enjoying it while I can. Consistent improvement (endurance, speed, etc.) is more important to me than losing weight is.

  • lani September 9, 2011, 3:09 pm

    What a great idea, Caitlin! Enjoy Philly–my hometown. Running means independence, freedom, and strength to me. It helps me find “me” no matter where I am, or what I am going through.

  • lani September 9, 2011, 3:09 pm

    What a great idea, Caitlin! Enjoy Philly–my hometown. Running means independence, freedom, and strength to me. It helps me find “me” no matter where I am, or what I am going through.

  • Katie @ Peace Love and Oats September 9, 2011, 3:11 pm

    I ran a little in college (no more than 2-3 miles) but I really picked it up when I moved here to Chicago for law school last year. I knew I wanted to set a goal to focus on that was separate from school, so I signed myself up for a 10K! I’m running the same 10K this year and then a 10 miler in November! I love running because it makes me feel accomplished and it’s a great stress relief!

  • Alison September 9, 2011, 3:13 pm

    I run because I can… 2 years ago I was side lined a month before a half because of MS… since that day every run has been a gift…

  • Marie September 9, 2011, 3:14 pm

    I want to get started running because I have been into holistic nutrition for over 3 years and now I need to get the exercising part down as well. There is a 5k I want to do in October so this is perfect! What a great giveaway!

  • Carrie @ No More Tomorrows September 9, 2011, 3:17 pm

    I hit an all time high of 320 pounds this spring. It devastated me. I’ve been overweight my whole life, but I realized that I was completely out of control. After losing my son to stillbirth in 2008, having many female medical issues, and ballooning up to that weight, I completely lost trust and faith in my body. I am a beginner runner. Very very beginner. I did a walking 5k in July, and I have my sights set on a 5k in November for pediatric health through our children’s hospital in Denver. It’s November 13, 3 years exactly since I laid my son to rest. I’ve lost 25 pounds so far, and I am beginning to trust my body again. Running is about listening to myself, about putting faith back in my body, trusting it to not betray me again, and proving to myself I can do it. I’ve never ran a mile, but I know I can do a 5k. I know I can get there. And until I believe it, I’m just going to have to keep going at it, and make myself a believer.

  • CJ @ September 9, 2011, 3:17 pm

    i dont need to be entered into the giveaway, but i run because it gives me peace. its my favorite way to start the morning and is the only way to completely clear my mind. its been nearly a year since i have been able to run and it serves as some inspiration for me to get healthy again. i love reading everyone’s race recapes and i just cant wait to write one of my own! hopefully this spring!!

  • Amber Shand September 9, 2011, 3:24 pm

    To me, running is my break from my Mom duties and my time to be me. I use it to focus on bettering myself and making me feel better about my body, both physically and mentally. I started running about 4 years ago with Couch to 5K and did the Austin, Texas Schlotzsky Bun Run with my best friend. Since then, she and I have run many a 5K, and my first 10K seven weeks after having a baby. We also did our very first Half last November, and are in mid training for that same one now. I’m so excited to run the Half again!! The coolest thing I’ve ever done for myself other than having a baby!

  • Rachel @ EatMoreMeatLess September 9, 2011, 3:25 pm

    Running to me means getting out my frustrations – whether they be personal or professional. It gives me time to be alone with my thoughts, yet also feel like I’m part of group activity when doing a 5k.

  • KatieG @ Just Roll With It September 9, 2011, 3:25 pm

    I am not a fast runner, and I do not really “enjoy” running YET, but I have made a half marathon my goal for 2012! After many 5ks and my first triathlon last month, I am ready for more! I’d like to start off with a bunch of 5ks this fall/winter, building to 10k, and so on!

  • lindsay @ The Reluctant Runner September 9, 2011, 3:26 pm

    Running is my way of showing myself that I can do things I would have never imagined. I used to be the least athletic person ever. When I started running, it seemed ridiculous. After working at it, though, I realized I could do it! I took the summer off because it was too hot and crazy, but I’m slowly getting back into it, and having a race to train for would help me focus and not give up even though it’s really hard right now!

  • Meg September 9, 2011, 3:27 pm

    I started running after I started reading blogs, about 2 years ago. People who ran looked like they were having fun and accomplishing something. I had never known anyone who ran for “fun”, rather than just for exercise, and it inspired me and, eventually my husband, to give it a go. Now I actually look forward to running and racing, something I never thought I’d say.

  • Mark September 9, 2011, 3:27 pm

    What a neat idea! I’ve only just begun running in the past few weeks (was a former soccer player, but now that I’ve graduated I wanted some way to stay healthy and active) and would love to give something like a 5K a try, but the entry fee is a bit of a hurdle! Recently got engaged and with the wedding less than a year away now, the pennies are better used elsewhere. I’ve gotten my fiance started recently, and though it was tough for her to get started, she gets better every day!

  • Tracy September 9, 2011, 3:33 pm

    I run because I can, and I want to, and every time I do – it makes me feel better. I run because it reminds me I’m alive.

  • Sara September 9, 2011, 3:34 pm

    I’ve been running for 12 years… ever since I was 11 years old. Running gives me stress reflief, it gives me time with friends, it gives me something to work on. I am constantly setting goals and trying to improve myself – I love having something to strive for. Awesome giveaway!

  • Hillary September 9, 2011, 3:34 pm

    I run because it makes me feel alive. The high I get after completing any run (good or bad) is one I haven’t found anywhere else.

