Wednesday, October 19, 2005

What Do You Know About Running?

What do you know about running?

This was a question that was recently posed to a runner/blogger friend of mine. Her name is Dawn, but her nickname is "The Unstoppable, Amazing, and Delightful Pink Lady". Ok, I added the "unstoppable, amazing, and delightful" part, but trust me, she's all of these things and more. Plus, she's much like me. We may not be the fastest husky in the pack, but we run because we have a passion for running, and we blog because we enjoy sharing our passion with others.

Well, it turns out that one day while I was busy training for the Chicago Marathon someone anonymously stopped by Dawn's blogsite and left the message "What do you know about running?" I'm sure this comment was intended to be an insult, but as always, Dawn addressed it with the grace of true royalty. Regardless, this question has been weighing heavily on my mind lately.

What do I know about running? Well, I know I often hear the comment, "Uh... That's funny, you don't *look* like a runner". And I also know I probably never will. Heck, I've never gone to running school, I've never won an event, and I've never even set foot in Kenya. I'm pretty sure that the CEOs of Nike, Adidas, or Saucony won't be knocking on my door anytime soon asking me to endorse their next Spring line of running shoes. Amazingly enough, in spite of all this, I've managed to complete three marathons, five triathlons, and countless road races during my newly healthy life. I'm proud to report that I've accomplished all of this merely for the love of running. During the twelve bajillion miles that I've logged, I've learned a lot about running and I've learned a lot about myself. So here's to you, mystery person.

"What I Know About Running, 2005 Edition".

1. Running makes me more sane. Some of you reading this are probably on the floor laughing, but I'd like to clarify that I never said I WAS sane. I said that running makes me MORE sane. Sure, I'm still on the edge, but running keeps me from jumping. If I'm having a bad day, the best remedy is a nice refreshing run. After a good run, everything seems a bit more tolerable.

2. Running makes me smarter. For starters, the more time I'm out running, the less time I'm spending filling my head with senseless garbage on television or in the media. Plus (trust me on this one) three hour Sunday morning training runs give a person A LOT of time to think.

3. Running makes me physically healthier. Self-explanatory. I lost 110lbs, my blood pressure is in check, and even my allergies are under control. So I'll live longer and have a better quality of life. Cheating death is cool.

4. Running makes me feel like a total rockstar. Running a marathon for five hours while a crowd of 1.5 MILLION people cheer you on? That's an audience even Madonna would be happy to pull in.

5. Running increases my sense of community. There's an unspoken camraderie amongst runners/cyclists/outdoorsy people. Especially those of us typically in the "back of the pack" who run simply for the love of running. We may not be fast, but we're out there covering the same mileage as everyone else who crosses that finish line.

6. Running helps me see things I thought I'd never see. It's taken me to new places for events, and even in my own city, I'm often out and about to see things that most people miss. Plus it gives me time to notice things that people hustling and bustling around are missing. As a result...

7. Running helps me appreciate the little things. There's nothing better than being the first person to run on freshly fallen snow or smell Spring flowers. OK fine... I don't actually smell Spring flowers, but it sounded better than admitting that my favorite day to run is actually "Crunchberry Day" at the local cereal factory. Seriously though, it's the absolute best. The whole town smells like one big crunchberry. If it's humid enough, you can even taste it. I could run forever on Crunchberry Day.

8. Running helps me bond with my friends and my dog. Although I often like to run alone, there's something remarkably therapudic about running with a partner. Man, I totally light up like a Christmas tree when I get another friend hooked on running. Let me know if you're interested in starting a running program, and I'll show you the secret handshake.

9. Running has helped me to meet hundreds (perhaps thousands) of fantastic new people. Too many to name.

10. Did I mention Crunchberry Day?

So there you have it. My abbreviated list of what I know about running. Now I'm not saying that running is going to save the world, but there's a good chance it saved my life. Come to think of it, I guess I do know a lot about running.


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9:04 PM  
Blogger Dawn - Pink Chick said...

Wow! Great job Mateo. Thanks for all the wonderful comments. Thanks also for the smiles, the laughs and you really do know a lot about running!

9:06 PM  
Anonymous Susan said...

Absolutely right on - great post.

10:19 PM  
Blogger runner792 said...

Nice comments! I have recently started reading the Pink Runner's blog, and I will add yours to my daily rounds. Please, visit my new site at and say hi on the Forum pages.

5:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG what a brilliant post. It's 7am in the morning, I havn't had my coffee, I look like crap and I'm in my tweety pyjamas but you have me wanting to grab my kayanos RIGHT NOW and run run RUN.

I love your enthusiasm, and the fact that you lost 110lb is so inspiring!

4:52 PM  
Anonymous bigd said...

Hey man this is great.I haven't been running for a while now but really want to get back into it again an this has inspired me to get back at it again.

Big D

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