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Read at your discretion...

Post  Kenny B. on Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:57 am

I think the topic below is something most people don't want to talk about. I know I did not.

However, the thought came to me recently as I am currently in between cycles.
I am completely aware of the difference of running during a training
cycle and running after one. Not only are my runs in many ways more
enjoyable, they are without expectation or attachment to a particular
result, need based on some type of goal. The sense of urgency is gone.
And when I take out the sense of urgency which seems to only happen
when I let go of the attachment I not only enjoy the run more, I stay in
the present more and that is good for my soul and those around me.

However, once you awaken that is become aware of your souls purpose you can no longer ignore it. You can distract it, you can "run" away from it but it will always be with you moving forward.

So, I bring this to the forum with no expectation but preference to hearing (reading) other point of views on this subject. Maybe this topic helps others as it has already helped me.

How much does running affect your life and others around you. We may say "I run early in the morning before the family wakes up so I am not disturbing my family." or "I run during lunch hour as I am allowed that time to do as I please". or "I run at night after the kids go to sleep and my husband is just relaxing."

Yes, the perception is that running does not interfere with those around us. It is usually adamantly defended as the runner sees it as easily justified but the "reality" is, how can it not affect all that it touches?

It is not when we run, but why we run and all that goes into running that can affect not only those around us but most importantly ourselves.

How many people run for the sake of running? I only know of one person and that person I only know through someone else sort of a mythical person who runs for the sake of running. They log 30 to 100 miles a week but never race, never run for an outcome, but as a way to actively meditate. I call it mindful running.

It seems everyone else has a "goal", whether it be a race goal to complete your first marathon, a time goal to run your fastest, or a unique quests like multiple marathons, ultra distances, or the like.

If one was looking to live a life based on the present moment vs. past experiences and future "fears" (ie. worries), can this be accomplished while still having or is still attached to the end result of meeting your goals?

It is said that attachment to anything will keep us from living present as we are always, in all ways worrying about losing what we have, or not having what we think we need to have. Our ego (mind) looks to attach to things to have an identity beyond the one we already have which is human beings, some may say offspring's of God or just soulful that is Soul-Full Beings.

We are made up of mind, body and soul. The soul when tapped into it through meditation (quieting the mind) will speak to us our intention, our desire. The mind now can use this information to make a choice. That is to choose between this or that, here or there and all its alternatives. The body then functions in the action. Physically going down that path the mind chose. Now if all three work together it creates a harmonious balance between the mind, body and soul. However, if the mind which is typically tainted by past experiences and future fears chooses an alternative that is not in line with the soul we create our own "hell". And this is the most common result because our mind is fearful of losing its identity and therefore will choose a path that thinks it secures its future!

When we go out for a training run we are typically shooting for a particular result. Whether it's to recover, build strength, stamina, endurance, etc. Each run has it's purpose and if we meet those goals, we then can trust in our training that come race day our end result goal will be met. The ego grows each day we run and meet our goals.

Does not every training run, since based on an expectation to perform a certain way take us out of the present moment prior to the run and even maybe during the run itself? Certainly, combining 126 days or so in a cycle for a goal marathon could very well take us away from the now and put us clearly into the future each and every day. Some people, including me have been known to do 2 marathon cycles. Where am I? where are you 252 days a year?

Yesterday I received a 20 week custom Marathon training program from McMillian which I ordered a few weeks ago to use for Philadelphia this year. (Prior to this revelation). Although I only reviewed it quickly, I like that each day is planned for me with some flexibility along with choosing at times between different types of runs.

I have about 3 weeks before I am "supposed" to start this program. It will be interesting to see what I decide. Will I choose to live in harmony with my mind, body and soul or work against it based on past experiences and future fears.

To be continued...
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Re: Read at your discretion...

Post  Nick Morris on Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:46 am

Very interesting read Kenny.

I definitely know and will adamantly admit that my running/training has a large affect on those around me. My social patterns change and I find myself seeing less of my friends. I choose running over going out on Saturday nights. I abstain from alcohol and change my diet to fuel my body while training. I do all of these things by choice...It is my choice to have running affect everyone around me.

As far as running without a goal or purpose, I think that my motivation levels would not be as high without an end goal. As much as I love running, I feel that I would come up with excuses to do something else. I, as a runner, need that end goal...that carrot to strive for. I think that the satisfaction of finally obtaining that carrot is what makes it all worth while.

I say all of this, as today I begin my training program for my fall race. I have my carrot identified and have made the choice that will ultimately affect those around me...
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Re: Read at your discretion...

