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 Question from a non-runner...
Devil's Advocate


Joined: 07 Dec 2004
Posts: 2

Question from a non-runner... Posted: Tue Dec 07, 2004 9:59 pm 

So, I'd like to understand what your drive to keep running is.

Personally I find running to be somewhat tedious, I guess I prefer to have my mind distracted while I exercise. Hence sports are better suited, as you're concentrating on playing the game. When I life weights or run, my mind just concentrates on how I don't really like exercising. :]

But what makes you guys tick? Is it competitiveness to see if you can beat your personal times?
"See how many envelopes you can lick in an hour, and then try to beat that record."

Is it the endorphins?
Is it the runner's culture?

What keeps you getting up at 6am, or eating such a strict diet, or any of the other hardships you put yourself through?


OldManRunner
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Rochester, NY
Joined: 28 Nov 2004
Posts: 262

Re: Question from a non-runner... Posted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 7:15 am 

Fear of getting old and fat, and dying of a heart attack at age 50! And being able to eat pretty much whatever you want, however much you want, so long as you're getting in at least 40 miles a week! And the great feeling of knowing that you're in better shape than 95% of the people your age, most of whom are just getting old and fat! And the thrill of actually considering yourself an athlete when you're middle-aged, when you pretty much stunk at all sports in HS and college. And the challenge of trying to beat your PR...although I must admit that your analogy about licking envelopes, and trying to beat that PR did make me pause and think.

Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Question from a non-runner... Posted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 11:07 am 

For me it's not really the "old and fat" thing, although the health benefits are nice. If all I wanted was a way to stay slim, I'd probably do situps or something.

I guess I can be a fairly competitive person, and what I really enjoy is the chance to compete and excel. It's exciting to be an athlete, especially because it's the polar opposite of the person I was in my youth. I hated sports and everything to do with them. Now I'm actually half way decent at something athletic.

A related question is why people race, instead of simply jogging for fitness (which many people do). For me, setting a goal, working towards it slowly but surely, then finally getting it is an incredibly rewarding feeling. Watch a big race sometime like a large marathon or triathlon, and look at the faces of the people as they cross that finish line. Behind the pain, you will see a deep and intense pride of accomplishment that's rare in life. In some of the most difficult events when people reach goals they once thought were impossible, it's not uncommon to see them break down and cry. It's an incredibly emotional and rewarding experience. If you saw the women's Olympic marathon tv coverage, and saw Deena Kastor's face as she entered the Olympic stadium, heard her name called, and knew she'd won a bronze medal, you'll know what I mean.


runnerswife


Joined: 08 Dec 2004
Posts: 33

Re: Question from a non-runner... Posted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 7:07 pm 

So I'm also a non-runner, and of the type that doesn't understand the point in running unless it gets me from point A to point B. From observation of those who do it though, I would say for the most part people like seeing themeslves progress. It's a more tangible record of progress than, say, playing tennis (ahem)... you're just competing against yourself, and you can tell exactly how you're improving instead of having to factor in the competition. The achievement against "the person you were" is really rewarding. In a sense it's the same drive as for excelling at anything, but running has a really transparent, well-defined set of metrics.

firechik

colorado
Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Posts: 3

Re: Question from a non-runner... Posted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 11:50 pm 

For me it is to relieve stress. I have a very stressful, fast pace job. When I get off work I am wound so tight I can't even think about sleep, running gives me a chance to blow off some steam and relax.

Imarnr

Portland, OR
Joined: 10 Dec 2004
Posts: 2

Re: Question from a non-runner... Posted: Fri Dec 10, 2004 11:37 am 

For me it was initially to lose weight. Then a funny thing happened - I started to really enjoy running. Why? Because I can (seriously, a lot of people would like to but can't because of pain, injuries, medical conditions, etc.). It is enjoyable to push myself to get better. It's a "pure" sport - you can't get much of a technological edge or cheat (OK some people will find a way). But if you don't put in the time and training, you'll pay. I don't understand the problem of having to occupy your mind for an hour or 2 or 3 while running. I'm not afraid to spend a few hours in my head! As a matter of fact, some recent research suggests the rhythmic nature of running helps to sharpen your thinking.

BGibbsLMT

Southington, CT
Joined: 12 Dec 2004
Posts: 68

Re: Question from a non-runner... Posted: Thu Dec 16, 2004 8:21 pm 

Devil's Advocate wrote:
So, I'd like to understand what your drive to keep running is.
...But what makes you guys tick? Is it competitiveness to see if you can beat your personal times?
"See how many envelopes you can lick in an hour, and then try to beat that record."

Is it the endorphins?
Is it the runner's culture?

What keeps you getting up at 6am, or eating such a strict diet, or any of the other hardships you put yourself through?


It's the feeling of snow on your face and under your feet. It's how your coworkers respond when you talk with your running buddies at work. It's seeing deer and hawks and no people while running throught the woods. It's the adrenaline. It's beating your previous best on a given course. It's the race T-shirts. It's friends getting together to run and laugh and verbally abuse each other. It's beating the other guy to the next light pole or stop sign. It's just something we do.


swrittenb


Joined: 06 Dec 2004
Posts: 27

Re: Question from a non-runner... Posted: Sun Dec 19, 2004 12:54 pm 

I did it to try something that I'd always had problems with when I was younger. I played high school sports, but never succeeded as a runner. When I came to work and met Rickshaw, he coerced me somehow to sign up for a 5K. It went from there, and after a while, I wanted to be able to prove to myself that I could run a marathon. I guess for me, it's personal drive then. Though it's a great feeling to be out in the early morning air, all alone on streets that might otherwise at any other time of day be packed with people. It's very nice!

And what's this about a runner's diet? Haha! EAT MORE!!!


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