Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Is It Worth It?

Admittedly, the weather of the last few days has been less than pleasant for running.  Maybe it's just a Southerner's thin skin allowing the 40 degree rain to penetrate a little too deeply, or maybe it's the accumulation of many days of miserable weather over the last few weeks, but whatever the cause, the effect is the same:  a cold, drenched, slightly fatigued runner trudging back inside afterward.

To any sane person, this begs the immediate question of why we do it.  Why would we put ourselves through such experiences?  Why risk sickness?  Why go out into the cold?  I must admit, when I get off work and am driving to my running launch point, I often wonder such things.  I often find myself asking, is it worth it?

Sitting at a keyboard, it is certainly easy to say "of course it is, you can get X and Y and Z out of it and see benefits A and B and C and you can do this, and, and, and..." But when it comes time to put rubber to road, we're all faced with that same question.

Is it worth it?

I think that when we opt out of our runs, the answer is apparently that it is not; however, when we, as runners, can get past these questions that plague us prior to our runs, more often than not, once we get into the act of running itself, the answer becomes a resounding yes.

Is it worth it?  This cold, drenched, slightly fatigue runner trudging back inside afterward would have to give a hearty affirmative.

Saturday, February 16, 2013


We've all experienced it.

Somewhere out on a run, absent-mindedly flowing through the miles, we see or hear something that serves as a reminder (wanted or otherwise) of a world we have temporarily escaped.

The other day, I passed a broken iPhone in the road.  Only later did the thought even cross my mind to empathize with whomever was unlucky enough to have lost such an item, but for the rest of the run, my only thought was how out of place the device seemed to be.

Cruising down the street freely, I wasn't noticing much beyond my own rhythmic breathing and striding,  but when something did catch my attention, it was a child on a bicycle or a lady walking her dog.  The smashed iPhone seemed somewhat anachronistic.

Perhaps I allowed myself to get pulled into a nostalgic feeling, but I think there was more to it than that.   I think that on those few runs where everything "clicks," we get caught up in the experience, and seeing the coolest new techno-wonder invade such a run might in some way pull us back to the realities that we have, if only for a brief time, sidestepped.

Along similar lines, perhaps it was only appropriate that it was broken as I passed, at least in a philosophical sense.  Yes, I'm aware that a mint-condition iPhone wouldn't last in the middle of a road for long; yes, I realize how much of a headache this inevitably was for the owner of the phone; and yes, I realize the obvious irony (hypocrisy...?) of such commentary being typed on a computer to be posted to the interwebs...

...but somewhere there is poetic justice to be found in a broken iPhone in the middle of the run...