Post  Admin on Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:19 pm

During my early years, my dad was a professional musician. By the time I reached 11 years old, he had become an ordained minister. Years later, in my early 20s, I asked him one day "Dad, what do you really believe?"

He stopped for a moment, then disappeared into the other room. When he came back into the living room, he handed me his day planner and his check book. I said "What's this?" He replied by telling me that if he answered my question he would only be telling me what he THINKS he believes... or what he subconsciously wants others to think he believes. I'll never forget his next sentence: "Son, if you ever want to know what someone TRULY believes, just look at how they spend their time and money."

Whatever it is that you believe in, DO THAT. There is ultimately no good or bad... right or wrong... just intention, and degrees of perception.

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Re: Read at your discretion...

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:45 pm

I love Matt's comments, and I could never be that profound nor that wise.

I run because it is a part of me, and the goals are there because of me (and my type 1 personality). Does running affect my family life? Not as much as it used to since my daughter is grown and my "mommy" demands are now quite different. When she was younger (toddler to grade school age), I had to carefully plan my running and I used it as a release and a definite form or exercise since the other things like aerobics were not me. I want to believe it created a positive role model for my daughter. In those earlier days of her life, I didn't race (I actually didn't run a marathon from 1987 until 2000, and I didn't seriously run any other races except Peachtree and the Atlanta Half from 1992 until 1999 either), and then when I did decide to run Chicago, 2000 after a 13 yr hiatus, it was with a group of "Moms" that had gotten back into running and fitness after we had our kids. During those years though, I religiously logged 25-35 mpw to stay fit because it did make me a better Mom, wife, employee, and overall person. I've always believed that if I felt good about myself mentally and physically then that would serve me better in my relationships in life.

After Chicago, 2000, my family became my biggest motivator for me to run marathons and travel to fun places. My daughter still talks about the fun she had in Cincy (of all places) when we went there for me to run the Pig. My husband and I discussed a trip to Hawaii when he lived in southern CA as the logistics are easier from LA, so we decided it would be fun to couple it in with a race - his idea, not mine!

Whether you believe you have a goal or not, I believe that we always do with our running. It is after all our way of staying healthy - again both physically and mentally - which to me benefits everything around us.
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Re: Read at your discretion...

Post  Mark B on Mon Jun 11, 2012 12:48 pm

Very interesting dilemma you face, Kenny.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I see in your post a sense that mind, body and soul are separate entities with conflicting needs. It seems that you're asking, to which of these aspects of my being should I most diligently attend? It's a good question, but I wonder if the answer is more challenging than the question itself. The answer, of course, is all of them.

Here's what I mean, at least in terms of what we do. It could be argued that truly running for its own sake is a fallacy. It's always connected to some other need or desire - be it achievement, peace of mind, or simply joy. It's our nature, with roots as deep as our species itself. Think about it. Our ancient ancestors had specific goals for running - eating (aerobic LSD running) or avoiding being eaten (VOMax efforts). Their children ran around for fun, much as our children do today, but it could be argued that child-like running is as much preparation for grown-up/purposeful running as tussling lion cubs are actually practicing the hunt.

What I'm suggesting here is that you needn't worry too much about the whys of running. There's no way to disentangle the mind/ego from the process. So as you work to seek that balance you desire, relax and accept the totality of who you are.

Good luck with your decision!
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Re: Read at your discretion...

Post  Martin VW on Mon Jun 11, 2012 1:49 pm

Not even sure I know what Kenny's topic is. Smile

I only saw one question - how many people run for the sake of running? I don't know if it's purely for the sake of running, but from personal observation, the overwhelming majority of people that run do so with no intention to race, or even to "improve." Just go to any health club at 7 AM or 5 PM and ask the people you see on the treadmills/ellipticals/stairmasters/lap pool. They rarely if ever race, and if they do, it's likely as a social activity, not a competitive event.

I'd also say that any activity that we regularly apply ourselves to has an impact on those around us. That impact can be positive, neutral or negative. As the level of involvement increases, though, the risk of negative impact increases directly. Doesn't matter what the activity is - at its best, it provides personal balance that creates the energy necessary to contribute positively to relationships. At its worst, it absorbs our ability to contribute to others and destroys relationships.

I've told my son, many many times, that the highlight of my week - of any week - is watching him play hockey. Second is probably dinner out, in some combination of with my family, just my wife, just my son, or with friends or other couples/families.

Running - even racing - is pretty far down the list.
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Re: Read at your discretion...

