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Saturday, 16 October 2010

WHY DO RUNNERS RUN? (IT'S THE DRUGS!)

I went for my first proper training run for a month today.  I’ll try to keep an intermittent log in here, as I will be taking bets on my ability to complete this 254km Sahara race over the next wee while, with the proceeds going to PAPYRUS, a charity that helps young people with depression . I did a cautious 5 miles (8km) in a not very fast 46 minutes in chilly but quite ok plus 4 degrees today, with a bit of hail towards the end.  I’m pretty fat from the USA though so that kept me warm.  

The first run is always an amazing one though – After a mile or so I always cough like hell, it feels like all the crap living and awful processed American food being expended from my body, and usually I have a tough time in the first few miles just remembering how to run – but after 2 or 3 I got into the swing of the Chi Running again and could open the clutch a bit. I’ve decided to raise money for the suicide charity, I think quite an apt good cause considering the nature of the race i’ve entered. So if you’d like to give, just email me – there will be details on my facebook page too. The strangest thing happened though – despite having not ran for a month, i wasn’t even out of breath today, so tomorrow i’ll attempt a cheeky ten miles, just a slow one, in an attempt to 1. Toughen up my feet with blisters and 2. Get used to running in crappy hailstones (the forecast is even for snow i believe) So long as the saunas on when i get back, then i shouldn’t catch a cold. 
At the moment im fat as hell, and red, so its time to bet against me finishing Marathon Des Sables!
Anyway back to the running – the first run for a while, always reminds you of why you run.
And i’m sure you are asking yourself – ‘Yes Alan –actually why the hell do people run?

Well this is an interesting and you could say core question. You non runners will see runners out in pissing rain, snow, hail and storms, and even deserts thinking – ‘This guy is 100% crazy – otherwise why is he putting himself through this hell? ’ A point I can understand fully by the way. Other non runners will tell you it’s boring, it messes up your knees, its gives you a cold, only a total nutjob would get up at 5am and decide to do such a pointless thing like run 20km up a hill and back. WHY?
Well – every runner will tell you a few different things, but the root of it all is - Running  makes you happy. Your brain releases Endorfins and you get a great feeling of wellbeing after the exercise. So it’s basically drug addiction. Of course people say they run for the discipline, they run to relax and clear their mind, they run so they look good, they run because they will improve stamina and be better in bed. And all these are true. But... during and (especially)) after a long run, you feel great, confident, positive, and want to do it all over again – and that’s why it’s addictive.   When you’re running smoothly, you’re totally in touch with your body and what it’s doing, it’s like meditation – at these times its easy even to fall asleep, (so don’t do it on a busy road)

And with Chi Running you don’t even expend enough energy to get tired, so you can run a longer distance than you normally would if you were pounding the pavement and messing up your knees. 

I’ve also stopped drinking now so if anyone sees me with a beer/wine/pint of vodka please punch me in the face (guys) or kiss me (pretty girls) or at least put a bet against me finishing the Marathon Des Sables (all girls and guys)

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