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!