Tag Archives: running

Why I Run (Reason #11)

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Why I Run (Reason #11)

While I was at Cathy’s recently, she asked me when I get alone time. She knows me well. It’s important to me to have a little space. Introvert–you got me. During my “sabbatical,” as I’ve come to call our time at camp, it was pretty routine for me to spend the whole day alone while Glenn worked. I talked on the phone or watched TV and everything–there was no vow of silence or anything. But it was space for me. And I was shockingly okay with it. Now there’s not a lot of space for me. We’re either at the office or home. And when I’m home I feel kind of obligated to give Dad a break instead of hiding in the basement and sneaking a little alone time.

And so now I have a new reason to run: It’s my alone time. Unlike reading alone in the basement, which I could easily do for about three hours before I even blinked, I can only sustain it for so long so Dad knows I’m coming home eventually. And it’s hard to argue that we’re not all better off when I’m getting out there. Being outdoors, getting away alone, the strain on my muscles and the fatigue in my body are all good things. They allow me to be better when I’m home too.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d go for a run with Amy or Julie or any of my running friends again tonight if I somehow could but for now running is a solo thing for me.

So I have a new reason to run.

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Why I Run

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Why I Run

The word run here seems rather generous. I tend to move quicker than a walk but certainly not like the wind or anything. I routinely take walking breaks and get passed even when I am moving at my fastest. But I read a funny article a while back in Runner’s World about the differences between runners and joggers in the press. Somehow headlines about runners say things like: Runner Beats Odds or Runner Faces Challenge and Wins but joggers seems to be included in headlines more like: Jogger Attacked by Bear or Joggers Succumb to Injury. I couldn’t find the exact article but here’s a funny quote from Run Run Live‘s article, The Difference Between Running and Jogging:

Another great observation made was that whenever the news talks about it, as in “Miley Cyrus was seen jogging” or “Jogger attacked in the Park”, they never say ‘running’, they always say ‘jogging’.  Therefore, if you’re not on the six o’clock news, then you’re a runner.

So I’m sticking with run.

When Amy and I started running we kept waiting for that point in time when we would LOVE it, that moment when we would cross the threshold and become that person that says, “I just go crazy if I don’t get my run in everyday.” I’ve come to the conclusion that those moments will not happen for me…ever. I’ve also realized though that there are things I highly value about running.

1. I like feeling strong. Before I ran I felt iffy about doing active things. If we were asked to go on a bike ride, I would wonder if I would be able to keep up. I don’t worry about that now.

2. I like being part of the community of runners. It’s a very accepting community–even the elites are welcoming. The fact that I regularly read Runner’s World should go far to explain how open the community is. Whether you run an 8 minute mile or an 11 minute mile, other runners will tell you you’re one of them.

3. I like how I feel afterward: spent but not exhausted. And eventually more energized.

4. I like that I sleep well.

5. I like feeling disciplined and how that starts a positive-trickle-down in the rest of my life.

6. I like setting a goal and meeting it.

7. I like that I can change my outlook/attitude. Turns out that whole endorphin thing is true. So if the walls are closing in on me or I am suddenly finding EVERYONE irritating, I know that a run will change my mind.

8. I like getting outdoors. While I have been known to rock a treadmill workout or two, (in fact I’d really like a treadmill of my own) I love being outside. In Bend Amy and I ran outdoors year-round. Somehow the fresh air makes everything better.

9. I like feeling in control. Somehow running does that for me–I control my body: I control how hard I work, how fast I go, how far I go and when I stop. Those are my choices.

10. I like knowing that I am doing what I can to make my life better. Since I am in the “master runner” age bracket (eek!) I am starting to think about some of this stuff. I like knowing that I am building muscle mass that will serve me well as I age. I like that it helps my posture and lets me go a little bit longer between visits to the chiropractor. I like feeling my heart beat hard knowing that it will be stronger for it.

What about you? Do you run? Jog? Walk? I’d love to hear about your favorite trails in the Portland area or the perfect song to add to my playlist. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this little lovely:

What’s the difference between runners and joggers? The spelling.