27 Reasons I love to Go Running…
1. It’s a reward for sitting in the house at the computer for 8-10 hours or doing other things I don’t really want to do. Yes, I said REWARD! If you run just enough to make it fun and don’t run when it’s not fun – then it’s always fun – yes?
2. See wildlife! Over the years I’ve seen (Hawaii, Thailand, Florida, Pennsylvania):
- Snakes! Thailand has a lot of snakes.
- Big red, white and blue woodpeckers!
- Centipedes and millipedes and all manners of crawling insects, some of which go “crunch” under my feet – accidentally.
- Lizards that change color, and flying lizards, water monitors (7+ feet), Tokay Geckos squawking.
- Flying insects – some of which get sucked into my mouth and chest if I’m not paying attention to keep my mouth 80% closed!
- There are these cicada type things in Thailand that make the whole park scream at 6 p.m. every night in the Summer.
- A large eastern diamondback rattlesnake crossing the road – it was as thick around as my 15-16 inch neck!
- Deer, hippos, bear, leopards, peacocks, and vultures (I ran through a small zoo regularly in Thailand that was connected to the park!)
3. I saw 38 guys in dresses running through downtown Honolulu once… It was a run sponsored by the Honolulu Hash House Harriers Hawaii (H5). I can’t remember if I had one on too, but if I did it was something dashing and sophisticated, yet slutty and with a drastically plunging neckline!
4. Speaking of the Hash House Harriers, once on a run at the top of Tantalus mountain on Oahu I was off the trail and on what I figured to be the correct trail… I was running down a small stream full of rocks… turns out I didn’t have much time to catch myself before flying (literally) over a 1,700 feet cliff off the edge of the mountain! Talk about a RUSH!
5. I know I’m in the top 1% of the general population by running 3-5 times every week. I like doing as many things as possible to be a 1 percenter!
6. I’m 48 and I can still run. When I was 20, I thought 40 would bring death, or at least no more exercise. I didn’t know anyone that was running at 40 yrs. old. I run because I can still do it – and it makes me think that “The Body” hasn’t changed much. I feel like I’m in my teens when I run, especially during one of those “flow runs” where it’s effortless and fast.
7. It gives me a rush when I run. Not only as I’m doing it, but afterward too. I have this light-headed feeling that lasts for an hour or sometimes more after I’ve finished. I joke that I’m a worthless endorphin addicted junkie for the period of time following my runs. I cannot talk to anyone and make sense. Nor do I feel like talking. I can’t rationalize at all, nor do math of any kind. I’m not creative in the least, and writing after I run is a horror show. I’m on some kind of mind-chemical high, and it’s legal and it’s OK!
8. It’s the only time I can have sopping wet pants in public and it’s socially alright. People are OK with that, even in a mall. At least they don’t say anything.
9. I can practice “no-mind” or a mind without thought while I run. It’s one of the few physical activities I can do it with. (See my other site Jhana8.com).
10. I have time to myself. Nobody on the phone. Nobody on chat. No computer to check email, to read blogs, or to get frustrated at! It’s one activity that I do alone. I don’t understand running with someone except the Hasher group, which isn’t serious running at all. They call it, “A drinking club with a running problem.”
11. I can be completely alone out in public if I want to. I can run through the woods, up a mountain, or on an old country road. There is such a peace about running where nobody else is.
12. Unexpected experience. I was running around a golf course around midnight, as I like to do occasionally, and I heard the most BLOOD-CURDLING scream. It froze me right there like ice. I could not move. I was questioning whether it really happened as it made no sense at all to suddenly hear this piercing scream right in front of me – and there was nothing there. I stood rock solid for more than just a couple minutes. I was looking with my eyes, but I was too afraid to move my head. It was a scream as if a banshee had just escaped from hell right in front of my face. As I had scanned the entire area in front of me and found no reason for it, and was about to doubt my sanity, I started to look upwards a bit. Then a bit more. I saw what must have been the noisemakers, but to this day I don’t know if they can make this noise. There were two very large owls on the high-power lines about 30 feet above. Does anyone know, can an OWL make a scream like a demon possessed? I might have to Wiki that.
13. More unexpected ‘adult’ experience. More than once I’ve had women come out on the porch or second-floor balcony without a top on, when I ran in the early morning before 7 a.m.! GOOD MORNING TAMPA! (happened a lot there)
14. Running through the rain when it’s warm reminds me of being a little kid and going out specifically because it IS raining outside, just to play.
15. Running through the rain when it’s cold reminds me of Air Force basic training, which wasn’t all THAT bad an experience. I think that is probably another 1 percenter experience.