  • Kayla September 9, 2011, 3:39 pm

    Wow. What a question. Why do I run? I run because I can. I was a chubby, inactve, asthmatic child/teenager, and I dreaded having to run the mile each year in gym class. I never made it. I was always the last one, and I watched everyone wait for me. I got a C in gym class because I couldn’t run a mile in an adequate enough time. I lost weight and grew more active in college and decided to try running. But I really fell in love with running after I dedicated myself to the sport because I was in love with a man who was a runner, and I wanted to share something with him. We ran our first 5K together, and it is my slowest race to date, but I crossed that finish line and I felt like a million bucks. I’ve since crossed the finish line of several 5Ks, an 8K, a half marathon and a 25K. And every time I cross that finish line and hang up my race bib on the display in my house, I feel like a million bucks. I feel alive. I never want to lose the ability to run.

  • Sonia (the Mexigarian) September 9, 2011, 3:39 pm

    Being able to run makes me feel strong and focused. I am a self proclaimed “hater” of running, before I actually started training. I trip over my feet constantly, hence the need to focus while running. Helps me listen to my body. I love the feeling of accomplishment after a good run. Especially outside. I am becoming a fan of it now 🙂 I missed out on the Labor day 5k just miles from my house 🙁 but hope to run at least one more race before the year is out.

  • Jeni @hippie wild mama September 9, 2011, 3:40 pm

    Super fun giveaway!!! I run for the safety and well being of not only myself, but for those around me. The longest I’ve ever run is 4 miles, I’ve run 3 charity 5k’s and had a blast. I would like to do another one.

  • Kalynn September 9, 2011, 3:47 pm

    I’ve been running for as long as I can remember, and I’ve always loved it! I was the “weird” one who enjoyed running mile after mile! I enjoy the time that running allows me to have to myself to think & relax. I love the feeling of accomplishment when I reach a new PDR or finish a race under my goal time! It’s a direct reflection of my hard work, commitment, and love for the sport, and I hope nothing ever takes it away from me! This is such an awesome idea for a giveaway! Thank you!!!

  • Jillian @ DNA and Dessert September 9, 2011, 3:48 pm

    Running means that I am in control of my workout, my sightseeing, my sweat, and my sanity all at the same time. It also is empowering because after being in a two way tangle with a semi-truck, it feels good to know that I am still alive and can still run. In fact, I missed my first ever scheduled 5K race because my accident was two days beforehand. I can’t wait to actually run my first one!

  • Ambre September 9, 2011, 3:50 pm

    Running helps me relieve stress.. I’m not that big of a runner right now, but hope to be one day! 🙂

    • Ambre September 9, 2011, 3:51 pm

      AWESOME giveaway, btw 🙂 🙂

  • Jess September 9, 2011, 3:53 pm

    I run to keep sane!

  • Jess September 9, 2011, 3:53 pm

    I run to keep sane!

  • Jeanette September 9, 2011, 3:53 pm

    Because I can, and “can” is a gift.

  • Heather Dawn September 9, 2011, 3:55 pm

    I run because I can. After suffering from two minor knee injuries this year I was able to realize WHY I run. And everytime I run without pain I feel so grateful. Its a stress relief and time to myself where I can be amazed at what my body can do!

  • Rachel September 9, 2011, 3:56 pm

    I never run. Why? I hate the feeling and I get shin-splints. Recently, I found out that if you do too much at one time, shine-splints are common. whoops. I am not a natural runner but I want to run. I want to run far, not fast. I think that part of the reason I have not had the courage yet is becasue I have had no reason to run. No motivation. I recently told my “runner” boss how much I’ve wanted to do this. Honestly, my budget is a little too tight to squeeze an actual 5k race. I would love to win this give-away. Thanks 🙂

  • Laura September 9, 2011, 3:59 pm

    I don’t run but my friends and I have discussed starting the Couch to 5k plan soon. I’m just out of shape and overweight! I need more exercise in my life, and I like that running gets you outside of the gym!

    I also want to add that I LOVE Le Meridien hotels!!! I remember the lobby of the one in Munich smelling absolutely amazing! Their bar and brunch were pretty stellar too! <3

  • Sara@RunningInPinkProject September 9, 2011, 4:06 pm

    I love it because I CAN ACTUALLY do it. I never thought it was possible at my weight. But its become a great part of my weight loss process. :)I feel good after and I cant imagine having never given it a try.

  • Erin September 9, 2011, 4:07 pm

    Running is something I originally started to step up my workouts from 30 Day Shredding into something more maintainable. 7 months later, running is what I do to reduce my (mega) anxiety and feel awesome about myself. I ran my first 5k in August of this year and almost cried crossing the finish line (not that fast!) just because WOW I had no idea I could DO THAT. Earlier this week I ran my fastest ever mile (8min!), my fastest ever 5k (27min) and on Sunday I’ll run my first 10k. I just really love it. I feel powerful!

  • Danika F September 9, 2011, 4:10 pm

    What running means to me: I’ve always been told not to run. Osteoarthritis runs in my family and at 24, I’ve already got it pretty bad (my mom actually had her first knee replacement at 50). However, I’ve always wanted to run. So, after reading a few books on running, I learned about Chi running and just ran my first 5k two weeks ago! Now I want to do it again, just to be sure the first time wasn’t a fluke and that I can do it (as many times as I want)!

  • Kamaile September 9, 2011, 4:13 pm

    I love running and am training for my 14th half marathon, Nike Women’s Marathon next month in San Francisco! Running gives me tight bootay! Seriously it gives me confidence and time alone to let my mind wander….LOVE IT!

  • Emily September 9, 2011, 4:14 pm

    I run because it’s difficult for me. It makes me feel proud and accomplished…all before most people are out of bed! It’s a great mental health boost.

