Streaking. It has two meanings in the running world. One is running with no clothes on. The other is running without missing a day for a long time. Sounds like pure dedication. It also can be stupid. When is it okay to miss a day? The answer to this is simple. It’s okay to miss a day when other more important things take precedence.
What could possibly be more important than your run? How much time do you have? I could list a thousand things. For me it’s “run to live” not “live to run”. Running is supposed to make my life better. It’s not supposed to control my life. Several years ago, I had to quit running every day. My knees just won’t take it. So, the health of my knees dictates to me that I can’t run every day. That is just one of many things that can excuse me from running each day. Just as an aside, don’t think that I believe running is bad for knees. Too much running can make them sore, but all the latest legitimate research says running is not bad for your knees. I stress the word legitimate here. Lots of crap you can find on the internet (where everything is true) will say that running is bad for knees. That is just bullshit posted by people who don’t like to run. We were designed and meant to run.
I will get back on the topic before I rant for an hour about bad research. Anyway, I have lots of things in my life that are more important than running. I have to go to work. Without my income, I don’t get to eat. If it comes down to eating today or getting a run in, eating wins every time. So, for me, running has to fit in around my work schedule rather than work fitting in around my running schedule.
My family is more important to me than my running. My friend who is a timer for many races over the last 40 years and has known more runners than anyone I know, has told me stories about marriages broken up because the runner was so obsessed with running that they didn’t have time for the family. Very sad and misguided. If there are family obligations or maybe opportunities is a better word, enjoy them. Fit your run in around it. Never miss out on an opportunity to make a memory with your family. It’s one of those things you won’t regret on your death bed. I am unaware of anyone regretting that they didn’t get in another 5 mile training run that day 20 years ago when we had to do the event with the family instead.
Family time is priceless.
Health is a very important reason to miss a run. If you are injured, sometimes you just have to take a break and let it heal. Patience is extremely hard when you just know your fitness is evaporating right before your eyes. Sickness that needs rest is a problem for runners. I have read that if you have symptoms from the neck up, it’s probably okay to run but if it’s in your chest or elsewhere, you probably should take a break and recover. The sooner you recover, the sooner you can run at full strength again.
Injured? Suck it up and heal quickly!
My daughter and blog co-writer is 38 weeks pregnant. Running just isn’t in the cards for her at least for a few more weeks. But it won’t be long before she can go again and get that brief respite and mental health break that going for a run, even a short one, will give her. With a brand new baby occupying more time than a new parent can imagine, running will be a luxury for a while. The silver lining here is that I would tell any new parent that I wouldn’t trade any of my memories of time spent with my kids for any number of runs I could have done instead. Running opportunities will come but kids will grow up and be gone before you know it. I will be thrilled to spend time with my new grandson, even when it comes at the expense of a run. Or maybe a long run might turn into a shorter run so I have more time with the little future runner.
The summary of all of this is to make sure running is adding to your life rather than getting in the way of your life. The benefits of running are too numerous to list here. But I have had a much better life because I am a runner. Finding that balance between running and the rest of my life is the key.
Running should add to your life.
Keep running my friends (just keep it in perspective).