A Sappy Post About How Running Makes Me Cry Happy Tears

Excuse me while I write an incredibly sappy post about how running has changed my outlook on life.

Earlier today I clicked over to Forbes to read an article called “Should Running Wunderkind Mary Cain Turn Pro?

Mary Cain is a track and field star who is only 17 years old.

mary cain

(Image Source: Kirby Lee / USA TODAY Sports)

The Forbes article wonders if Cain will go pro or stay amateur so she has the option to compete in college (as well as live a somewhat normal young adult life).

The author states that Cain could be making upwards of six to seven figures in endorsements if she went pro right now.

That’s a lot of money, but you know what, runner’s know that life is about more than money.

Before I started running I used to think about money a lot. How much I was making, how much I wanted to make, how much I needed to pay off my student loans, how much I needed to retire somewhat early, how much I needed to start my own business… the list goes on and on.

Then I started running.

When I’m out on the road I have a lot of time to think about things. My shortest run is always at least 30 minutes and my long run is over one hour at this time.

Given that I used to have so many questions about money (and I still do), you might assume that I think about money during my runs, at least some of the time. But I never do.

Sometimes I don’t think at all and sometimes I only think about my positive mantras (usually during my short runs), but during long runs my mind wanders to non-running topics.

I often think about my boyfriend, my cat, my parents, my creative projects and yes, future races. All things that make me smile.

Running has made me a more happy, positive and emotional person. Sometimes I’ll be out running and something I’ll think about will make me well up with happy tears. This actually happens to me quite often (is that normal?). Sometimes it happens more than once during a session (is that normal?).

Before I started running I rarely ever felt so overcome with happy emotion that I would tear up.

I really love the quote, “running never takes more than it gives back.” That’s true when it comes to increased fitness levels, but it’s also true in the way it can positively impact a life.

running never takes more than it gives back quote

I’m writing all of this because I think Mary Cain would agree that life is about more than making a million bucks from product endorsements. I think she knows this because she is a runner. I could be really wrong, but I’ve read so many blog posts over the past months from runners talking about how much hitting the road or a trail has helped them in their lives, that I think 99% of runners would agree.

Mary Cain should do whatever she wants. If that includes going pro and securing her financial future, that’s cool. If she decides to stay amateur that’s cool too.

Does running enrich your life and make you a happier person?



  1. Ali @ Hit the Ground Running
    June 25, 2013 / 9:04 pm

    I cry during races, and I know it’s not an unusual occurrence because my sister does too! I cry at the end of a long, intense, or somehow extra rewarding workout. I cry when I think about where I used to be and how far I’ve come. You’re absolutely right that running is about more than the money, and I think the most successful runners out there know it. Of all the things in the world – all the sports or jobs – I think runners probably care the least about the physical stuff they get because running in itself is so rewarding.

    • Kristina
      June 25, 2013 / 9:38 pm

      I agree. Just this morning I was thinking about how teams feel when they win a big championship game, and how in running our superbowl is when we cross the finish line of a “big” race with a shiny new PR … or just cross it period. I think we’re lucky because running is a solo sport in which there are no losers; we all get to be the champs at some point! yay running! 🙂

  2. Fat Girl Healthy
    June 26, 2013 / 12:02 am

    That is so Awesome that you have found something that makes such a positive impact in your life. Run with it girl and let those tears roll down your cheeks. I’ve cried happy tears many times when I think about where I started and how far I’ve come. I amaze myself everyday at the things I’m now capable of doing.

    • Kristina
      June 27, 2013 / 12:41 am

      I love that I’m not alone in welling up with tears of happiness when I run 🙂 And I love that you’re proud of what you’ve accomplished because it’s big! Pretty much anytime I think about the first time I crossed a finish line while I’m out running I’ll tear up – running is so awesome. So awesome.

      • born torun
        July 9, 2013 / 4:54 pm

        we all have discovered the best motivation to go running, which is the addiction to the feeling we get when we run.
        cherish it, tell people about it and always remember how good it feels.I will cry usually about mile 2. true tears of joy.
        Running has become spiritual for me , it is my religion,my church and my sanctuary all in one.
        stay inspired everyone .

        • Kristina
          July 9, 2013 / 8:06 pm

          I do! I tell people about how amazing running is every chance I get. Unfortunately people who have never run tend to be unwilling to consider it 🙁

  3. Karla Bruning
    June 27, 2013 / 1:50 am

    I get so emotional during races too because running has completely changed my life. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. I’m so glad you’ve found this and are pursuing it. Love the new blog makeover too!

  4. June 27, 2013 / 9:59 pm

    YESS you are so right, sometimes I feel totally overwhelmed with joy at the end of a really hard or long run and I want to cry…sometimes I work out issues on the run and also want to cry!