The Romance of Running

The Romance of Running


1 October 2012

Continuing our series for 60 Days of Better, Robbie tries to get to the bottom of his recently found love of running.


There is something beautiful about running.  I can’t quite put my finger on it.  Maybe…

…it’s knowing that I am doing something that very few people can.  I don’t know a lot of people that can run 10 miles (like I did this past weekend).  When I was done I felt like Rocky at the top of the stairs in Philly, I had the Eye of the Tiger, I couldn’t be beat!  This attitude spills into other areas of my life.  Running makes me want to tackle my dreams.  Running makes me feel alive.  Running is empowering.

…it’s knowing that people are driving by me while I am running and I am making them think about their own life.  I wonder, are they thinking, “Hey, there’s a fat guy who is just running!  Maybe I can run and my life could be better”.  Running is inspiring.

…it’s the minutes or hours that I get to spend by myself while on a run, just me and my thoughts.  I can think about who I am and who I want to be.  I can make decisions and set goals.   I can think about difficult conversations that I need to have with people.  And thinking about important things in life while your body is producing those good endorphins during running helps you make really positive decisions.  Running brings clarity.

…it’s crossing paths with other runners also in the middle of their run.  There’s a moment of camaraderie when two people run past each other and there is that second of eye contact when both of us acknowledge to each other, “Yeah, we are getting it done!”  Or, when the obviously more seasoned runner gives the fat guy runner a high five and an immense amount of confidence (which happened to me during one of my first road runs), running brings people together.

…it’s giving me something to work for.  I signed up for a 5k race earlier this year.  I had never run that far before, but I paid my money and I was going to do it if it killed me (when you’ve never run before, you think running 3.1 miles will kill you! lol).  I ran it.  After I got over my injury, I knew what I wanted to do, so I paid for the 2013 Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach.  No, I hadn’t run a half marathon yet, but a half was not my goal.  I will obviously run a half while I am training for the full marathon, but I will run the Shamrock next year.  I am already on pace to run a half marathon race this November.  Who knows what I will do after those races, maybe Ironman?!  Running gives me something to work for.

…it’s the fact that running hurts so good!  After a long training run, usually a PR, I head straight for an ice bath which is not an easy thing to endure (but totally worth it!).  I know that for the rest of the day my legs are going to be stiff and sore.  After a night’s rest, the next day soreness wears off and I will feel good, ready to tackle the road again, and after a few runs, an even longer distance or speed.  Running makes me stronger.

…it’s that fact that running is a great outlet.  I can recall a few times where I went running just to get away.  Maybe I was frustrated about something or maybe I was really struggling with food cravings.  Running is a great place to just vent and release your stress and frustration that living in this crazy world can bring.  Running makes me calm.

…it’s the fact that running can be hard.  It’s difficult to start running.  I was way out of shape and had no idea how to run which led to injuries and frustration.  Sticking with it and figuring it out has led me to great personal victories.  There’s something about failing at something, but sticking with it long enough to finally beat it.  Running builds character.

Maybe…what makes running beautiful is a collection of all these things.  I hear a lot of people refer to running as a chore and I just don’t get it.  Running has become so much more than a means to an end for me.  Running tells me who I am and that there is a lot of life left to live.  So, for me, running is a beautiful thing.

As of October 1st, my Newton's have 99 beautiful miles on them.