Sunday, January 18, 2009

Why do I run?

Why do I run? I actually get that question a lot. Friends and family will tell me I'm crazy for running so much lately. Some will say they hate running and even despise the thought of doing it. I have one friend that runs a little to stay in shape, but tells me he doesn't enjoy one second of it.

Running is tough on your body if your not careful about it. I believe it takes time to make it enjoyable. You need to be consistent about it. If I was to only run once a week I don't think I could enjoy it. I would never get in shape to be able to enjoy it. Everytime I would go out for a run I would be suffering. When I'm consistent I enjoy it because I'm in shape and it feels good. Especially when the endorphins kick in.

I'm not saying I feel good everytime I run, because their are days that I struggle or lack the motivation to put the shoes on and go run. I believe a big reason I run is the satisfaction I get from hard work. I actually developed a Hard work ethic from the sport of wrestling. Wrestling is a sport that talent isn't as important of an aspect as it is in other sports. If you are willing to work your butt off and be consistent in your training you can get good fast. Their are so many aspects in wrestling that you need to work on. You must work on you aerobic, anaerobic, strength training, flexibility, and nutrition. Not to mention how mental wrestling is. It is a tough sport to recruit kids to try, because it is so tough. Our society is a lot softer than it use to be.

I've read Dean Karnasez book 50/50 where he runs 50 Marathons in 50 days in 50 states. Pretty amazing and he talks about how running can teach you that there is a difference between working hard and feeling bad. That our consumer culture tries to teach us to live the easy life. Just watch tv and look at most of the commercials. They talk about making our lives easier. If everything you knew about life came from TV, your goal would probably be to live the easiest, most comfortable and unchallenging life possible. You would believe that the only good feelings are sensual pleasures such as the taste of a good soft drink and the fun of driving an expensive car and lying on the beach. It's not true. Challenging and testing your mind and body, even to the point of exhaustion, failure, and breakdown, can feel as wonderful as anything else life has to offer. It really bothers me when students I teach will brag about being lazy. I'll ask them why they don't try out for a sport or go to a gym to work out and they laugh and say they are too lazy. After school they would rather hit McDonalds and then go home and play some Xbox.

Marathon running is taking off in our country. The Chicago Marathon for example has over 45,000 runners in it. There are marathons in every state and almost every big city in the US. This running phenomenon could be in part a largely unconscious backlash against comfort culture and the easy life. Heated seats and online shopping have created a void that we're all sensing. Our modern comforts and conveniences have accumulated to the point that they have stopped making us feel better and started making us feel worse. Some primal instinct inside is trying to tell us that what is needed is a good, hard sweat-some struggle in our lives; some physical challenge. The marathon may fill this void for people.

Today I had a great long run. I met Jerry Ross and some of his training group at the Sports Dome at 10am. A group of 4 of us did 16 miles outside and then Jerry and I did 5 more in the dome to give us 21 miles. This also gave me 81 miles for the week. I do keep track of my mileage with a training log. It's always updated on the right hand side of my blog under "Tom Ritchie- Training log". It was a perfect day for running. It was about 35 degrees out and sunny. It was so nice to actually get outside after the crazy weather we had this week.

Quick run down for this past week:
1/12- 6 miles
1/13- 10 miles
1/14- 15 miles
1/15- 10 miles (6am/4pm)
1/16- 13 miles
1/17- 6 miles
1/18- 21 miles

= 81 miles for the week.


Jole said...

I will have to check out the 50/50 book. I have been eyeing it! Anyway, that reminds me of something I heard recently related to retirement and how it came about. Don't quote me on this but it boils down to a politician that wanted to get rid of his enemies and competition- they were all older... Up to that point, people worked their entire lives and never "took a break". I will think of that next time I decide it's more enjoyable to go home and sit around! Well, this week is an exception! :)
Awesome! 81 miles- wow!!!

Evan said...

Running is freedom. There is nothing better than running in the mountains.

Though you are a speed demon so I think you just like pain!!

Whats your goal for Boston??