Showing posts with label why I run. Show all posts
Showing posts with label why I run. Show all posts

Friday, February 09, 2007

What Kind of Runner Are You?

The March 2007 Runner's World has a Runner's Personality Quiz to help us discover what type of runner we are. The article gives four types of runners, and the quiz consists of 14 questions. Because the article is copyrighted, I won't give the questions, but here are the four categories. I took the quiz, and I am a Purist. I already knew that, but it was interesting to take the quiz and to have my self-analysis confirmed. The description given below for a Purist fits me to a "T".


You are motivated primarily by competition. How far and how fast you run is largely dictated by meeting the needs of your racing, and you think of running in terms of training. You would still run if you had to give up racing, but not nearly as intensely.

Your main motivation is running for running's sake--you like how it feels and how it makes you feel afterward. You might race, you might not. Running is part of your routine; it makes you feel complete. How far and how fast you run is based more on how you feel that day, your perceived needs, how nice of a day it is, and your surroundings. You hope to run a decent amount pretty much every day for the rest of your life.

You do a fair amount of racing, but you're drawn more by the social aspects of the events than your competitive drive. You're probably in a running club, and you're likely to volunteer at races.

You run primarily for the quantifiable physical benefits, such as weight loss and disease protection. You think of running more as exercise than as something that's a natural part of the day and are likely to skip it if life's obstacles make it inconvenient. You likely to cross-train. You're not likely to participate in races, but you might sign up for one if it benefits a charitable cause.

If you have a chance get the magazine, take the quiz and read the details that I left out of the four types of runners.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

My school experience in running

A friend of mine made a post in her blog that described her school experiences in running. I enjoyed reading that and thought I'd explain my school experiences. So here goes.

There, done. "But wait a minute", you say. "You didn't write anything." That's right, because I didn't have any school experiences in running. My Jr. High and High Schools had no track program or other running program. My PE classes didn't involve running. I don't recall my schools having field days. As far as I was concerned, running didn't exist during my childhood.

During high school my friends tried to get me to try out for football, but I declined their encouragement. I played neighborhood football with them and knew it wasn't my thing. I was born with a skeleton that was, as a specialist described, "the opposite of double joints." I've never been able to do quick movements or to fall gracefully. Football would have killed me. I was too awkward and slow for basketball. I did play baseball on a neighborhood team. I also played baseball on a neighborhood team, and I played left-field because I could just stand there and catch a fly ball once in a while. I don't remember any baseball program in my high school. I do remember a gym class in the 7th and 8th grades (1st two years of Jr. High) in which we had to do "tumbling". My attempts at tumbling were to put my head and hands down down and let my momentum carry me over the rolled-up mat -- I always landed with a "crash".

In terms of physical exercise, the one good thing I had going for me was that I did a lot of walking and bike riding. I lived in a small town of about 5000 people in Southern Utah. It was about a mile to school, and I walked it twice a day (we came home for lunch). It was a half-mile to the public library where I would devour books. Another quarter mile put me in the down-town area for shopping. A couple of miles east was the "red hill" where we hiked. A couple of miles south were the "south fields" where we played "army" with WWII gear we bought surplus. A couple of miles west were the "west hills" where I shot my 22 when I first got it as a 12-year old. About three miles south-west was my dad's farm (with his brothers) where I hunted jack rabbits. In those days, if you wanted to go somewhere, you walked or rode a bike! I even remember as a small grade school age child riding my tricycle (not bicycle) several miles to my cousin's farm to spend the night.

I did lots of jack rabbit hunting during my adolescent years. I remember one winter day walking to my dad's farm and hunting jack rabbits for several hours. There was about a foot of snow on the ground, and my only protection for my feet was a pair of rubber galoshes -- thin rubber shells to keep our feet dry but provide no insulation. As I was walking back, I encountered my neighbor who was going out to hunt jack rabbits. I turned around and went hunting with him. I ended up walking in the snow for 8 or 9 hours. When I got home, I discovered my big toe was black and blue, and the toe nail came off a few days later. Frostbite! Such was the life of a teenage walker.

My first introduction to running was while I was in college and in the Utah National Guard. I attended basic training at Ft. Ord, California and did a lot of double-time running. I had no problems with that and enjoyed it. After my six months at Ft. Ord and a small military camp in Southern California, I returned to college in Logan, Utah. Each summer for four years I attended National Guard summer camp at Camp Williams near Salt Lake City. After camp one summer, an army friend suggested I continue the running we had been doing at camp. That sounded interesting, so I did it a few times that summer, but when school resumed, I was too busy (Electrical Engineering major) with studies to continue the running.

It was probably 10 or 15 years later when I started to seriously run as a way of strengthening my feet muscles -- I would suffer great pain when I would spend 7 or 8 hours on my feet doing yard work. I have been running ever since. I run because I enjoy it!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Why do I run?

I am often asked why I run, especially when people find out that I'm a long-distance runner. Here is my answer. I run because I love the mastery over my body that allows me to run. I run because I love the feeling of running mile after mile as if there were no end to it. I run because it is part of my heritage -- humans were built to run, first to hunt, then to travel, and now to commune. But, most of all, I run because I love to run. It has become part of my nature!

For Love or Money?

Friday, April 07, 2006

Positive Addiction to Running

I recently read a small book called Positive Addiction by William Glasser. Glasser said there are two types of addiction, negative and positive. Negative addiction is harmful to us. It is based on judgment and guilt and the feeling that we are worthless. Positive addiction, on the other hand, strengthens us and increases the quality of our life.

Glasser gives the steps that lead to positive addiction about an activity, including doing the activity alone rather than with groups, and doing it for the pure enjoyment of the activity. If we run with another runner(s), for example, there is a tendency to compete and to judge. If our running partner is faster than we are, we will probably increase our pace to keep up with the other runner, and in so doing convince ourselves that the other runner is better than we are. If we run because we want to lose weight or to be on a school team, we will be in judgment of ourselves. We judge ourselves as being overweight. We judge ourselves as being slower (or faster) than the runners with whom we compete.

Of course, we should run with others and we should run to achieve goals if those are our needs. Competition has its place in our lives, but we need to recognize that by its nature, competition is negative and judgmental.

In addition to running for competition or to achieve other goals, we need to also run for no other reason than the pure enjoyment of running. If we are to be positively addicted to running, we have to accept ourselves for whom we are, without criticism and judgment. We have to learn to love our running and to allow our running to be a positive, strengthening influence in our lives. We can learn to become positively addicted to running, and by so doing achieve a new dimension of satisfaction in our lives!

Training Graphs