Post  Jerry on Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:13 pm

@Martin VW wrote:Not even sure I know what Kenny's topic is. Smile


Haha, I only understood the replies. Razz
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Re: Read at your discretion...

Post  mul21 on Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:28 pm

My answer is very simple. I run so I can enjoy other aspects of life That make me happy, i.e. eating great food and drinking great beer. I run so I can do those things and remain healthy and fit. I also happen to be a relatively competitive person and racing provides an additional motivation to get out there every day and run. Overall, I think it has a positive effect on me and those around me, because, as Michele noted, I think it provides a great example to my daughter.
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Re: Read at your discretion...

Post  amyjoann on Thu Jun 21, 2012 7:32 pm

wow Kenny you have done some deep thinking on those long runs,and I do love that opportunity to reflect on those long runs.Lately I've had to tell myself stop worrying about the next run, let's enjoy what we are doing now,it's just a hard habit not to think about whats next. As for running affecting people around me it sure has,and it couldn't be more fun.Both my daughters are running,their friends have done half marathons along with me it's just been a great joy to have. My absolute favorite time is when I can run with my kids it's great! As far as races I need motivation, without it I get slow, which could be ok, but I know I am capable of so much more. I get angry with myself when I settle for finishing.I think we as runners are great role models,for people all over that see us running.the benefits our families will have are real healthy fast parents so we can still catch them if they try to get away for a while. good luck in your quest for answers I think it will come to you on a long run. Basketball
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Re: Read at your discretion...

Post  Julie on Thu Jun 21, 2012 8:33 pm

Kind of like Jim said, I run because it makes the rest of my life better. I could choose to not run but my pre-running days had a lot of really awful depression in them. So, many people can get away with being inactive and still be healthy, I guess, but I can't. I don't need to marathon train to have the benefits, but I do enjoy the training and having something structured to keep me motivated for the long runs especially. Yes sometimes it does take time from my family, but it also makes me a healthier person the hours I am around them.

Kind of along the lines of what Matt said, too, I've heard you can look at a person's check book (or bank register or however you keep track of your finances) and tell what's important to them that way.
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Re: Read at your discretion...

Post  carleenp on Fri Jun 22, 2012 10:51 am

I tend to say that I run so that I can eat and drink beer without getting totally fat and there is truth to that. But I also love the alone time I get with running. I do a heck of a lot of thinking and planning during those times. I also sometimes run with friends and groups and then I love the social time. I would still run if I was not racing, but I also like having goals to work toward in my life, so running goals mean a lot to me as do other goals in my life, such as getting a book written (almost done with that!), training my dog toward an agility title (long way to go on that, lol!), etc. I enjoy having goals and working to meet them.

My running does affect my life relationships some. In good ways, I have made great friends from it. I don't think there are any bad things, but my husband is not a runner, so he gets tired of me talking about it at times. However, at the same time, he likes traveling to races with me and doesn't complain about my early morning runs. To the contrary, he loves them because he gets to sleep in!
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Re: Read at your discretion...

Post  fostever on Fri Jun 22, 2012 11:01 am

@Mr MattM wrote:During my early years, my dad was a professional musician. By the time I reached 11 years old, he had become an ordained minister. Years later, in my early 20s, I asked him one day "Dad, what do you really believe?"

He stopped for a moment, then disappeared into the other room. When he came back into the living room, he handed me his day planner and his check book. I said "What's this?" He replied by telling me that if he answered my question he would only be telling me what he THINKS he believes... or what he subconsciously wants others to think he believes. I'll never forget his next sentence: "Son, if you ever want to know what someone TRULY believes, just look at how they spend their time and money."

Whatever it is that you believe in, DO THAT. There is ultimately no good or bad... right or wrong... just intention, and degrees of perception.
No right or wrong? You just lost me, Matt! Please clarify your statement. There are millions of murderers sitting in prison right now that would love to believe that is true. Since your dad is an ordained minister, I believe a scripture quote could be appropriate, "there is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death." Proverbs 14:12.
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Re: Read at your discretion...

Post  Admin on Fri Jun 22, 2012 4:59 pm

@fostever wrote:
@Mr MattM wrote:During my early years, my dad was a professional musician. By the time I reached 11 years old, he had become an ordained minister. Years later, in my early 20s, I asked him one day "Dad, what do you really believe?"

