It would be a fair comment to say I am addicted to running. But is it an accurate description of the portrayal. Yes I run, and sometime I run a lot, other times I like to stay in bed. This does not seem like an addiction to me, more a social pass time, a hobby that requires a little more attention and care than lets say ‘Stamp Collecting’ or ‘reading’.
My blog started life as a way to moan and let off steam about the world and the way it angers my very being but soon grew into a training diary of some one becoming a runner with that person being me. Me who had never really ran more than the distance to catch the number 42 to the city centre before it pulled away from the bus stop. I wanted to blog to show people that a non runner could in fact learn how to run and the following blog is testament to that.
So am I addicted to the running, did I at some point while training for my first 10K race catch the so called ‘Running Bug’ it appears so as even when I was injured all I wanted to do was run and no sooner had I kissed my medal and sat back in relief that I had achieved an activity that for many is out of their reach and comfort zone had found myself entering ‘The Great North’ and then ‘Conwy’ followed by another 10K that was soon to be followed by yet another run.
It is only now that mystery seems to be unravelled. I am not so much addicted to the joy running, although science has shown that running can become addictive with the chemicals that your brain produces during exercise and I can hold my hand up and clearly say after a run I feel happy, delighted I may even go as far to say I feel ecstatic and for those who know me seeing me wear a smile is an odd occasion and I can even back the science up as when I am unable to run like the time I was injured I become miserable. Running makes you feel good. So am I addicted? I think the answer is a no, what I have now found or believed I have found is that while addicted to the benefits of running I am more addicted to the races.
As I write this entry I have just had to turned down a chance to race in the ‘Two Castles Race’ in Warwickshire an event that would be right up my street, running from a castle to another castle with the bonus of staying with friends who live down that way. The reason for this upsetting decision is because when I first tried to enter the organisers said it was full and placed me on a stand by list, wanting to race in June I quickly hunted for another race and found the ‘Mersey 10K Tunnel’ in Liverpool that falls on the same date only to get an email a couple of days later informing me that a place had come available.
In fact while I continue to write I have just entered yet another 10K race, which makes it my third race I’d be participating in during May, and only a couple of weeks after my Marathon (So much for resting). So while catching the ‘Running Bug’ may be a hazard to many who suddenly find themselves waking at 6am and knocking off work early to get home just to enable them to squeeze a quick 5K jaunt around the park I feel that I have gone beyond that and have now moved into the rather dangerous and costly addiction of race entries chasing the next medal, PB or distance. My diary is slowly booking up more with race dates than work ones, and being that I am freelance, that should be a worrying statistic but I am finding I am organising work to fit around races, not races to fit round work a couple of months ago I turned down a job as it meant I would miss an opportunity to run.
What is the reason for this addiction? I’m not too sure! is it the medal or T-shirt, the joy to run with others and run next to people who share the same passion and enjoyment. Is it just down to wanting to bag as many races like walkers wanting to bag monroes. Maybe its a consistent battle whereby you’re running after PB’s as all my races to date have seen me record a new PB and while I’m new to running the room for improvement will I’m sure die away and the PB’s will become harder to achieve so maybe the addiction will also fade or maybe I will just find something new to run after. Maybe it will to get ‘The best in age’ category or addiction to for the goody bags.
What ever happens, I know one thing for sure my love of running and the passion that burns inside for this simple past time will always stay lit and be it that the addiction is too competing, medal hoarding or just placing your trainers on at 6am and running on the desolate streets watching the world slowly wake and the sun rising as the human rat race begins another day the addiction will always be there in one form or another.