Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Top 10 things I love about running...

It won't come as a surprise to anyone who regularly reads this blog or follows me on twitter that I love running.  What you may not know is what it is about running that I love.  After some encouragement from some friends from runchat, I thought I would share with all you lovely people what it is that I love about running... the 10 things to be exact!

1. I love the competition. 
In high school, I played sports.  I enjoyed the competition... feeling that there was something tangible (often a win or a championship) to work toward.  Since high school, I haven't been actively involved in sports, outside of some pick-up basketball games or church league softball.  Running gives me something athletic to be involved in and a goal to work towards (my next race or a personal goal) and a reason to push myself. 

2. I love the community. 
Because running is by nature individualistic, meaning it's basically me competing against me, the running community is an interesting thing.  There really isn't a negative nature to the running community.  Runners encourage other runners.  When I'm out running and I see another runner, he or she waves and encourages me... and I do the same.  I have tons of runner friends online that encourage me and allow me to encourage them.  There is no negative competition... we're all in it together.

3. I love the exercise.
I started running primarily because I needed more exercise and wanted to lose some weight.  While that has happened, and honestly, I would like to lose a bit more, I enjoy the healthy lifestyle aspect of my regular running habit.  Running keeps me healthy and allows me to take care of the body that God has given me.

4. I love the accomplishment.
If you visit my office, you will see my running accomplishments.  They are framed in shadowboxes on my wall.  Currently I have three shadowboxes for the two half marathons and the one whole marathon that I have finished... along with my bibs, pictures, and other memorabilia as fitting (there are already two empty shadowboxes purchased this year's half (Cap City) and whole (BoA Chicago) marathons).  They remind me that nothing (like running 26.2 miles at a time) is impossible (something I would have argued before starting my running habit). 

5. I love the challenge. 
Since early December, I have been in "winter maintenance mode".  That means that I have been keeping up my mileage enough that I will be ready to resume training for my next race whenever I am ready to start again.  One of the great things about running is that there is always something else to take on... a faster time... the next race... the next training session.  This fall, I will accomplish a big running goal for me: running and finishing the Chicago Marathon.  I love the challenges that running allows me to tackle.

6. I love the connection.
This may sound similar to the comments earlier on community and maybe it is... but it is my list... I love that there is an instant connection between runners.  Runners understand hill sprints, Yasso 800's, PR's (and what it takes to set one), tempo runs and the challenge of the marathon.  When I meet a runner... and there are many in my church (howdy to L.D., M.S., M.S., B.A., D.G. and others), we have an instant friendship.  When I see another runner in Starbucks after a local 5k, we have something to talk about without even knowing each other's name. 

7. I love the music.
I love music.  When I ran a little bit for conditioning in high school, I hated it.  I believe it was because Steve Jobs hadn't invented the iPod yet.  Because of the iPod, I can take my musical motivation along with me. 

8. I love getting away.
Living in a technological world, twitter, Facebook and email is constantly nagging at me for attention.  For the most part, I welcome it into my life.  (I enjoy it...)  But it is nice to have some time away from it all.  For a couple of hours a week, I am out of touch with my phone.  Since early last year, I have run without my phone (instead using a Garmin watch to track my distance and an iPod shuffle for music).  Its is nice to not have to worry about text messages, emails, phone calls or anything else but me and the run.

9. I love the time with my wife.
My wife and I used to walk together every night.  We still do on occasion.  This gave us an opportunity to talk about the day... what happened... what was important... what we need to do.  We still have some of those walks... but often during the week, we run together. Most of the time running isn't spent on talking, although we do talk some.  But it gives us time to spend together doing something we both love.

10. I love watching people cross the finish line.
I noticed something strange at my first half marathon... I teared up watching people cross the finish line.  After I ran my half, I watched for a bit... then grabbed a quick shower... then returned to watch the full marathoners finishing.  I know what it took for me to cross the finish line.  And when I was standing there cheering them on, it made me so happy and excited to see them accomplishing their goals too!

There is more that I could share about my love for running... my love for new shoes... more and new gear... short local races... winter beards... and more.  But I'll save that for a future time.  Ten is enough for now.

If you love running too... connect with me on Daily Mile.

Keep running friends!


  1. Great list! Thanks for participating, and thanks for your help promoting #runchat.