He stopped for a moment, then disappeared into the other room. When he came back into the living room, he handed me his day planner and his check book. I said "What's this?" He replied by telling me that if he answered my question he would only be telling me what he THINKS he believes... or what he subconsciously wants others to think he believes. I'll never forget his next sentence: "Son, if you ever want to know what someone TRULY believes, just look at how they spend their time and money."

Whatever it is that you believe in, DO THAT. There is ultimately no good or bad... right or wrong... just intention, and degrees of perception.
No right or wrong? You just lost me, Matt! Please clarify your statement. There are millions of murderers sitting in prison right now that would love to believe that is true. Since your dad is an ordained minister, I believe a scripture quote could be appropriate, "there is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death." Proverbs 14:12.

Clarify? Sure thing...

The concept of right/wrong or good/evil is transitory, not objective or universal. While each individual has some form of moral compass, the compasses do not always agree. Even as a society overall the social norms change and evolve over time... what was at one time considered okay is now considered wrong, and vice versa.

If you want to go Biblical, you need look no farther than 1 Samuel 15:2-3 to see 'religiously justified' murder:
...This is what the Lord of hosts has to say: 'I will punish what Amalek did to Israel when he barred his way as he was coming up from Egypt. Go, now, attack Amalek, and deal with him and all that he has under the ban. Do not spare him, but kill men and women, children and infants, oxen and sheep, camels and asses.'

Imagine that defense in a modern court of law... God told me to do it! Our courts don't favor God-ordered killing over regular murder, though the Bible seems to indicate that at one time God-ordered killing was not only okay... it was required. There was a lot of killing back in the Old Testament days...

There are many examples of how morality has changed over time, and we are each the product of whatever influences have helped shape our own individual sense of right and wrong. My point is that the best we can hope to do is tune into our real faith/beliefs and live as closely to that as possible.

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Re: Read at your discretion...

Post  fostever on Fri Jun 22, 2012 9:20 pm

@Mr MattM wrote:
@fostever wrote:
@Mr MattM wrote:During my early years, my dad was a professional musician. By the time I reached 11 years old, he had become an ordained minister. Years later, in my early 20s, I asked him one day "Dad, what do you really believe?"

He stopped for a moment, then disappeared into the other room. When he came back into the living room, he handed me his day planner and his check book. I said "What's this?" He replied by telling me that if he answered my question he would only be telling me what he THINKS he believes... or what he subconsciously wants others to think he believes. I'll never forget his next sentence: "Son, if you ever want to know what someone TRULY believes, just look at how they spend their time and money."

Whatever it is that you believe in, DO THAT. There is ultimately no good or bad... right or wrong... just intention, and degrees of perception.
No right or wrong? You just lost me, Matt! Please clarify your statement. There are millions of murderers sitting in prison right now that would love to believe that is true. Since your dad is an ordained minister, I believe a scripture quote could be appropriate, "there is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death." Proverbs 14:12.

Clarify? Sure thing...

The concept of right/wrong or good/evil is transitory, not objective or universal. While each individual has some form of moral compass, the compasses do not always agree. Even as a society overall the social norms change and evolve over time... what was at one time considered okay is now considered wrong, and vice versa.

If you want to go Biblical, you need look no farther than 1 Samuel 15:2-3 to see 'religiously justified' murder:
...This is what the Lord of hosts has to say: 'I will punish what Amalek did to Israel when he barred his way as he was coming up from Egypt. Go, now, attack Amalek, and deal with him and all that he has under the ban. Do not spare him, but kill men and women, children and infants, oxen and sheep, camels and asses.'

Imagine that defense in a modern court of law... God told me to do it! Our courts don't favor God-ordered killing over regular murder, though the Bible seems to indicate that at one time God-ordered killing was not only okay... it was required. There was a lot of killing back in the Old Testament days...

There are many examples of how morality has changed over time, and we are each the product of whatever influences have helped shape our own individual sense of right and wrong. My point is that the best we can hope to do is tune into our real faith/beliefs and live as closely to that as possible.
Well, some of our courts order killing convicted murderers so that may be the closest example of "God ordered killing," since our laws are pretty much Biblical based. I agree much of the text where God ordered surrounding hostile, child sacrificing, idol worshiping clans eliminated to preserve and protect a remnant of his chosen people to eventually provide redemption to all people a bit unsettling if I didn't know the outcome and the whole council of God. I do believe though, that moral relativism is a dangerous thing since it allows each of us to decide what is right or wrong based on how we feel not based on a defined set of standards. Nothing personal, but saying there is no right or wrong, good or bad is kind of ludicrous. Trying to figure how this got into a discussion on running without the pressure of a training schedule. lol
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