Monday, 19 November 2012

I Double Dare You

I am a runner, not a racer.  I run for exercise, for fun and for the social aspect of it.  I will never win a race, qualify for the Olympics, probably not Boston either.  I only finished first in my AG once (still can’t believe that happened) but that does not mean I do not like to run hard.   Sure, I love to try to get a personal best time but I have learned that some of my best running experiences are when I ran just for fun and even without my Garmin.

I recently did the Disney Wine and Dine half marathon and on a Facebook group for the event, a bunch of runners were complaining how bad their runs were, how disappointed they were by their times and how they did not like running at night.   I went into the event to have fun, not to get a PB and I had a great run.  I had a run that made me feel like a real runner.  I enjoyed the run, the atmosphere and the crowds and did not care what my Garmin said or what my pace was (for the most part).  Most of the time I could not see my Garmin as I am technologically challenged and could not find the light button and I ran by how I felt, and I felt great.  Now I respect everyone’s right to run for a PB, I do it for some races but there is a time and place to enjoy your running and to me Disney is that place. 

On Friday I was running with the 10K group and one of the runners was not having a good run.  I was telling her that in my opinion out of 100 runs, 10 will be truly excellent, 10 will be really bad and the rest will be OK but they all make us a better runner.  We cannot let the good or the bad runs define us a runners, it’s the consistence of our training and determination to achieve our goals that define us.   If we let time be the only way we define a good or bad race, we are missing the beauty of the run, the sound of our feet hitting the pavement and the measure of our breathing…or in my case the slapping of my feet and the gasping for breath.  Go on, leave your watch or Garmin at home for your next run and just run…I dare you.

The real purpose of running isn’t to win a race; it’s to test the limits of the human heart.
Bill Bowerman


  1. I have done a couple of runs lately without my music. I usually rely on music to keep me moving, to provide a distraction. It has been hard to get used to no music, but also an eye opener, in the sense that I am starting to tune into other things. The sound of my breathing (wow do I really sound like a tuba when I suck wind?) my footfalls, and my rythmn. My run on Sunday morning was without music, and I had a super fast split up a hill! I can't wear ear buds at Tough Mudder, so I have to get used to this. I like doing the odd run without technology, so yes, this is important, as runners, to do every now and then. get in touch with the beauty of the run, instead of the completion and best effort.

  2. I think it's important for us to share this message, especially with new runners. If every run has to be great to be wortwhile, there will be far too many former runners. Imagine applying that logic to life. Who would think work or cooking or sex, even, would be worth the effort!?