Tuesday, 21 May 2013

On independence

There are many reasons why I run. In an earlier post, I mentioned some of the reasons I could come up with while thinking about it. Still, there must be many more - unconscious - reasons why I feel jealous of the runners that I see while doing other stuff (driving to a shop, riding my bicycle to the train station at bl..dy 5:50 in the morning, going for a walk with the Missus and the little Padawan - who, by the way, despite his being three is showing a serious urge to run and some impressive speed in doing so!

-= Stats =-
Among the more concrete and visible reasons why I take so much pleasure in running is generating statistics and numbers. Reading many blogposts and other bits of writing on running, I know I am - thank goodness - not the only one.

As for my numbers on 2013 so far, I feared that they would be a sorry lot. Not only did my sad excuse of an injury prevent me from doing slightly longer runs until a month ago, the long and cold winter and especially the ridiculous wind-speeds were hardly helping in finding the courage to go out. In order to keep running through the winter, I seriously needed to screw my courage to the sticking place (though not as murderously as in the Scottish play: F.ck you, you f.cking f.ck, what do you mean?).


Looking back to the first four-and-a-half or five months of the year, I was happily surprised to find that there were only two weeks, where I did only one run. The rest of the weeks I did two or more. Click the image to the left for a larger view of my Garmin Connect Calendar overview. More detail is in the table below.


+----+-----+----------+-------+---------+-------+--------+------+
| #  | Day | yyyymmdd | Time  | Runtime | Dist. | Y2D    | Pace |
+----+-----+----------+-------+---------+-------+--------+------+

