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reasons make running routine

WE RUN TO SHUT DOWN STRESS
Alisha Perkins, 33, felt so uneasy when her husband (Minnesota Twins pitcher Glen Perkins) traveled for games that her mom had to come sleep in the bed with her. When a therapist could only lessen the anxiety—not stop it from happening in the first place—Perkins found relief in her regular run. She bumped up her typical two-miler to five, and something clicked

WE RUN TO GET THAT FANTASTIC HIGH
Runner’s high—that euphoric feeling that makes you want to run forever—may seem like a myth, or just elusive. But it’s a real by-product of pounding the pavement. And it isn’t caused only by endorphins. According to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, it could be endocannabinoids (eCBs), chemicals your body releases that promote relaxation. (Yeah, the same stuff in pot.) “Runners at all levels have the opportunity to experience this superneurological phenomenon,” says Jeff Brown, Psy.D., chief psychologist for the Boston Marathon. There’s no secret formula, but to up your odds, run at least 30 minutes (pre

WE RUN TO CROSS A FINISH LINE
There are now over 30,000 races held around the U.S. “Race fields have not only grown but gotten more inclusive too,” says Ariane Machin, Ph.D., a sport psychologist in Raleigh, North Carolina, and a runner herself. “When I was younger, only ‘good’ runners raced. Now races aren’t just about performance but about the whole experience, and having fun.” Cue everything from marathon relays and color runs to obstacle races and zombie runs. There’s sumthin’ for everyone.

WE RUN TO SEE THE WORLD
We usually don’t love made-up words, but run-cations? That we can get behind. More women are building their vacations around races in beautiful (or just cool) locations, says Rich Harshbarger, CEO of Running USA. Case in point: 42 percent of runners in this year’s Paris Marathon traveled from another country to race. Other race directors are taking note. After the perennial success of the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend in Orlando, the race series is expanding internationally (to Paris!) for the first time ever this fall