Posts Tagged ‘Community’

…of course, if you aren’t a runner at heart, I hope that you’ll understand as well.

I have a friend who recently took up running.  She built up slowly, using the Couch to 5K program.  I would see her about once a week where our girls were enrolled in a weekly program.  She’d tell me about her progress, new distances, new paces.  I would give her some strategies to overcome barriers, both perceived and real.  To help her stay with the program, she had signed up for a local 5K.

One week, while asking for some pre-race advice, she prefaced her question with, “I know it’s only a 5K and that must seem really silly to you but…”

I stopped her.  I told her something anybody who ever seeks advice from a long distance runner should know:

You never, ever have to preface a question with, “it’s just a 5K”.  You never have to qualify any of your running questions to us.  We’ve been there.  We know the trepidation.  We know the uncertainty.

And just so you know, we still feel it today when we toe the line for a 100-miler or a 5K (if we are running for time).

My point is this – we all run and it doesn’t matter if you run 3.1 miles, 50 miles, 100 miles or farther.  There was a time, when I first started on this running journey, that 13.1 miles might as well have been 100 miles.  The thought of the distance was staggering.  Anything with the word “marathon” in it (half, full, ultra) all fell in the same category and all seemed equally absurd.

Come race day, it doesn’t matter whether you finished first, DFL or anywhere in between; it’s not whether you finish quickly or slowly – ultimately, it come down to whether you enjoyed yourself and are satisfied with your performance.  Sure, there are always exceptions to the rule – certainly there is the occasional ultra trail runner who seems to think they’re a goddess of some sort, and therefore can look down on the more casual runner, but those people are few and far between.

If your butt is off of the couch, your feet are pounding the trail or street, your quads are burning and your lungs working; if you are running, then you are one of us.

Welcome to the warmest, coolest family outside of your own.

*if you aren’t a runner, then please, come join us!

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Gandhi spoke of being the change you want to see in the world.

Martin Luther King Jr said that “darkness cannot drive out darkness; Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.”

Buddha spoke of the “middle way“.

The sooner we get there, the better.


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Be excellent to each other.

-Bill S. Preston, Esq.

[tweetmeme source=”luau” only_single=false http://www.URL.com]

You may or may not have heard of Scott Jurek. He is, in some people’s eyes (including mine), a running god – a world-class ultra-distance runner, who wins. He won the Western States 100 an incredible 7 consecutive times. He plays a big role in the book Born To Run. The guy can run far and he can do it with speed.

But as impressive as it is that he is so accomplished as a runner, it is Scott Jurek, the man, that impresses me the most. After every race, he will go back to the finish line and wait. He will wait for every runner to come in, cheering them on. Despite being a running deity, he is a nice guy. He is one of us. It is this sense of community, this sense that “we are all runners”, that I find most inspiring. And it is this feeling that I try to emulate.

I have found, for the most part, that runners are a friendly and caring lot. We support each other in our lows, and cheer each other in our highs. I think that part of the reason why we are such a supportive group, is that we tend to not take ourselves too seriously. Yes, we can be serious about our running (just ask the wife), but for most of us (myself included), we know we will never be elite runners, we will never make a living off of running, and therefore we are able to approach running with a sense of joy and fun. Whether you are a 2:45 marathoner (in my dreams!) or a 6:00 marathoner, you ARE a marathoner. Either way, you have to train, you have to put in the miles, you have to sweat. Those miles and that sweat bond us together.

So it was with great disappointment the other day that I heard that two runners I consider friends were no longer friends because one thought the other didn’t take her running seriously enough. Not only did the “more serious” person cut off communication with the other, but she retracted an offer to share a room with the other at this year’s Chicago Marathon. I understand wanting to room alone, but it’s a little difficult to scramble for a hotel room this late in the game (the Chicago Marathon is on 10/10/10). I also understand that two different runners may be in different places when it comes to intensity and focus, but I want to believe that as runners, we wouldn’t leave each other high & dry, particularly when it comes to housing before a world-class marathon like Chicago. By now, most of the hotels downtown have filled up and any vacancies are priced exorbitantly high.

The friend who has been left out in the cold has had a rough year. Running is her place to find peace. It’s a shame that something like this has to crash that sanctuary.

Admittedly, I do not know the whole story. Maybe something was said, maybe something was taken out of context, who knows? But as a person who gets totally amped for marathons, is completely “serious” about training for them, and is looking to do the best I can do, I don’t think it should matter how “serious” someone else is about running.

Am I serious about my running? You bet I am. I have trained hard this summer in anticipation of the Smuttynose Marathon on October 3rd, followed by the NYC Marathon on November 7th. I am on a mission! However, I truly believe that running should be about building each other up, not tearing each other down. If I am trying to accomplish my personal goal of a 3:20 marathon, why should it bother me if your personal goal is different?

There will always be someone who is faster than you, just as there will always be someone who is slower – it is a spectrum, if you will – but we are all runners.

We should all seek to channel our inner Jurek, doing what we can to cheer everybody across that finish line, not throwing up last minute road blocks.

Remember, running is fun.

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Party on, dudes!

-Ted “Theodore” Logan

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