Saturday, January 24, 2009

Thought for a Saturday: "wasted" miles

Steve Chopper just posted an interesting question over at  He asks "what do you find annoying about running?"  Here's my thought. 

The concept of "wasted miles". I've read this term more than once and heard it discussed as well and it bothers me. Unless kept in the appropriate context, professing the idea that any running miles are wasted is at best misleading and at worst, arrogant. All runners should keep in mind how many people in this world would love to run but will never be able to.

The ability to run at all is a gift; a precious gift indeed. And it should be fun, too.

For elite athletes, professionals and the like, and for the hyper-competitive, I understand the concept; when you are trying to squeeze every possible gain from your limited training time in order to achieve a very specific goal, I get it. But the vast majority of us are middle of the pack weekend warriors, juggling family obligations, commitments, other hobbies, and running. We train for races, share our experiences, and live better lives because of the incredible gift of running. We shouldn't ever take ourselves too seriously, because life is too short to stress ourselves out wondering if we just ran a "wasted" mile. Every now and then I leave the Garmin at home and go for a run just for the fun of it. I highly recommend it.

God help me if I ever get to the point that my training is so scripted that I ever truly believe that I have wasted my time by running.