  • Angela September 9, 2011, 4:14 pm

    After being overweight for a long time I wanted to simply be able to run. Now that I can it means being strong. I do have to be careful b/c I’ve done too much at times but it has taught me balance. So running = health to me. I don’t do it often and I am slow but I don’t care. I’m faster than some and slower than others, I’m just right for me.

  • Rosa - Fitness, Food, Fulfilled September 9, 2011, 4:14 pm

    We stayed at a Le Meridien in San Francisco. Other than the weirdly shaped room and secluded location, we loved it. It’s so modern!

    I run because there’s nothing like it for giving me confidence, challenging me, and making me feel physically strong. It’s a total rush. I started about 7 years ago to lose weight and feel in total love. I’d do it every day if my knees didn’t object so loudly. Love, love, love.

  • Jess-The SemiAbnormal Gal September 9, 2011, 4:18 pm

    I run because it’s the third leg of a triathlon! 🙂

  • MaryBeth September 9, 2011, 4:20 pm

    I run because I can continuously challenge myself and make myself proud day after day.

    I was a runner in high school… indoor track, outdoor track, and cross country. I fell off the wagon in college but since graduated, I’ve found my groove (and my love for running) again. I love the way it makes my body and mind feel. And I am so happy to have inspired my sister to run her first 5k and my boyfriend to run his first 5k and half marathon (his first marathon on Sept 18!).

  • Kate - Cupcake Runner September 9, 2011, 4:21 pm

    I started to run after my mom was diagnosed with diabetes. I realized I was headed down that same path and needed to take control of my life so I started to run. Running = health to me. That was about 4+ years ago and I haven’t regretted one run since then!

  • Stephie September 9, 2011, 4:29 pm

    I started running to lose weight after I graduated college…nothing was cheaper than a pair of running sneakers and a little motivation. Now I run for my happiness and sanity. If I don’t get in my morning run, I feel out of whack/unbalanced and I become cranky (as well as achy)! 🙂

  • Courtney September 9, 2011, 4:34 pm

    I’ve just recently began running, and I’ve discovered running isn’t nearly the hell I thought it was. Until this year, I’d never even ran a mile!! I’ve signed up for a half marathon next year, and am both terrified and stoked about it.

    I’d love a free 5k entry!

  • Elise September 9, 2011, 4:51 pm

    I run because I can. We take advantage of so much in life, including our bodies, and too often we wake up to discover that something we never thought twice about has been swept out from under our feet. Therefore I run and will continue to do so until I can’t — Because I never want to take myself for granted.

  • Bridget September 9, 2011, 4:54 pm

    Running is what finally showed me what my body CAN do instead of what it doesn’t look like.

  • Michelle September 9, 2011, 4:58 pm

    Running is my way of reminding myself than I am stronger than I usually give myself credit for

  • Shannon @ A Pinch of Ginger September 9, 2011, 4:58 pm

    For many people running means getting away from something. For me, I run to chase things. My dreams, my hopes, to accomplish my goals. Running gives me the time to think decisions through and get the good endorphins pumping!

  • Jessica @ Healthy Dairyland September 9, 2011, 4:59 pm

    I run because I always feel better afterwards. It doesn’t matter if I am in a bad mood or a good mood before my run because I am always in a GREAT mood after.

  • Freja September 9, 2011, 5:01 pm

    Running means defining myself as something other than a law student. 90% of my day is spent briefing cases or reading thick volumes of tort law, contracts etc etc…. I wake up at 4:30 every morning just so that I can get my “me time”. This giveaway is straight up awesome, btw!

  • Beth September 9, 2011, 5:02 pm

    I run for so many reasons, but the big one is to avoid any health problems I might see today or later in life. As an ER nurse I see plenty examples of bad health, and people in their 20’s can look 80 when they haven’t cared for themselves. Gives me good motivation!

  • Kendall (On An Inhale) September 9, 2011, 5:02 pm

    I run because it is SO hard for me. I never finished the Presidential Challenge in school. I am trying to push myself and prove to myself that I can do it. Have fun!

  • L September 9, 2011, 5:16 pm

    I run because it is my thing.. i feel at peace.. I feel enpowered…I feel confident.. and know that I can keep going strong.. it keeps me mentally stable..and connected to nature.. I love to run 🙂

  • Julie @ Shining From Within September 9, 2011, 5:20 pm

    Running makes me feel so accomplished and proud. I can see results if I work hard. All of my running is a direct result of my efforts.

  • Angela (Oh She Glows) September 9, 2011, 5:24 pm

    it’s not just a Fitness Centre, it’s a Gimnasio…whoa baby! lol 😉

    I love the deals that can be found through priceline and hotwire. We got a $450+ room at W hotel for under $120 last march through hotwire. crazy!

  • Liane September 9, 2011, 5:28 pm

    I started running about 5 months ago and have my first 5K in two weeks! I’m super excited and already can’t wait to race more. It took me ages to feel comfortable using running as exercise – I’d play tennis, hike, use the elliptical – but usually never running because I always believed I have a silly looking run. Well I’m over it now, and running is more important to me than I ever thought it would be! The day I felt like a runner was a major milestone. Running just makes me feel GOOD all around.

  • Brigid September 9, 2011, 5:32 pm

    I have been trying (and failing) to train for a 5k for an embarrassingly long time now. I just moved to LA, though, and I’m back trying again. Running outside makes me so happy, and with West Coast weather, how can you not enjoy it?

  • Kayla @ The Best Things September 9, 2011, 5:33 pm

    Hey Caitlin, what a great idea for a giveaway. I love reading HTP! You’re such an inspiration!

