Why I Run: Strawberry’s Spiel

I know Strawberry through dailymile, but we don’t live far from each other. He’s one of my favorite runners, because he’s honest, he’s encouraging and he’s funny. Even though he has an abiding love of country music we are still friends. He usually tweets a song of the day every day, and his musical knowledge is astounding. Read why he runs and say hi in the comments. He’s a good friend to have. Plus he does workouts with names like “shredder” and “ripper.” He’s advanced.

Jen asked this “not your normal accountant” to write a blog article about this notion of “Why I Run”.  Running is just one aspect of a busy life that does not get the attention I wish I could give it.  Nonetheless, running has been allocated its special section in the plot called my life.  And it gets moved around from time to time to keep it productive.

I grew up loving sports and playing football in elementary school with a nuisance called asthma.  Once I achieved teenage status and hit the practice field, I was looking up at all the players and was much slower as well.  So, I re-considered and found band would work just fine and help my asthma as well.  After graduation, working full-time to pay my way through college consumed my time.

In my late thirties, I realized I was getting mentally tired at the end of the day.  Mental drainage produced physical fatigue by the time I got home.  I knew I needed something to get me active.  So I jumped into softball, but with limited playing time it was not making a real impact on my conditioning.  Running came to mind because I knew I could control how often I trained.

The company I worked for at the time sponsored a running program.  If I would log my miles, they would enter me into a 5K three months into the future and provide a technical shirt as well.  That was just the carrot I needed to get me going.  I had some accountability and a goal.  As a beginner, I started running 1 minute on and 1 minute off for short distances.  Every week, I would add a little more intensity.  Within that first three month period, I was able to run a whole 5K.  Been running ever since with some sputtering along the way due to busy schedule, life events, and the occasional post-race letdown.

What keeps me going today?  I have to admit, seeing a man with a hangover-the-belt does not look appealing to me.  Something about looking pregnant makes a man look deformed.  Another reason I keep running is called “the urge”, especially if my schedule prevents running for two or three consecutive days.  I can feel my system pulling me onto the road like a kid pulling his dad’s hand wanting to leave and go somewhere.

I also keep running to see how far or fast I can take myself.  Every time I run, my tendency is to perform better than I did yesterday.  It’s my way of showing myself that progress is being made.  Of course this may not be the best course of action, but it sure makes it more interesting.  Lastly, interactions with friends outside of family and work who share common interests makes this endeavor much more satisfying.  I cannot share life with these folks unless I keep doing what they do.  And that is running!