The Running Experience Is So Personalized

Yes I believe a part of the intellect is increased by consistent running and maybe this is a result of general health or a calming that gives us an ability to think more clearly. This I hope is not taken as arrogance but a witnessed belief. Science would tell you more, but I have seen a clear increase in what I would assume would be, not the IQ we are born with, but more of acquired knowledge that comes with desire and discipline, which is part of a runner’s mentality.

Others will say that runners started off as that animal that attracted them to a loners sport so running does not increase intellect as they were the intellectual type from the start.

This I know – that the running experience is very personalized. Some run so they can eat what they want or for weight control, while others do it for the feeling of well being referred to as the endorphin high. For some it is training, for others sports or just general fitness. However, for a runner that has run consistently through their adult lives, it is a lifestyle or even more so, life itself!

This book generally states what we runners hate when we miss a scheduled day of our workouts. The trot becomes very much our lifestyle. Whether traveling for business or drinking a mixed drink at a cocktail party, it becomes who we are. We can’t help but bring up the subject and many of us expound on this passion as running has become so personalized to us. We define ourselves in part by our timeless passion. I have heard over and over again ex-runners who had to stop due to injuries, say how much they miss their favorite sport and wish they did not have to stop.

The personalized experience of us runners vary and yet we have so much common ground. We talk about our personal experiences of running in snow or rain or on the trails, up the mountains. And even though it is a personalized experience, when we talk together about our ventures in the great outdoors, usually the listeners head is bobbing up and down at what becomes a shared experience of a common bond.


Solo or Group Running

So you at times love being around some good friends for the chit chat and camaraderie. But during your runs, you prefer to be alone as running is time away from folks after the constant necessity in our personal lives or work lives to be social. And there will be no snot rockets or your back to nature habits with a group or a friend or two tagging along. You got kids and work hard and have some good friends but it is time to get out there away from it all. So for that one hour a day or however long you float along in the great outdoors, you now have time to think and reflect and burp and whatever else you do out there which is social taboo during that joyful time alone. And the reflecting and the creative process can mostly only be achieved solo.

But wait, it is so much fun to be with a friend who keeps the same pace and you can talk to while doing a scenic run together and at the same time have a running soul mate. Or preparing for a race, a mate or two that can push each other for the needed preparation.

Ah and the group runs of multiple runners all going out to share the fun together. And after the social run, sharing a meal together as there is a common bond in this youthful activity to talk runner talk.

Personally, running is a sport that makes us different animals because we do not need anyone and no equipment is needed, except at most a pair of shoes. So the enjoyment of being that loner is how many of us describe ourselves. So when it is 10 degrees with a substantial wind chill index and other folks are heading for the indoors for their workouts, us running are loving the solitude out there which is a defining personally trait in many of us.

Then there is the tag along of a runner you see out there, who we run along with for half the run and then go back to the wonderful reflective moments alone. For many who are out there more for the fitness equation, it makes sense to hang with a partner or two.

In conclusion, find your niche as running is a great way to meet folks and even make new friends. I believe the true runner, because of personality traits, will mostly be solo runners with the occasional group run. But as stated through our discussion, running is very personalized so enjoy them any which way it comes.


Running Shoes and the Appeal of Barefoot Running

I wear size 13’s in an Asian country where 10’s are usually the largest size. So I wore my size 13 Saucony down to the last fiber of rubber and darn wore them out. I loved these shoes and dreaded wearing new ones to break in, but knew I could hurt myself if didn’t wear shoes.

So I got the top of the line Nike Air Max Trail Wind 4, the elite of the cushy, comfy, shoes delivered via a friend fresh from the states. I loved them even if my toes did not feel the street like my old babies did. I kept telling myself how much I loved them every day until one day I said, no I do not love them. Wanting to feel my toes gripping the street was my immediate emotion.

So I put on my old shoes and have been wearing these old lovers every day since. I know that any day the soles will have holes, and then what? I was thinking on purchasing one of the barefoot running shoes and ask myself, are these for me? I fear them as a 57 year old runner and the Nike and Adidas and Saucony days in my youth which is so pertinent in my past. Also shoes have gotten better and better throughout the years.
So the question is to get lighter shoes, my Nike’s as a compromise, or take the barefoot plunge. Please send your experiences. Ah the evolution of our favorite hobby.