    I started running as a way to impress a boy (typical right?). But I accidentally fell in love with it. Specifically with racing and training for races. I bought my dad an entry to a local 5K which I’ll run with him for Father’s Day. Running is such a great equalizer. You don’t have to be rich, thin, perfect.. you just have to put your shoes on and go.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Jen @ The Well Read Fish September 9, 2011, 5:41 pm

    Running means hitting the pavement, not hitting others
    It is taking the meaning out of how much gas costs
    Your ride is unique. You are your own ride.
    Pounding one block
    Then another
    Then a mile
    Then a race
    When your mind starts to run faster than you, you get out there and beat it!
    Jumping over puddles, proving you will not drown in this one.
    Dodging branches, branching out
    Covering more ground
    than you can sitting at home.
    You hear your body running in your breath. You usually never hear your body running
    It is silent. It is easy to take for granted. When you run, you hear it. It lets you know what it does for you all day
    Every day
    The blood runs through you to your fingers, your toes
    Meaning you are alive
    You are free
    To run
    To face your challenges, not timidly but as a full frontal assault
    You’ll plow right through them.
    You don’t need accessories, you don’t need equipment
    You just need yourself
    Your self.

  • Rae September 9, 2011, 5:42 pm

    Running is my therapy- a chance to get away from life and just appreciate my body for what it can do! Awesome giveaway 🙂

  • Laura September 9, 2011, 5:45 pm

    I started running because I had a crush on a runner – five years later, I can’t even remember the runner’s name (lol!) but I’m still running. I run because it makes me able to handle the rest of my life with grace, and because it makes me feel strong and beautiful.

  • JennB@BeMe September 9, 2011, 5:47 pm

    First off, I LOVE the Pandora station for running, thank you : )

    I run because NOW I can. I have been recovered from an ED for over a decade and the one thing it stole from me was my love for running. Now, I outrun fear and having a blast doing it. Check out my stride at

    Have a blast this weekend!!!

  • Kate Harts September 9, 2011, 5:48 pm

    I started running because I felt I should! Then I got a border collie and I was forced to run! Although I’ve had bad sidelining injuries (ITBS, stress fractures) I’m still at it!

  • Bing September 9, 2011, 5:51 pm

    Running helps me de-stress, and gives me time to think & reflect. Also an excuse to have an extra scoop of ice cream or piece of chocolate! 🙂

  • Roselyn September 9, 2011, 5:52 pm

    I run to be me. To be alone, alone with my thoughts. To get away from anyone or anything that needs me. Running is MY time; my time away from my husband, kids, house, everything.

    I run to stay sane.

    I ran away from mild depression…I ran away from obesity…I ran away from a person I didn’t even know I was.

    Running is life.

  • Kelley September 9, 2011, 6:05 pm

    Running to me is inner peace and inner confidence.

  • Kelly September 9, 2011, 6:35 pm

    The reason why I run is best explained in a story. This week I started my 6th year teaching kindergarten. I love it, but it’s a very, very stressful job. I started this week feeling like I do at the beginning of every year, exhausted, stressed and with a massive headache. Finally yesterday morning I woke up before my alarm and decided why don’t I go for a run? A quick 20 minute run and I felt SO much better. My stomach was no longer tied in knots and I felt energized and ready to take on the day. And that, is why I run 🙂

  • Ashley @ Cooking for John September 9, 2011, 6:36 pm

    I run for my health and for my sanity. Anything seems possible after a good run! In fact, I’m heading out for one now!!

  • Laura September 9, 2011, 6:46 pm

    I know this is cliche…..but I really feel like running has made me a better person. I have challenged myself, I have gained confidence, I have made friends with the MOST positive people on the planet (i.e. who will wait out in the rain while I slog my way through a race), has hopefully added years to my life, I have volunteered and cheered on strangers to give everything on a run and giving me a passion I know will never go away.

  • nicole September 9, 2011, 6:48 pm

    I run in order to be calm. Running gives me a chance to think everything through and just sort things out. I love it!!!

  • Kara September 9, 2011, 6:49 pm

    Running is a good way for me to “burn off the crazy” and be a better wife and mom. 🙂

  • Alisa September 9, 2011, 6:54 pm

    I started running last spring just to prove to myself that I could run a mile straight. I have never been able to do this. Ever. I was the kid who couldn’t run a mile in gym class. In the last year, I’ve been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, PCOS, and have lost 57 lbs (1/2 way to my weight loss goal!). I was forced to stop running in June as I was having severe knee and hip pain but am finally back at it! In my time off, I realized how much I grew to absolutely love running! I am now training for my first 5K, which I plan to run with my sister on her birthday later this year! My sister and I have never had that much in common but she is a life-long runner. Since I started running, I feel so much closer to her. So, running to me is health, happiness, and it brings me closer to those that I love!

  • Liz September 9, 2011, 6:56 pm

    Running keeps me sane! I love the feeling when I’m miles away from home and I realize I can’t do any work even if I wanted to. It forces me to take a break and re-center myself!

  • Jacalyn September 9, 2011, 7:04 pm

    I run to inspire my son. I want him to grow up knowing fitness if a way of life. He is only 2 and already understands. When I lace up he says, “mama run”. I love it! To me, running is like breathing. I don’t put thought into it. I just wake up, lace up and do it.

  • Jackie September 9, 2011, 7:06 pm

    I’m just beginning to get into running and I think a 5K would be a great way to start. I’ve suffered from knees problems (hello, three torn ACLs) so I got into biking as my preferred form of exercise. After my first century this summer, I’ve had my eye set on competing in a triathlon next Spring! I’m just nervous about the running, but I figure I can start with short distances and work my way up. Thanks for the constant encouragement, Caitlin!

