Part one — top five reasons I run:

1) To keep in shape — my weight doesn’t always go down, but I love the way my body looks and feels when I’m doing well with running.

2) To de-stress — nothing like pounding the pavement and running until my heart hurts and I am too exhausted to punch anything even if I still wanted to, to get stress out of my body.

3) Because it looks cool — I have to admit that I like it when other people see me run because I feel proud of the fact that, just by running at all, I’m doing something most people don’t / won’t / can’t do.

4) To develop discipline — I am constantly using positive self-talk when I run, and I find that the more I practice there, the easier it gets to do in other parts of life.

5) It doesn’t take a lot to run — just shoes and either a treadmill or a road (as MummyDearest said) — which means that, unlike other modes of exercise, I have much less excuse not to just get out there and do it.

Part two — top five running lessons:

1) Pay attention to your body — it’s important to know what kinds of discomfort are growing edges and what kinds are warning signs.

2) Stretch even if it seems boring and takes what feels like a really long time.

3) Having concrete goals is important to me, as is having people who know of my goals and can help keep me enthused / honest about them.

4) There’s a really cool website that helps figure out running routes — so you don’t have to drive all the roads in the area fifty million times to find just the right length routes. In Indiana, it was much easier… yay for roads perpendicular and exactly a mile apart.

5) Yay for iPods on long runs (as MummyDearest said) — no explanation necessary.

I’m supposed to tap fellow bloggers to do this, too, but I don’t know many bloggers who also run… so, sarahesperanza, if you still run every now and again, you’re my first… and, uh, how about eruditelitite — have your hubby post on your blog?… And anyone who reads this and wants to post on their blog, just include a link to your blog in the comments section…

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Running for Gould Farm

Finally, we’ve gotten around to starting to be official with a new adventure… so I don’t have to keep biting my tongue quite so hard. 😉

Another GFer and I are training for a marathon (all 26.2 miles of it) in Cape Cod in October. At least five other GFers are also running the marathon as a relay. As added incentive and sense of purpose, we’re all raising money to support Gould Farm and to raise awareness of the farm and mental illness.

So you’ll hear more about this along the line, but for now, know that, though our blog is just a baby and our fundraising hasn’t quite started, we’d greatly appreciate any support you want to give us and the farm — commenting on our blog or checking out the Gould Farm website or educating yourself and your friends about mental illness are all great. And, of course, if your support comes in the form of money or powerbars or yelling encouragement along the route, we’ll be thrilled.

Here’s the Gould Farm website, the Cape Cod Marathon site, and our “Running for Gould Farm!” blog (The link to our blog will also be perpetually on the sidebar, should you want to look at it again later.)