Monday, July 5, 2010

Why I Run

Why do you run?

This was a topic on our Running to Win website that TeamNorthwest uses to track our mileage as we prepare for our upcoming 8K race. The website offers a forum where people can communicate with each other. I haven't ever felt the urge to participate in this particular forum, but I have thought about the question and today seems like a good day to answer it.

First of all, here's a training update. In June, I ran 58 miles! Last week, I ran 17 miles. As you can see, I'm making progress even though it feels at times like I'm not. Today was the best run to date. Norm and I were able to run the full 4.45 miles without stopping!! Additionally, we were well under a 12 minute mile, which has been my goal for awhile and has been maddeningly elusive for some reason.

So why do I run? Well, there's the obvious health reasons. When I run I eat better, feel more energy, deal with stress better...all of those well documented reasons. As we were running today I was thinking about other reasons that I run. When I'm running, I have to concentrate on the immediate to be successful. If I think too far down the run, either in time or route, I become discouraged. It just seems too hard, too far, too impossible to accomplish. This is like life, I think. Most of the time you just have to live in the current moment - looking ahead too often can leave me disheartened and overwhelmed. I also like the necessity of having to concentrate on the physical demands of running. It narrows my focus. I have to think about the task at hand which gives me a respite from the contemplative thoughts that can plague me.

When the going gets tough on a run, I like to think about my muscles and how well they're working. I talk to myself about how thankful I am that I can run. I know that things beyond my control can keep me from running: weather, schedules, injuries from out of the blue, even broken noses. When it's really tough, I say encouraging things out loud, like how well my muscles are working. My favorite thing to say to myself is from a movie called "Armageddon", where the commander barks out: "This is what we train for, so SUCK IT UP!!!". I love saying that out out loud. Norm sometimes tells me to stop talking. I think his way of coping is different.

That's pretty much why I run. I hope you enjoyed your week-end as much as I did.


  1. Good job! You guys are doing so well. :)

  2. Keep on running. I will join you as best as I can, but don't remind me how bad my legs are feeling?

  3. Man, you make me want to run too! But how to start ... ?