  • Irina @ Perfect Paradox World September 9, 2011, 7:10 pm

    I’m a newbie runner (started in May!) and it’s safe to say that running is the only form of exercise that I enjoy. It invigorates my entire body and makes me feel great, both physically and mentally, afterwards. I’ve only done one race, an 8k, and would love to do a 5k in the near future!

  • Lisa September 9, 2011, 7:13 pm

    We just moved to a new state, and running has replaced my old job and friends. It has filled a lot of voids I felt in this new place, and my endurance is through the roof. I ran my first half marathon in April and training for my first marathon in November. And running makes me a better mom to my four kids. Even though it is a large time commitment, I’m a better mom when I’m finished.

  • Kat September 9, 2011, 7:17 pm

    running to me is a HUGE relief of stress…it makes me feel stong and fabulous 🙂

  • Sarah September 9, 2011, 7:19 pm

    I just started running.. and I’m trying to love it. I want to be able to run a 5k, be healthy, energized, and lose a little weight in the process.

  • Brooke @ Tales of a Bride-To-Be September 9, 2011, 7:22 pm

    Running and racing to be is a sign of strength. Running allows you to release any emotion at the present time. You gain strength is weakness. Releasing that weakness will make you stronger in all ways of the word. Any one can run, it builds self-esteem inside and out. I love running, I get cranky if I miss my 3 scheduled runs a week. After a race, I’m never sad. I get so proud that I finished without walking or I stayed at my goal pace. There is always a positive out of race!

  • Sarah OUaL September 9, 2011, 7:22 pm

    (this is the coolest giveaway ever, btw)

    I’ve been so focused on long distance racing I’ve totally let the excitement of short(er) distances fade. I’d love to get back into sprints, speed work, and RACING-RACING. Bring on the pain, 5K!

  • Rachel A September 9, 2011, 7:26 pm

    I run for stress relief. Feeling like a rockstar when I finish helps too. I started running about 7 months ago after my dad and stepmom died unexpectedly….I needed a positive outlet.

  • dana September 9, 2011, 7:27 pm

    Running is confidence, strength and a time when I can be with my thoughts! It is my love!
    My 5k is the Turkey Trot at Catonsville High School. It supports my high school XC team!

  • adriana September 9, 2011, 7:40 pm

    I run because it makes me feel good about myself. No matter how non-athletic my body may look, I feel like a true athlete after pushing myself through a tough run.

  • Mariel September 9, 2011, 7:41 pm

    I run because it’s a release from my everday stressors! I can just be alone in my head and it’s A.MAZ.ING! 🙂
    -Speaking of 5k! I literally just signed up for one this morning, how strange! 🙂

    Awesome idea to do this, also!

  • Dari Marie September 9, 2011, 7:49 pm

    To me, running, and being able to do it, is a symbol of my health and how far I’ve come. At my heaviest, I was 5’0″ and 160 pounds. Unhealthy. Unhappy. Embarrassed. I remember in college entering a scavenger hunt with my best friend and my then-boyfriend, and when everyone got the first clue, they sprinted towards it, and I ran for maybe 30 seconds before I had to stop, and my team ran ahead of me. I was mortified.

    But I’ve taken control of my health since then. 138 and still going. Pounding the pavement because I CAN and I WILL and I WANT TO. Two miles now is nothing. I still have yet to run a 5k without walking, but I’m on my way, and totally excited about it. I ran the furthest I’ve ever run in my life today, and I feel like there’s nothing I can’t do.

  • Trista September 9, 2011, 7:51 pm

    Running for me is about a lot of things: fitness, proving I can do it, meeting new challenges. But mostly, I’ve really come to enjoy it. When I don’t run before work, I’m really tired and lethargic all day, but when I get my run in, I’m ready to face anything!

  • Courtney September 9, 2011, 7:54 pm

    I run to do distances I never thought I could. 10 years ago you couldn’t convince me I could run 3 let alone 6. Next up in April…half marathon!

  • Erin Couture September 9, 2011, 7:55 pm

    I have a 1 1/2 year old daughter-after her birth I did 1-5k and 5 mile race-but this was mostly to prove to myself and the world I could do it-suffered through them. Now after a year and a half I really miss running and need to get back into it for the enjoyment of it and not to prove anything. I am a much nicer person when I am consistently running and need to get back into it for real!

  • Shelly @ September 9, 2011, 8:02 pm

    Running saved my life! I started with Couch to 5K in April 2010. Ran a 25K this past May, and lost 107 pounds in the process. I just started training for my second long race, a half marathon in December. I’m slow, but I get it done! I just moved half way across the country from Chicago to Virginia 3 weeks ago, and even that 3 weeks away from running made me miss it tremendously. I’m so happy to be BACK and ready to rock it (and correct some of the mistakes I made in my 25K training!) 🙂 I’m running my first race in Virginia next weekend (a 5K). w00t w00t!

  • Deb September 9, 2011, 8:04 pm

    What a GREAT idea!!! I started running (well jogging) because I wanted to lose weight, and be considered an athlete!! Im not fast!! But I keep plugging away, and Im enjoying the challenge!!

  • Britton September 9, 2011, 8:14 pm

    Running is the only activity that I don’t love, but I really want to! My town has it’s own holiday called Mule Day (yes, it is redneck and yes, it is amazing) and an accompanying Mule Day 5k. I would love to run the next one!

