When I was 5 or 6, my dad would take my two sisters and me to Diablo Valley College outside Oakland, and we'd do 50-and 100-yard dashes. We loved the competition.
Throughout my life, I ran off and on. I don't think I ever got past five miles. Now I realize you feel better after the five-mile mark. That's when your body wakes up.
I was a smoker until my early 20s. Running has made me appreciate the capacity to breathe and use my body. (Related: Quit Smoking to Banish Belly Fat)
I run without music. There aren't many places you can be without your phone and computer. I crave the time alone.
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New York gets smaller when you run. In Central Park, I saw a friend I hadn't seen in a long time. We ran together and chatted. And sometimes I'll see that someone has Tweeted, "I ran past Christy Turlington this morning."
I felt good through mile 18 [of last year's New York City Marathon, her first]. In the Bronx, I needed to walk. I gave birth twice without drugs, and the last three miles were close to that experience. [She finished in 4:20:47.] (Search: Train for the New York City Marathon)
After the race, I had to cross a road where marathoners were still coming. I'm going to get totally nailed, I thought, because I could barely move. Later, I walked into my friend's apartment, said hi to family, and just lay on the floor.
VIDEO: Post-Run Self-Massage Tips
In many countries, 5-K is the minimum women must walk to reach a clinic to deliver her baby. Every Mother Counts is partnering with 5-K races on Mother's Day to support maternal and child health.
(Free Poster: Go Running—Your Facebook Friends Can Wait)
Last fall I ran along the Charles River in Boston. Rowers were on the water; it was starting to rain. Had I not been training, I would have missed these snapshots of a city.
Health is your greatest wealth, so experiencing a marathon and seeing what you're capable of is really special.
Read the full Runner’s World interview with Christy Turlington Burns!