Defn: a human male displaying evidence of devolution - exhibits distinctive "caveman-like" tendencies. This man often dribbles in public places; cannot drink a beverage without spilling it on himself, the floor or someone else; may also run into objects like lampposts & bushes; has a definite "sloopish & short legged" running style that is slow and low to the ground, often resulting in the dragging of knuckles.

These throwback neanderthals, along with their questionable diet, should clearly be avoided.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What is this running thing?

2 different directions in this post.  1) A "report" on my first run since the Pikes Peak Marathon.  And 2) What is "it" about running?

1) The goal race of the year is over and I didn't run for over a week after.  No rush to get back to running.  No training runs that were urgent enough that if I missed a run, I was trying to figure out what to do to get that missed time / opportunity back.  No urgent "need" to run.

I recovered quite well after PPM, better than I thought I would.  I was definitely sore and downright uncomfortable for about 2 days after.  By Wednesday though, I could move fairly well and actually went for an hour long walk while 1 of my kids was at soccer practice.

I had thought about and kind of wanted to get a run in on Saturday and / or Sunday, but didn't due to kids soccer, the house honey-do list and some other excuses that were pretty lame.

Was kind of wierd, the longer it was that I hadn't run, the more I wanted to get out and run.  But, the easier the excuses were to come by to not actually run.

Monday afternoon - I ran.  All day long I was looking forward to it.  I wasn't sure where I was going to run, or for how long or how far.  As the day rambled on, my ambitions grew.  At one point I actually decided I wanted to run part of, if not all of the PPM course that day.  Fortunately that thought passed as I figured out I didn't have time - or for that matter, ability.

So, I decided on an easy 6 miler.  Parked at the trailhead at Woodmen Rd and got on the Santa Fe Trail, heading North into the USAFA.  I set out on an easy 9 min mile pace because that felt about right.  That felt a little slow but I decided to stick with it and before I knew it I had 3 miles (if I turned then would make for a 6 mile round trip).  But, that felt a little short.

So, instead of turning I kept on going, and going.  This was nice, and fun.  At 6 miles in I was still moving fine w/ no stress on the pace or apparent weariness on the legs.  However, smart person that I am, I finally realized that for every mile out I had run, I had to run back to where I started.  I was faced with now being half way in to a 12 miler - after not running in 8 days.

The run back was fine, I even picked up the pace to 8 min average for the return 6 miles (tailwind and more downhill than uphills).  The run was fun, not planned out, nor expected - I was a little sore after and definitely weary.  But what a fun return to running.  Which leads to.......

2).....what is "it" about running?
I'm assuming the readers of this running blog are runners to some degree.  For every runner I'm sure we run for a different reason or reasons.  I know there are probably some similar themes and motivations common to each of us, along with varying layers of abilities and accomplishments.  But when it all boils down to "it" - we / you / I run.

Some runners run with a style more noticeable and recognizeable than others.  Some styles resemble an unfortunate shuffle of 2 left feet at your first middle school dance.  Others run looking like they are being attacked by bee's while trying to dodge acid puddles.  While others are a picture of smooth efficiency - when observed makes you not only drool and long to emulate - but also cause you to take your eyes off where you are running and run into a tree.

Someone smart would say that you can't spell R-U-N without U in it.  To those so gifted at spelling I would like to point out that you also can't spell U-P-H-I-L-L without H-I in it, or for that matter I-L-L.  Some run smarter than others.  Some run longer than others.  Some people run in cold weather, some in hot weather, others don't like to run in the rain while some think running in the rain is a good excuse for a shower.  Some enjoy running in snow, or on a beach, or on a "beautiful, twisty, singletrack trail" in the mountains.  Others stick to the track or the pavement.  We have our favorite places to run - some we like to keep to ourselves, other running places we willingly share with other runners (or hikers, bikers, horses and wildlife).

We run.  Those that run are marketed to by the "running industry" (Those that don't, but should run, are also marketed to).  We buy products to help us run.  We read books and magazines about running.  We spend money to run.  We travel to run.  Running takes time.  Running takes effort (for most).  Some people blog, tweet, post, write, share photos and brag about their running exploits, achievements and adventures.  I can be accused of many of these.

We run because it makes us happy, helps us get distracted, helps with weight and personal appearances.  We feel good when we run (some times).  We run to get from point A to point B, or from point A, go around in circles for a while to eventually back to point A.

After not running for 8 days - coming off the hardest race of my life and before that the hardest I have trained for a run in my life - I was "over" running for a while.  However, it didn't take long for the seed to develop again and grow.  After neglecting and excusing it for a few days - I ran.  When I ran, I kept going, not because I didn't want to stop - but simply because I was just plain old "running".  It felt right, it was right.  So, I ran (insert Forrest Gump reference here).
So, in answer to my question:  what is "it" about running?  Could be many things and do we really need just one reason?  The best reason I can come up with is: "just because".


  1. "Just because I can"

    Very well written post and glad you didn't decide to hang it up. :)

  2. It ain't just an exercise thing. It is a living thing.