  • Heidi September 9, 2011, 8:16 pm

    Running is my alone time-since I have 2 young children! It’s also put me on the path to be back where I was fitness-wise before I had kids!

  • Aditi September 9, 2011, 8:17 pm

    I run because it is the only activity where I can both be alone, and also with a group if I want the company. It can clear my head, make me feel good about myself and my body and I feel strong every time I do it!

  • Ari @ Ari's Menu September 9, 2011, 8:22 pm

    The very first time I got on a treadmill and attempted to run, I weighed well over 200 lbs and couldn’t even make it a full minute. As I continued my healthy life style change, I got up the courage to try again and I remember the day I ran just 1/4 mile without stopping, and I very vividly remember the first time I made it a full mile without stopping and how proud and accomplished I felt. Since then, it has been challenging with achilles tendins way too short for comfort and the injury it seems to recurrently induce on them, but I love it. It makes me feel like I’ve given myself completely to something in a way almost no other work out does. And I JUST decided I was finally going to sign up for my first race ever…the Susan Komen race for the cure 5K in Phoenix on October 9th, but I haven’t officially signed up yet :O)

  • Jennifer September 9, 2011, 8:23 pm

    I have been inspired by my sister and bloggers to get active so I started jog/ walking. I am not faHst but have enjoyed getting outside and getting my jog on!!

  • Kerry September 9, 2011, 8:30 pm

    This is actually a coincidence because I just started the C25k program last week and am training for my first 5K in October. I’ve always thought I hated running but was active in other things….Zumba, kickboxing, etc. I finally just decided to give running a try to see if I really did suck at it or if it was all a mental thing and I’m actually loving it so far!

  • Mari September 9, 2011, 8:34 pm

    I have NEVER been a runner, but your blog actually inspired me to start a few months ago! I can’t run far nor fast, but I am so glad I started lacing up my shoes and enjoying myself outside. Winning this giveaway would allow me to run my very first race!

  • Jenn September 9, 2011, 8:34 pm

    I love to run! I’ve been injured for awhile with Plantar Fasciitis and am receiving treatment and want to race so badly! Everytime I see someone running or my group at the Y, I get sad and want to GO RUN! So, The River City Rat Race is coming up soon, and I hope to be back at it for the race. I run for health, my sanity, and for the social aspect to hang for friends! I miss it!!!

  • Sarah Shep September 9, 2011, 8:34 pm

    Running, to me, is simple: free therapy. It’s my time alone to relax, release any frustrations, think about any (and every)thing, and sweat it out. I run when I’m happy, when I’m sad, when I’m angry, anxious, hopeful… you name it, I will run because of it. I will love to run for as long as my body allows! 🙂

  • Susan September 9, 2011, 8:35 pm

    Running saved my sanity- I started running initially because my husband bought me a treadmill and walking was getting boring. Before I knew it I was hooked on the feeling of accomplishment as depression slowly crept up on me running was the only thing that kept me going day after day. I was finally diagnosed with depression and am currently on medication but I still credit running with allowing me to not completely fall apart. As a SAHM I am on a strict budget & can’t really justify money for a 5k but there is one on Halloween I’ve been lusting after.

  • Toa Green September 9, 2011, 8:35 pm

    Running for me meant the end of feeling guilty. After a run, no matter how short, how slow, I always feel better than had I not done it at all. I breath better, feel better, live better.

  • Queenie September 9, 2011, 8:35 pm

    I started running in high school to stay in shape for basketball. I never thought I would actually run for enjoyment years later, but it has become a vital part of my life. Running is more than just a sport to me. It is something that I do for myself, helps me feel good about myself, build confidence, and allows me to put other things in my life in perspective. No matter the speed or distance, I can always be assured that I will feel better after a run.

  • Valerie September 9, 2011, 8:42 pm

    I run to stay healthy and reach new goals. I’m competing in my first triathlon this weekend and my first half marathon next weekend 😀

  • Matt September 9, 2011, 8:43 pm

    I love to run because it has taught me to respect my body and nourish it properly. I was running long distances, and not fueling properly, and before long i was battling injuries that threatened my future as a runner. But I took a break, learned from my mistakes, and have learned to give my body the fuel that it needs.

  • Katie September 9, 2011, 8:45 pm

    what a fun,unique giveaway! I started running after I started reading food blogs, and thought “hey, I could do that!” It’s become a great way for my husband and I to bond….we did our first 5K together on Valentine’s Day, and he proposed after our first half marathon! We have cut our mileage back and usually only run together once a week (I run alone twice) but another 5k would get us back in the groove together 🙂

  • Emily September 9, 2011, 8:49 pm

    Running means something I’d never thought I could love or be good at; it’s changed my whole idea of who I am and what I’m capable of 🙂

  • Stephanie September 9, 2011, 8:50 pm

    Running to me is an escape from everything. It’s time I get to myself to reflect on anything going on in my life and just “do me” as is sometimes necessary. It has become something I look forward to and something I absolutely need…no matter how many people I’m crazy for thinking that way 🙂

  • Dani September 9, 2011, 8:58 pm

    Honestly, I’m just starting out training for my first half marathon and I don’t love it. My knees hurt, my lungs burn, I am usually counting down the steps until I get closer and closer to the end of my route. However I DO love the feeling afterwards (besides being done ; ) ) but knowing I pushed through something that is good for me, and something that hopefully-over time- i will learn to love.

  • amy September 9, 2011, 9:13 pm

    I run because I feel awesome afterwards. I had no idea how great running (actually run/walking) could be until a friend introduced me several years ago.

    Signing up for a race forces me to get my butt moving.

