Last night, while my husband and I were eating dinner he said there was a segment on the latest episode of HBO Real Sports that I needed to watch. It was about people who were obsessed with running. I grabbed the remote, flipped on the OnDemand and tried to find it...it wasn't there. I checked the channel guide to find the next airing, nothing coming up soon. At that point, he said I wasn't supposed to want to watch it to admire these people but to make me realize what I'm becoming. Umm...huh?
Still wanting to see it, I tried to find it online but could not. So, today, I found the next scheduled airing and set the DVR. While it was recording, I went for a run (not kidding). When I got back, I turned it on and fast-forwarded it to the running segment. The segment features 3 runners. Raven, who runs the exact same 8-mile route each day and has every day since 1975. Catra Corbett, an ultra-marathoner who does many 100-milers and is an ex-addict and Marshall Ulrich, who has also run many ultras and has also run across the country in 52 days.
The jist was basically these people relied heavily on the running, used it as a coping mechanism or a way to 'run' from other issues. They are extreme cases but everyone has their own ways of dealing with issues in life. I got the point they were making about Ulrich basically disregarding his family and ended up with several failed marriages due to his lifestyle. I guess I didn't find any of them overly nutty. Also, considering after watching it I looked up Catra Corbett because I found her interesting probably means I didn't get the point my husband was trying to make.
I'm pretty sure my husband thought this running thing was going to be a phase, just like anything else. I'd get bored with it and move onto something else. Instead, I just seem to want to do more and more and I keep dreaming - bigger and better. I look up to people who do bigger and greater things. It keeps me motivated but I'm happy with my own successes and am not trying to be like anyone else. I'll be the first to admit that I have a somewhat obsessive, addictive personality. I get really into things and I'll also admit that at times I am quite nutty. At least I can laugh about it.
However, I do not think I'm obsessed with or addicted to running...at least not in a bad, compulsive way. I do not think I take it to extremes and think I keep it in moderation and don't really see myself taking it to an extreme in the future. I do not run crazy mileage - I just keep a base of around 30 miles per week and do not see this changing drastically anytime soon. I try to keep races to no more than one per month. I keep the amount I run with others in check (it always takes a lot longer with others meaning I'm away longer). I try to keep it in balance with work and everything else in life.
Over the past month or so, the amount of time I've been away or out of the house due to running has been higher than usual. I ran races 4 weeks in a row, the last two of which required me to be away for the entire weekend and also take 2 days off of work. That is not normal and not something I do all of the time, nor do I have any desire to. On top of that, I have been running with others a lot more, mostly due to wanting to run on trails and not going to do that alone. Due to others schedules and plans, it may take up more time to do this.
If anything, I would say the time I was the most obsessed was while I was training for that first marathon. Since then, I think I've figured out how to balance it all better. I attempted to follow a training plan perfectly last year. After it, I got a little more settled...and even burnt out for awhile. The burn out faded and I've been ready to go lately but I do not think it controls my life.
Then again, maybe I am just completely delusional.
Anyone else see the segment? Anyone think they are an obsessive runner?