Why do you and I run? And furthermore why do we go as far as to discuss it through reading and writing, even? Is running really that great or are we just ludicrous for believing so? Yeah, we run. But let’s ask the serious questions and by doing so I strongly believe that we will be more confident of ourselves entirely and why we dapple with running at all. Running can be fun. But it’s sure to be more fun if you’re confident in why and how you do it.
I feel this would be a lively round-table discussion and so I will spark the conversation by asking and answering my own questions I’ve used to solidify my purpose to be serious about running. To start, back to the first question: “Why do we run?” Some do it for fitness, some do it to lose weight, some do it for their pets, some do it because of their boyfriend/girlfriend, some do it for the racing, and some perhaps do it to run from law enforcement. Everyone’s entitled to their reasons. I do it simply because I have legs that itch and fidget, burn and yearn to be in the running motion. A day sitting at a desk makes my two lower limbs furious with me for not letting them loose at least once or twice during the day. You’ve likely seen how rodeo bulls with cowboys as their passengers await to be freed from the starting gate, and likewise my legs constantly feel this way; as if they’re trying to buck off something of the like once they’re let free. So why do you lace up and head out? What’s your purpose?
If you answered to yourself honestly about what your purpose for running is, now’s the perfect time to get smart about what you’re doing and now ask ourselves, “If I’m spending any of my valuable time running, am I doing it as best as I can?” This may be a reality check for most of us to know that we are fortunate to even have the capability to use our sometimes-taken-for-granted-legs to run. So, if we are all out hitting the streets running, are we in it 100% or are we the kids at the pool who only dip their toes in because they’re afraid of how deep they may end up? Give yourself a grade on your running so far to help you understand how much your heart is into it. A+ if you are 100% dedicated (or obsessed) with your running. Or give yourself an F- if you believe you need some great improvement. Be honest and I know you will be satisfied in knowing where you stand. As for myself, I will never give an A+. I’d say my average would at least be a C+! And even though I am dedicated and slightly obsessed with running, I still see that there are hundreds of ways in where I could improve upon. But it takes time to fix all areas and so we should be mindful of that.
Only one more question for today to follow up the first two questions to get us thinking about why we’re so ga-ga for running. Now we told ourselves why we run and then we answered how much our hearts are into it. If we are set in knowing those facts, the next question is to ask ourselves, “If I’m running, do I follow a plan I found or made, or am I literally ‘winging it”? This is ultimately okay to have our own preferences when it comes to what we do with our output from running, however I would hope that you always keep your own personal purpose for why you’re doing it in mind always. Either decision to run by a training plan or to wing-it is ideal. I have trained in both ways and through personal experience I have found that I use training plans as guidelines preferably, but I now adjust them on the fly and run more by physiological feel and interpretation of what I need to do to be confident in my racing.
Confidence. Where has confidence taken you in conquests other than running? What can it do for your running? I’m no psychologist, but I have found that people who are most confident are also the most sure of themselves with their purpose in what they do. I don’t often quote Steve Prefontaine because of his popularity, but he did say himself, “Running gives me confidence.” I’m confident in my experience with running although it’s a lifetime-long effort to keep it. I’d like to know where you stand, and know that whoever asks the serious questions, the more confident (and more fun) they and their running will be.
Or, we could forget all these questions together and just tell ourselves we are crazy for running. Crazy or not, we can benefit from being confident (and ludicrous) runners.