    Now, I’m going to be an assistant GOTR coach to help motivate young girls to get moving! I can’t wait!!

  • Holly M. September 9, 2011, 9:15 pm

    Running has given me a sense of pride and independence. I’ve been a runner for about 5 years now. After a very hard divorce, running gave me back my confidence!

  • Linz September 9, 2011, 9:17 pm

    Running is a way for me to stay in shape. Running is a way for me to push my limits. Running is a way for me to go farther and faster than I thought possible. Running is a way for me to feel a sense of accomplishment. Running clears my mind. Running helps me live a healthy life. Running motivates me to excel in all areas of my life as I do in running.

  • Heather September 9, 2011, 9:25 pm

    I am new runner, and I really want to have a first race in the future to motivate me to get going! I started running earlier in the year, but a new job and life changes got in the way. I’d really love to have a goal to set me sights on!

  • Heather September 9, 2011, 9:25 pm

    I am new runner, and I really want to have a first race in the future to motivate me to get going! I started running earlier in the year, but a new job and life changes got in the way. I’d really love to have a goal to set my sights on!

  • Delia September 9, 2011, 9:26 pm

    What a great giveaway! I love the running endorphins and also the extra calorie burnage to make up for a few extra snacks in my diet.

  • Caitlin September 9, 2011, 9:28 pm

    What a cool idea!
    Running for me is a chance to appreciate my body and leave all self-criticisms behind! 🙂

  • Dee@GF Grad Nut September 9, 2011, 9:33 pm

    Running means hope. 30 pounds ago I NEVER thought I could run a 5K. Having quit nearly every sport or hobby I’ve tried over the years, I really expected to give up on running pretty quickly. But it’s been 4 years since my first 5K and now I’m thinking about a half marathon in the spring 🙂

  • jennifer p September 9, 2011, 9:38 pm

    running is my medicine! i started running to decrease my dependence on antidepressants. there are still some bad days, but i definitely have more good days now 🙂

  • Katie @ Healthy Heddleston September 9, 2011, 9:45 pm

    I run for many reasons — to stay active, because I like it, because I can, because it’s a stress reliever, because I feel great after it and many more reasons! I think this is a really nice giveaway Caitlin 🙂

  • Kristen S September 9, 2011, 9:51 pm

    I love running because it’s something I never thought I could do, but once I started, I couldn’t stop! I’ve been running at least 3 times a week for over a year and a half!

  • Jill September 9, 2011, 10:04 pm

    I run to stay fit and stay sane!

  • Stephanie September 9, 2011, 10:09 pm

    To me, running is a challenge that I never thought I would be able to tackle! But here I am, signing up for 10ks every month and my first (!) HALF MARATHON next year!

  • Carolyn September 9, 2011, 10:54 pm

    I run as a way to get away from it all. Just listen to music, watch the scenery, its a great way for me to relax and unwind. Plus, I’ve found that races are so much fun! I was on cloud nine for days after I finished my first half marathon (and first race)!

  • Tracy September 9, 2011, 10:58 pm

    Running means getting away, feeling strong, and being healthy!!!

  • Wendy September 9, 2011, 10:59 pm

    I want to just get started. I enjoy reading about your training and race recaps and I would love for that to be me. A giveaway like this would be just the motivation I need to break into running. Thanks for the opportunity.

  • AlisonJ September 9, 2011, 11:06 pm

    What a cool giveaway! Sometimes I hold back on running 5Ks b/c of the cost – would love to win this one!

  • Sam September 9, 2011, 11:12 pm

    Running to me is a way of feeling accomplished! Also, a great stress reliever. 🙂

  • Dorre September 9, 2011, 11:14 pm

    I am a new runner and would love the opportunity to try a 5k. Started running as some great cardio and for weight loss but now its kinda better then therapy 🙂

  • Sarah September 9, 2011, 11:24 pm

    What a great giveaway! I’m running my first 5K in two weeks – the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in honor of my mom who is a breast cancer survivor. I’m honestly terrified, even though I’ve been training for the past 6 weeks I’m scared I won’t be able to make it! I’ve really been enjoying my training runs and know that once I feel the adrenaline on race day I’ll be hooked!

  • Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy September 9, 2011, 11:30 pm

    I love that you’re doing this giveaway (thank you!). Every fall, I run some type of race. In the past, it has signified the beginning of a new (school) year…signified that if I put my mind to it, I can accomplish anything. Now that I’ve graduated and am working, running allows me to push myself, showing me that I am stronger than I give myself credit for.

  • Gammy September 10, 2011, 12:13 am

    I’ve had (and continue to have) a great life. But last year was an exceptionally hard one – professionally, personally, financially and health-wise. While friends and family were there for me, I had to hit rock bottom to realize that at the end of the day, I have to pull myself up on my own. I started walking in the evenings to clear my mind. Then I walked longer. And jogged a bit. And didn’t die. So I kept jogging – one extra block a day. It was incredible. Some days I’d run a bit, stop, cry, and run some more. It was the only time I felt on my own, free, and strong (interestingly, this brought on the waterworks too!). I googled “running” and “healthy” (and came across HTP and other blogs), I printed out C25K and taped it to my fridge, got a friend to sign up for a 5k with me, and then I ran. I feel like a chump saying I finished a 5k, given how much faster and longer most people run, but honestly, I was on TOP of the world when I finished my first 5k in June :)) Things turned around eventually, but it was TOUGH and running saved me. Because of some of those life changes, I’m now in a new city where it’s not easy at all to just run in my neighborhood, but the only way I’m getting my im-strong-me-time is by running – so I run in crowded sidewalks and dodge traffic. But I don’t care. I’m now a RUNNERRRR!!!

