Originally I started this blog as a way to keep track of my running, and to give me a place to review and summarize what was going on. In that time I gained 3 or 4 followers that occasionally read my posts – and it would make me feel like I had to keep a very direct focus on running.
The problem is, I don’t always have much to say about running. As an example, Right now I am running 2 miles on a treadmill when I run. How many different ways could I say that?
– Did two miles today on the old treadmill…
– Ran on the treadmill today, two miles!
– The Belt on the Treadmill goes round and round… For two miles!
Ok.. seriously? Not really a terribly interesting post.. Especially if I am saying it over and over every day.
In addition there are points that I am NOT running.. So I feel like I can’t post, because I can’t write about running…
And last but not least.. I don’t think that when I write and limit myself to running – that I am all that interesting.
So.. What does it mean to be a runner? Are you only a runner when you are out there putting one fut in front of the other? Or as a runner is it something that I always am. For me, it’s an intrinsic part of who I am. I think that even in my large period of not running from when I left the Navy (1998) to when I started back up – I had 11 years that I did not run regularly. Yet, inside – I still considered myself a runner. This intrinsic viewpoint of myself as a runner – is what made me think nothing of running a 5k when someone I had run cross-country with asked me too. Now mind you I hadn’t run a 5k since 1998, yet I hopped out and hoped to do it in less than 30 minutes.
I ran it at an average of 8:57 mile, at a 27:47 pace. Not bad for my primary form of exercise having been arm curls (Aka drinking beer!) At the time I didn’t think anything of it, I was just pleased that I had done better than I my goal, but not quite as good as the 27:30 I had hoped for. I wasn’t really disappointed. Now I stop and think about that. After doing NO real exercise for a decade, I went out and ran a 5k in less than a 9 minute mile. All runners know that a race is mental. I knew I was a runner, so finishing wasn’t really a question – it was simply a given. This is how ingrained being a runner is to my mentality.
When I am unable to run – even when I’m not running, it feels like part of me is missing. Knowing I CAN’T run, is very different that knowing I DIDN’T run. In my mind, I am a runner even if I choose not to run at that given time (or consecutive given times). But then if I CAN’T run, how can I be a runner? Since it is such a deep part of who I am, it leads me to a couple of thoughts. 1) I really owe my Highschool Cross Country Coach a gift card for dinner.. and 2) It is a part of me regardless of what I am doing.
I think about days that I have walked all over a town on vacation. Or wandering through the Baltimore Aquarium with family and friends. Due to the fact I am a runner, I am more than happy to keep going/walking.
When I lived in the snow-belt of NY, I could keep shoveling and not take as many breaks as I might… Because I was a runner.
When I am driving down the road and see a runner, I immediately look at their foot strike, see how they lean and examine their form… Because I am a runner.
When visiting different places, from the DC Mall, Inner Harbor in Baltimore, Hiking in Ithaca, NY, or going through Central Park – I look at what it would be like to run the area, and what roads/trails would be best… Because I am a runner.
More than all of these things however, running has helped me to see the world differently whether I am running or not.
– Running has helped me deal with life’s stress better, so I am more calm dealing with other people.
– Running has taught me that good things are worth working toward, so I am no longer as focused on “instant gratification” that so seems to be ingrained in American life.
– Running has taught me that life has set backs due to stupid decisions, but that with MORE work (and patience) you can overcome your own stupidity.
– Running has taught me that even when you are alone, there are others out there doing the same thing,and you are never truly alone.
– Running has taught me perspective – that even when I am bummed I can only run 2 miles, there are those that cannot run 1 mile.
What I mean with all this rambling, is that I feel like my running – is more than just saying “hey I ran this far and saw these things.” Running IS a part of who I am, even when I can’t/don’t run. I think this may be one of the reason my posts seem so flat to me. I am only writing about PART, while trying to ignore the rest.
I think this Blog is going to grow. Instead of only being focused on Running, it will expand more on, well – whatever I feel like rambling about that is going on. This isn’t to say it won’t be about Running any more – it’s just that it will be about running AND MORE. I can’t really say at this point what it is going to be, as I don’t have anything specific in mind. But as the posts change, or an interesting topic comes up – please let me know what you think!
I think you should definitely post what you like, whether its about running or not. People like your blog because of content AND style, and the style obviously has some of your personal characteristics coming through, so people like you. And will no doubt like what you have to say on other things. I have TOO much to say on other things (mostly lots about nothing) , so I have another blog thats for my ramblings. Its not about anything specific and doesnt really offer anyone any advice, its just a place I like to write about things that I notice or think.
My advice to you is, fill yer boots!
P.s You can also create categories for your posts, so your loyal running readers will be able to find specific posts that they are interesetd in, if thats all they want to read 🙂