Tuesday, August 14, 2007
In it for the Long Run
I recently wrote of my 30th Anniversary of running which offered a good time to reflect on my life and the big part that running has played. But this week a younger member of the Mangum Track Club posted the question to me and other long time runners, what was the key to our longevity. Several members posted some good replies but I needed a little time to think it over and decided to post my thoughts here.
Maybe the picture says it all?
The reasons we all take our first steps on the road(or trail) to becoming a runner are many. Some for fitness, to lose weight or help break a bad habit such as smoking. Some are introduced through competitive programs. Others maybe from a dare from a friend. Perhaps they are just seeking a challenge and a marathon or ultra seems exciting. But whatever the reason to start, in order to stay a runner for years and for it to become a lifestyle, at some point you have to fall in love.
You must simply love the sensation of your body moving over distance. The sound of your feet striking the ground, your steady breathing and your heart beating in your chest. You must learn to love a good sweat, or the sting of a cold wind although you will always dream of those perfect Spring and Fall days.
You must learn to love the roads, the trails, the greenways, and even the track because no matter the location, it's all about the movement. Variety in all things is good. Some days you just want to enjoy the beauty of nature, the next you may want to just run as fast as you can without worrying about rocks and roots. Somedays you will want to race and others just soak in the sights and sounds.
You should learn to love the people you run with. Nothing is better than having friends that understand your passion and can relate to your experiences. Learn to love to run with people faster than you so you will be challenged. Learn to love to run with people slower than you. It will make you a better person and a better runner.