  • Angela September 10, 2011, 12:21 am

    Running has completely changed my perspective on life and what I am capable of. I used to have low self-esteem and hate the way I looked and thought I could never amount to much. Through running, I have found strength, a passion for life, and persistence.

  • Eleah September 10, 2011, 12:43 am

    Running to me means peace and self-love. It allows me to be honest to myself and get rid of all the negative thoughts I have throughout the day. It challenges me and makes me feel stronger, and it pushes me to be a better person!
    But if I won this, I would get a 5k entry for my dad. He started C25K this week because he wants to get in shape and run a marathon next fall. He wants to do so to celebrate turning 50, beating cancer, and to show me how proud he is of my academic accomplishments. But really, I’m the one who’s proud of him! An amazing man.

  • Sara September 10, 2011, 12:58 am

    Why do I run? Because my much loved grandfather died from heart disease. It runs in my family. Because I want to be a healthy example to my nieces, nephews, and my own children.

    And it makes me happy. I was training for my first 5k about a year ago, and I’m excited that I’m running my first 1/2 marathon 6 weeks from tomorrow. I never thought I’d be able to run a mile, let alone this far.

    I’m planning on running the same 5k this year, with my dad. (It will be his first race!) It is in a state park in MN in late October, and the trees are just beautiful.

    Have an awesome weekend! Good friends getting married makes for the most epic weddings!

  • Sarah September 10, 2011, 1:03 am

    I run not only to stay in shape, but to relieve stress. I love being able to pound the pavement or complete a HIIT workout without the stresses of life bringing me down. In those moments, it’s just me and my legs, which is one of the greatest feelings in the world.

  • Melissa @ Mouthwatering Morsel September 10, 2011, 2:19 am

    I started C25K this summer because I wanted to see if I can follow through. Then it was a good tool to lose weight. But when I finished, I stopped running. I want to get back to it by motivating myself by signing up for a 5k. It’s hard though being a college student. Those races can become costly. I had a few on my mind but always put it off saying to myself I’ll find one soon enough where I know I’ll have money to put. I guess I just need a push. Even if I don’t win this giveaway, I will push myself to sign up for one … hopefully sometime soon.

  • Jen September 10, 2011, 2:20 am

    Hahahaha…I LOVE honey badger…he just don’t care! :))

  • Joh September 10, 2011, 5:45 am

    I run because that’s where my sanity lies… When I am running I can think more clearly, it’s where my best ideas come from. It’s where I figure out life and it’s also where I leave frustrations (speed runs are great for that)

  • Michal September 10, 2011, 7:47 am

    Running has, and continues, to teach me so many things – it’s that place where I realize the ways I bring myself down and practice treating myself better, like learning to recognize my mini-accomplishments and take time for myself. I would LOVE to run a 5k, but I’m on a tight budget. I managed to find an affordable 8k for this year, but right now it looks like my own budget is limited to one race per year. Getting to add a 5k would be a dream! Especially if I could use it as motivation in training for a longer race like a 10k. Thank you for offering this opportunity to all of us!

  • helen @ change comes from within September 10, 2011, 8:41 am

    If you ever find yourself in the UK, look to see if there are any parkruns nearby. They are free, weekly timed 5kms, open to all!

  • Sarah September 10, 2011, 9:35 am

    I don’t run right now, but I have about 8 weeks until I give birth to my first child. I think getting back into running would help me be a great mother and wife.

  • Haley September 10, 2011, 10:16 am

    I run to clear my head. It is my “me” time for the day. I turn off my music and think/talk to myself =)

  • Lynn September 10, 2011, 10:44 am

    I run to enjoy some me time after a day spent with 19 seven year olds! I am a 2nd grade teacher! 🙂

  • Sarah L September 10, 2011, 11:43 am

    One reason that I run is because I love setting goals and working hard to meet them.

  • Jeri September 10, 2011, 12:21 pm

    I love running because it keeps me sane! I crave it as a release and I love seeing myself progress and improve my fitness!

  • Lesley September 10, 2011, 2:52 pm

    Running has given me my life back! I have lost 40 lbs. since running and it’s given me better health and most importantly more energy to love and care for my two little angel girls and my fabulous husband whose in school right now.

  • Sara September 10, 2011, 3:24 pm

    I want to start running to work on my fitness. Also, to have an exercise waiting right outside my door!

  • lauren September 10, 2011, 3:43 pm

    It was the start of a new life after a 6 yr relationship ended.

  • Raewyn September 10, 2011, 5:07 pm

    I just made a resolution to set a personal record in a 5K! I love running because although it takes some pushing to get myself going, I feel so unbelievably strong and proud of myself afterwards. 🙂

  • kristen September 10, 2011, 11:18 pm

    I started running 3 years ago when I ended a 6 year relationship, since then I have been in three half marathons.

  • Vanessa September 10, 2011, 11:48 pm

    I run to eat. My friend and I joke that we are ‘team meatballs’ because after a race, we go to our favourite spaghetti restaurant!

    I should note that neither of us actually order the meatballs. 😛

  • Mel September 11, 2011, 6:50 am

    i run to clear my head and to stay in shape. I’ve loved running since I was a little girl. I won the fastest kid in my town when I was 8 and I have kept running since then! I’d lvoe to win b/c races are so pricey and I’m a poor law student. haha

  • Sophie @ threetimesf September 12, 2011, 4:36 pm

    Great giveaway idea! I got halfway through C25K before life got a little busy and I sort of dropped it 🙁 Just starting again – to me, running is a way to lose some lbs, let off steam and make some friends!

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