Advice for the Noncompetitive Runner

Chicago has 26 miles of lakefront – 19 of those miles are also bike and running paths. This is paradise for athletes and those pursuing a healthy lifestyle. When I moved up to Chicago I fell in love; thanks to the lakefront trail. Ever since college I’ve been running, not because I love the competition of running, but because it helps me unwind. Many times we only associate running as a fast-paced competitive sport or a weight-loss tool; It doesn’t have to be.


Sometimes we run not to be in shape physically, but to be in shape mentally.


I completed a half marathon in 2016 to reach one goal: finishing the race. It was less about competing against others, and more about testing my own mental strength. Running and training put me at ease from the stresses of everyday life.

I accomplished something I never thought was possible.

13.1 miles is a long distance for most people, but I’m proof it’s doable. Running is mental soul food. If you have a hard time getting motivated, this is going to sound cheesy…

Find your happy place.

It’s true. Every time I’m running down the trail to the city skyline an overwhelming feeling of thankfulness and amazement hits me like a brick wall. It doesn’t matter if it’s 20 degrees or 80 degrees, I always find myself running here. The view reminds me how lucky I am to be, live, and play in this beautiful city. Not just because it’s scenic, but because living in Chicago was a life goal I have always had from a young age, and here I am. Sometimes we forget how thankful we really should be, and running here – at my happy place – makes me remember.



But, even before I moved to Chicago I found my go-to running spot, which ironically still involved running by a lake. The point is, we can’t always have skyline views as an option, but we can find somewhere beautiful, somewhere we love to escape. You will be surprised how it motivates you to achieve your goals and be thankful for where you are.

Sometimes we need a refresher to do things because we love them and because we love the journey not just the results.