Posted by: dougis | September 8, 2008

Why am I running if nobody is chasing me?

I never thought I would be one of those people who enjoy running. I used to make all the usual jokes about “the only time I will run is if someone is chasing me”.

Now however I am enjoying it and starting to see what the attraction is.

I started trying to run last year after I tested for 3rd Kyu. The reason for this was simple, by the end of my freestyle I was much more winded than I felt I should have been (although I was still standing, barely) and wanted to be in much better shape before I tested for 2nd Kyu in front of Sensei.

I started by spending some road time on my bike, but here in the northwest winter is NOT a good time to be on the roads and be less than visible and as time went on it became more of a pain to get things ready for a bike ride and argue with traffic. Riding helped for a month or so and I still like to jump on the bike at times, but I decided to try running and see how it went.

It was good exercise for me but I still never understood why some folks enjoyed it so much.

Fast forward to January when the weather is nasty and cold but for some reason I am still making an effort to get out and run even though my test was in November (and yes I was happy with how it went thanks). I am not sure why but if I don’t get out and run at least once a week I don’t feel as well, something is different than when I started doing this.

Finally this spring it hit me, part of what I get out of running is a chance to try and employ the principles of Kokikai in a non confrontational situation completely under my control.

When I am running I find that if I relax the distance flows by more smoothly, if my posture is good then I am more comfortable while running, if I move from my center I move more easily and the runs are not as much work and finally if I keep a positive mindset I make better time and end up feeling better about the run.

I am now working on extending the distance I am running, and while my runs are pretty short to most runners, they work for me (working on 3 miles at a shot with 3 1/2 in sight).

I am finding running to be more and more enjoyable (I am turning into one of those people and while I don’t know that I will ever feel like running a marathon I will no longer say it won’t ever happen). I also have noticed that the end of the run is where I really get to see how I am moving that day, am I stiff where I shouldn’t be? do I allow myself to feel like I can’t go on and need to walk for a bit? or am I moving from my center, thus keeping things flowing and relaxed and does my mind simply tell me that I need to keep moving?

Rob at I dare posted his opinion of what defines a runner and I tend to agree. It isn’t distance or time (luckily for me) it is desire and planning both of which have become normal for me.

Tomorrow is curriculum night at Nana’s school, but before we go to that I have 3 miles or so to get in.

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