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Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Rocky Balboa, the Desire to Compete & the Point of It All

Recently, I let a few friends know I started running again, and that I decided to blog about it. A few questions came about from runners and nonrunners alike.

Why blog?
That's partly due to article in the May 2007 issue of Runner's World. It was #1 in their 101 ideas for motivation. It is also a comfortable medium for me. I had been keeping an Excel spreadsheet of stats, but that's not what is happening.

Running is not the accumulation of sheer numbers, but the living of stories. The stories are about the color of the leaves, the conversations along the run, the look shared just before friendship takes a break and competition begins. It is the pain of a pulled calf muscle, the salty dried sweat, and the tired stumble back to the car. There might be ribbons, medals or trophies, and a cheer to celebrate it all. No spreadsheet can capture that.

So I blog.

Why train, as opposed to just putting in the miles and letting the calories burn?
That's difficult to explain. To a degree, I have tried that. I love long runs, but I need something making it matter more than just doing time on the road. Racing comes into play.

I could just run, get in shape, and try my hand at a few 5Ks. Not for me. I might never meet my sub-20:00 goal, but that's not the issue. Racing involves a race, and the starting gun is long before anyone clips on their number.

Did you see Rocky Balboa? The character is 20 years older than me, and his victories were more glorious, but I get it. Replicating the hard won victory against some young buck isn't what's going on. It is about racing, and being in front of the guy running in my shoes.

Rocky Balboa: Movie About a Boxer, Could Have Been a Runner (review)

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