Monday, October 22, 2012

Ultra running - Good or Evil

Has running become an “addiction?”

These are some signs of drug addiction that I changed “drug” to “running” just to see if it fits. BOY did it ever. I’ll let you read over and then I’ll go on.

  • You’re neglecting your responsibilities 
  • You’re using running under dangerous conditions or taking risks while running
  • Your running is causing problems in your relationships, such as fights with your partner or family members, an unhappy boss, or the loss of old friends.
  • You’ve built up a running tolerance. You need to run more or longer to experience the same effects you used to attain with smaller amounts.
  • You’ve lost control over your running. You often run more than you planned, even though you told yourself you wouldn’t.
  • Your life revolves around running. You spend a lot of time thinking about running, figuring out how to get a run in, and recovering from the effects of running.
  • You’ve abandoned activities you used to enjoy, such as hobbies and socializing, because of your running.
  • You continue to run, despite knowing it’s hurting you. 
  • Isolation when previous nature was more outgoing, social – or vice versa.
  • Running activities without attention to rules, potential dangers, norms, laws
  • You are certain you can quit anytime (but, well, you can’t)
  • You hide it from others

     The highlighted sections are ones I am guilty of in one way or another and ones I have seen/heard the most about from other Ultra runners. I have seen many relationships get crushed from running including one of my own. (she ran and I was not “aloud to”) and it took its toll on our bond. I have seen/heard of many marriages, engagements, and just “dating” get broken apart because of running.  

     Now in saying that I need to say this to; I have see/heard of many relationships being formed because of running.

     I have been saying for months that my body needs a break (and it did) but I just keep going. I found one excuse or another to keep the miles high. I love running and love what it has done for me and over the past 2 weeks found that “old love” for running that I seem to have lost at some point, but in that hard time I had a lot of questions that I was looking into.

  • Do I really want to “be ULTRA” (as in keep running ultras)
  • Is running like this really healthy for me (after ending up in the ER)
  • Do I want to stop and start seeking out a relationship (being single for the past 17 months)
  • Has it become an “addiction” (as listed above)

     I do believe that it has become an addiction but knowing that now will help me make better decisions on what events I do and don’t want to participate in. These half cocked no aid for 20 miles in dangerous conditions no longer appeal to me. I would like to run a 100 miler next year but will take time off after or will this addiction get stronger and just keep going?

     I’m not trying to say that it is something bad to be “addicted” to running, but it can be if you let it take over your life and make poor decisions. Not spending the time you should with family and friends, doing dangerous things “in the name of running,” not letting your body heal after an event are all things I and many other runners need to look at.

     I have only been openly running Ultras sense January 7th 2011. I say openly because I ran a few Ultra distance runs and  events with very few people knowing. I still have a lot to learn and every time someone is willing to give me advice I try to soak it in and think on it for a while and see how it affects me personally.  I have gotten back to a place of “running for fun” and really don’t give a crap about times anymore. Truth be told I placed a lot better when I had no clue what a good time was or how I “should” be training and just went out and ran what I felt like doing.

     I have no more events of my own (planed) this year only pacing for friends and that will not be any easier but it is a different mental state when you are running as a pacer.  I enjoy it so much and it will help even more to bring be back to a place of the fun run.

     I do these blogs for my own benefit to look back on and maybe even have a story to pass on if for some reason I end up in another relationship wanting to have a child. I have noticed that there are a lot of people reading this blog for one reason or another. I do hope that you find them fun to read and maybe even learn take something away from it.

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