SHE SAID: Running

In high school, I hated running and I didn’t get it either, so I completely understand where Jeremy is coming from.  I didn’t see why you would do something like run without a destination in mind.  And, as a team competitor for the most part, I didn’t see how something could be fun, and I mean really fun, without a score, some dramatic plays in which the other team got ridiculed, and spectators, the more the better.

And, I also can’t remember how I got into running, but it was after college, and I was hooked pretty easily.

I think what drew me to running was what initially repelled me. After years of competing on teams and competing in general, the idea of just running, for a long period of time, by myself, on a long road was incredibly appealing.  All you needed was some decent running shoes and the rest was optional as far as techie stuff.  Anyone can do it.  You don’t need a membership to some club, a ton of gear, the best gear, a certain climate or a trainer.  All you need is some running shoes and some time.

However, there are also people who have the long mindset.  You either like the long distance endurance sports, or you don’t.  It might be something that’s changeable, as it was for me.  You get to a point in your life where you just want to do that and it sounds fun to you.  Some people are there at twelve and run track in middle and high school, some take a little longer.

This past weekend, for the first time, I entered a running race.  I was worried that it would take a lot of the fun out of running for me, having approached it as a non-competitive endeavor for so long.  But I also wanted to compete, to see if I could finish a race, to say I’ve done it, cross it off the bucket list.

Of course, I didn’t need to enter my first running race at altitude out in Tahoe, that was because of my dear friend Liz who happened to mention that she was thinking about running one and that tickets out to Reno round trip were under $400.  Ten minutes later, I’m entered in a half marathon and have an e-ticket waiting for me in my in-box.  It didn’t occur to me that I would be training at 600 feet and racing at 6800 until about two days before the race.

And I did it.  More than that, it was really fun.  The view was unparalleled.  There were moments that made me laugh like when the man running next to me yelled at his mother, who was taking pictures of him every 500 feet, “Mom, I’m running a race!”  There were moments that tried me, and moments were I impressed myself, times when my friends cheering kept me going and times when I was all by myself without any runners around that were zen like.  I thought about serious things and beyond ridiculous things.

20090927 half marathon 096

And yes, Jerermy.  It was fun.  I never thought, even when someone made a sign at 24.5 miles that said 25 mile mark and I didn’t realize the error until the real 25 mile mark, that I would rather be doing anything else or wished I weren’t out there running.

20090927 half marathon 151

Here is the whole group, complete with the support crew.  Some competed in the 2 mile swim, a 72 mile bike ride and then the half marathon on Sunday.  Butch and Maria even completed the bike ride on a tandem bike.  An amazing group of people and an epic weekend, thanks to Liz and Lindsay’s hosting, that I will remember fondly forever.


2 Responses to SHE SAID: Running

  1. JP says:

    Nifer, you don’t even need the shoes. Just time.

    “Dr Daniel Lieberman, professor of biological anthropology at Harvard University, has been studying the growing [running] injury crisis in the developed world for some time and has come to a startling conclusion: ‘A lot of foot and knee injuries currently plaguing us are caused by people running with shoes that actually make our feet weak, cause us to over-pronate (ankle rotation) and give us knee problems.

    ‘Until 1972, when the modern athletic shoe was invented, people ran in very thin-soled shoes, had strong feet and had a much lower incidence of knee injuries.’

    Lieberman also believes that if modern trainers never existed more people would be running. And if more people ran, fewer would be suffering from heart disease, hypertension, blocked arteries, diabetes, and most other deadly ailments of the Western world.

    ‘Humans need aerobic exercise in order to stay healthy,’ says Lieberman. ‘If there’s any magic bullet to make human beings healthy, it’s to run.'”

    I read that there are still some tribes in Africa who engage in ‘persistence’ hunting. What’s that? Oh, just running down antelope ON FOOT until the beast passes out from exhaustion. I guess that’s how we used to do it to get our protein before we had effective distance weapons. Isn’t that amazing?

    Read more:

    Australian study on expensive running shoes:

    Go barefoot more:

    And the shoes you made fun of once:


    (Jeremy, aren’t you partying with college kids now? You’ve got to keep it mean and lean to compete. Get out there and work off the beer calories!)

  2. […] in 6 days.  In light of this, I thought I would revisit one of our posts from last September on running long distances.  Jeremy is a HUGE […]

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