Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I Run Because....

I continually order and read running related books. Few after reading, have made the cut in my opinion as keepers and ones that I will go back to from time to time to reread or find a quote or inspiration. Others, I have found are best to pass along to a fellow runner in hopes that they will learn or find inspiration between it's pages as it was not present to me when I was reading it.

Most recently, I finished Zen and the Art of Running, by James Shapiro. The book talks about runners and their attempts to get in the "zone" but through techniques in this book, you will reportedly learn to enter the "Zen" zone. By using a mindful approach which is most commonly associated with Buddhism, you may discover how to run longer, faster, and harder. It is an interesting read, and gave me something to reflect on, but not something that I felt was something I would continue to go to the well on.

Enter social media. I have done a couple of book giveaways via Twitter before, but asked nothing more from fellow runners than to indicate interest. This time, I thought that a reflection on why do they run would yield some interesting and insightful answers. So in order to enter the contest, I stated that they had to tweet me with the following statement and fill in: I Run Because..... (some of the responses).

- " I run because it is like drinking water"

- " I run because I need a new belt buckle. Running the Umstead 100 this weekend."

- " I run because it makes me feel so happy to overcome the evil brain every time I finish a run. It's a victory for me."

- " I run because NOT running isn't an option."

- " I run because it makes negative experimental results much more manageable. Also because, I feel better than I would if I didn't"

- " I run because it always given me back everything I've put into it. It's because of running that I even have a job right now."

" I run because it makes me a better person in so many ways: physcially, emotionally, spiritually, mentally. My kids are happier when I run. "

- " I run because it helps slow everything else down."

- " I run because I was fat and out of shape and have reversed it. I'll live longer for me and my family. I can keep up with kids and cool runner friends"

- " I run because it saved my life. 7 years ago, I was over 300 pounds and unhealthy. I knew I had to make a change. My first 26.2 is this May."

- " I run because it keeps me sane."

- " I run because even though I love my job, it can be stressful at times."

- " I run because it makes me a healthier man, with a clearer head, a happier heart, and a sense of purpose."

- " I run because stopping is not an option"

- " I run because I can. More complex than it sounds. There was a time, when I couldn't"

- " I run because it makes me a better human"

- " I run because the trails feel unappreciated and need to be used"

- " I run because life demands it! And I accept that graciously."

- "I run because it makes me a better person at everything I do and makes me a better person."

In the end, it is not about a contest, or winning a book, but the answers that people provided showed an honest and open nature as to how and why they have chosen this sport. So the question begs....I Run Because....

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Lunch Run

By nature, I am an early morning runner. In fact, one of my favorite sayings is "up before the sun, to get it done." That being said, I had planned on doing another after school run today to get my mileage in for the day when I came upon an idea.

My job as a school administrator does not afford me the opportunity to squeeze a lunch time run or for that matter sometimes a lunch without interruption most days. However, I know that people swear by their lunchtime workouts as a way of maximizing their time and giving them energy for the rest of the day. So, with a Professional Development day on tap and an hour available for lunch, I thought, why not try out this lunch time run thing?

I am not gonna lie. As I sat through several meetings in the morning, I was giddy with the thought of slipping into my S3's (shorts, shirt, and shoes), sliding out for an easy 3, and hurriedly trying to scarf down some food within the hours time. The temp was a cool and comfortable 56 degrees with not a cloud a sight. Even though I gotten in just over 7 miles earlier that morning, the legs felt loose and light carrying my swiftly over the 3 miles in just under 24 minutes.

Post run, I slipped back into my work attire, scarfed down some food and resumed listening to presentations by various community agencies. However, the sweet smell of funk and the salty residue crusted on my brow was a reminder if only to me of the fun I had trying out this lunch run thing.