16. I love to sweat. In my mind it means I’ve done something positive. I think growing up I heard many adults say – “Go sweat a little bit, it’s good for you!” I feel good when I start sweating because I’m doing something physical too. Like I’m pushing myself to do something that the body wouldn’t do on its own. I’m showing the body that the mind is in control. If it says “RUN!”, the body runs. I like how that works.
17. I can wear my comfy Nike socks and running shoes. This might not seem like a big deal to you, but living in Florida, Thailand, and Hawaii flip-flops (slippahs, Hawaiians say) are the standard. But, when I run, I can wear the most comfortable shoes I have!
18. I can FARTLEK to my heart’s content. Huh? Yes, you read that right. Fartlek running is a bit like well, running however you want. There are no expectations before you go – except varying the speed of your typical run. You might do some slow running on the street and then move to a track for some sprints, then head out into the woods and back to the track for some steps at the stadium. You might do some short 50 yard sprints in the middle of your run through the woods. You might do some pushes to 95% and see how long you can stand it. You might skip or run backward sometimes. It’s a German word for “have fun” or something. Ok, I won’t be lazy, I’ll Wiki it for you. Ok, it means, ‘speed play’ in Swedish, not German. And it can be any exercise that, while doing it puts stress mainly on the aerobic system. The intensity of the exercise varies – and is basically up to you. It’s a bouncing between the aerobic and anaerobic systems. I don’t know why it’s called fartlek, but I do enjoy fartlekking all over the place when I run, I’ll tell you that.
19. When I’m in a running program it gives me energy all the time. When I’m not running for a few weeks I feel lazy and tired much of the time. Running keeps the energy levels up.
20. It puts me in a good mood. I’m consistently more positive than I already am. I might think that I’m my same old self when I’m not in steady running mode. Then, I’ll go out and run and I realize – wow, I was missing something. There’s a definite difference when I compare “Vern not running” vs. “Vern in running mode going every other day”. A substantial difference.
21. I love to push myself. Though I run mostly by myself, I love to push myself during the run if I’m feeling good. I might crank up the pace and challenge myself to hold that pace until I get to a certain landmark. That might be 200 yards ahead if I’m flying, or it might be 2 miles away if I’m running 80-85%+ of maximum rate. I am my own best motivator. There is little that motivates me externally. I’m ruthless with myself at times, pushing myself to run when I don’t want to run. Pushing myself to run faster up hills, never slower. Pushing myself to hold a 2/2 breathing pattern until I need to slow down to make up the oxygen deficit that is being created from the sustained push. It’s fulfilling to do little challenges throughout each run!
22. I run so I can eat a little more of what I like to eat. I love pizza and other bread and pasta products. Because I run, I can eat more of these things than maybe the average person with my same metabolism. I will do nearly anything to be able to eat more pizza. In Thailand when I stayed in a small village in the countryside I would drive an hour each way on the motorcycle to go to the next biggest town to get some pizza! It was a must, not an “extra”.
23. I run because if others see me running, some will also realize that they can do it too. I wish more people would run. When I go to the main park in any town, especially in Honolulu and I see less than 200 people running around the park at night and maybe another 200 running through the streets of Honolulu, I don’t feel so good about mankind. Here we are, probably 70% of us have the physical capability to run and 90% have the capability to walk – and yet less than 1% run and less than 5% walk as exercise on a recurring basis. WHY? I want the world to run because then people will be happier, more secure about themselves. They’ll be more confident and happier and I’ll get to interact with a happier and more well-adjusted populace. Put on your running shoes people!
24. It’s a part of my life and who “Vern” is. When I stop for any length of time, I don’t feel like me anymore. I’ve run my whole life, so when I stop – it’s like I’m just not “being me”. It’s like I must do it to keep being me.
25. It erases all stress for the time I’m running. It’s impossible to feel stressed as I’m running. I don’t know why, the endorphins I guess?
26. I run because I can play fantasy games of passing my competition. I visualize passing successful people. I pass them one by one and yet I always leave some of the top people ahead of me so I can get them next time or next time. I like to have someone that I’m trying to beat ahead of me and I just can’t get to them for a while. Eventually, I pass them all and I’m the winner. I’m always the winner in my mind.
27. The number one reason for why I run is that it makes me feel powerful and in control of my body and my mind. It gives me confidence, strength and energy, and sense of balance. I feel like I’m a much better business person and friendly person. I feel like I’m being proactive and a go-getter by running when others are sitting on the couch watching television. I feel like I have more patience to deal with others and also with myself. I have a lot of frustration at things that don’t go smoothly. Computers for instance. After I run it gives me a better perspective on life and things aren’t as serious anymore.
Best of Life!
PS: When I’m in Hawaii the most amazing run is along the Ala Wai canal at about 9 pm. with the moon rising over Diamond Head Volcano. Wow.
Why do you run?
Post your reasons in the comments section below!
[Boy running image from Woodleywonderworks at Flickr]