| 47 | Sat | 20130511 | 16:26 | 45:06   | 8.19  | 336.97 | 5:30 |
| 46 | Wed | 20130803 | 20:39 | 39:15   | 6.75  | 328.78 | 5:49 |
| 45 | Sun | 20130505 | 11:01 | 57:16   | 10.14 | 322.03 | 5:39 |
| 44 | Fri | 20130503 | 20:07 | 1:00:11 | 10.13 | 311.89 | 5:57 |
| 43 | Wed | 20130501 | 18:48 | 45:28   | 8.16  | 301.76 | 5:34 |
| 42 | Mon | 20130429 | 19:59 | 1:07:50 | 11.72 | 293.6  | 5:47 |
| 41 | Sat | 20130427 | 13:55 | 55:33   | 9.76  | 281.88 | 5:42 |
| 40 | Wed | 20130424 | 20:01 | 32:38   | 5.84  | 272.12 | 5:35 |
| 39 | Sun | 20130421 | 17:41 | 46:51   | 8.25  | 266.28 | 5:41 |
| 38 | Fri | 20130419 | 20:39 | 38:43   | 6.6   | 258.03 | 5:52 |
| 37 | Tue | 20130416 | 12:34 | 30:31   | 5.84  | 251.43 | 5:13 |
| 36 | Sun | 20130414 | 11:37 | 57:33   | 10.06 | 245.59 | 5:43 |
| 35 | Fri | 20130412 | 18:06 | 38:07   | 6.56  | 235.53 | 5:49 |
| 34 | Tue | 20130409 | 19:51 | 38:47   | 6.61  | 228.97 | 5:52 |
| 33 | Sun | 20130407 | 12:29 | 59:50   | 10.26 | 222.36 | 5:50 |
| 32 | Fri | 20130405 | 10:24 | 47:53   | 8.26  | 212.1  | 5:48 |
| 31 | Wed | 20130403 | 20:10 | 37:50   | 6.54  | 203.84 | 5:47 |
| 30 | Mon | 20130401 | 15:33 | 45:55   | 8.79  | 197.3  | 5:13 |
| 29 | Sat | 20130330 | 15:00 | 47:13   | 8.23  | 188.51 | 5:44 |
| 28 | Wed | 20130327 | 18:56 | 39:19   | 6.6   | 180.28 | 5:58 |
| 27 | Fri | 20130322 | 12:18 | 43:13   | 7.06  | 173.68 | 6:07 |
| 26 | Wed | 20130320 | 19:42 | 38:42   | 6.59  | 166.62 | 5:53 |
| 25 | Mon | 20130318 | 19:39 | 39:50   | 6.82  | 160.03 | 5:50 |
| 24 | Sat | 20130316 | 14:35 | 47:10   | 8.21  | 153.21 | 5:45 |
| 23 | Sat | 20130309 | 10:59 | 44:38   | 8.23  | 145    | 5:26 |
| 22 | Wed | 20130306 | 19:55 | 38:40   | 6.6   | 136.77 | 6:51 |
| 21 | Mon | 20130304 | 12:04 | ?       | 8     | 130.17 | 5:09 |
| 20 | Sat | 20130302 | 15:25 | 47:01   | 8.29  | 122.17 | 5:40 |
| 19 | Wed | 20130227 | 19:55 | 38:25   | 6.6   | 113.88 | 5:47 |
| 18 | Mon | 20130225 | 12:17 | ?       | 9     | 107.28 | 5:09 |
| 17 | Fri | 20130222 | 20:13 | 37:40   | 6.65  | 98.28  | 5:40 |
| 16 | Tue | 20130219 | 19:00 | 29:41   | 5.21  | 91.63  | 5:42 |
| 15 | Sun | 20130217 | 10:26 | 46:59   | 8.22  | 86.42  | 5:43 |
| 14 | Fri | 20130215 | 21:23 | 38:24   | 6.6   | 78.2   | 5:49 |
| 13 | Tue | 20130212 | 19:12 | 31:35   | 5.37  | 71.6   | 5:53 |
| 12 | Sat | 20130209 | 11:20 | 37:32   | 6.66  | 66.23  | 5:38 |
| 11 | Thu | 20130207 | 20:11 | 27:25   | 5.28  | 59.57  | 5:28 |
| 10 | Mon | 20130204 | 15:57 | 37:03   | 6.59  | 54.29  | 5:37 |
| 09 | Fri | 20130201 | 20:20 | 28:49   | 5.01  | 47.7   | 5:45 |
| 08 | Mon | 20130128 | 9:22  | 39:12   | 6.6   | 42.69  | 5:57 |
| 07 | Fri | 20130125 | 16:59 | 37:23   | 6.44  | 36.09  | 5:48 |
| 06 | Sat | 20130119 | 17:05 | 28:46   | 5.01  | 29.65  | 5:44 |
| 05 | Thu | 20130117 | 21:29 | 29:18   | 4.99  | 24.64  | 5:52 |
| 04 | Sun | 20130113 | 11:38 | 40:05   | 6.6   | 19.65  | 6:05 |
| 03 | Wed | 20130109 | 20:30 | 26:04   | 4.53  | 13.05  | 5:45 |
| 02 | Sun | 20130106 | 9:16  | 25:55   | 4.5   | 8.52   | 5:45 |
| 01 | Thu | 20130103 | 17:38 | 24:10   | 4.02  | 4.02   | 6:01 |
+----+-----+----------+-------+---------+-------+--------+------+

-= Independence =-
Today, I was given a copy of Runners World magazine. Reading the first pages, I saw a complete section (Style-Guide) on minimalist shoes. The first thing that crossed my mind was the "First they ignore you" Ghandi quote. But never mind that...

Going over the pages confirmed a feeling that I have had for a while now. Running in general - and running in minimalist shoes in specific - is largely about independence. A runner is independent from expensive and complicated gear - such as a bicycle or weightlifting stuff. A runner does not have to travel to get to and from his work-out area: he is ready to go as soon as he has crossed the threshold of his front door. A runner does not depend on others to go and do what he is good at. A runner does not depend on a particular surface or lay-of-the-land: anything goes (though in all fairness, streetlights do help while doing evening-runs). As a runner, I get to experience the independence of running anywhere, no matter where I am in the world. There is always a good bit of road to be explored.

Being a minimalist runner is even better than being a runner in regular shoes - though my opinion might be slightly colored by preference. In addition to the inherent independence of running, not being limited by a specific brand of shoes or type of sole helps in feeling free. The mere fact that I do not need to go hunting for the new model of the type I bought the previous year - and hoping that the soles, the padding and the support haven't changed too dramatically - makes life a lot easier. This feeling pops into my mind each time I need to run anywhere in everyday life (you know, for public transport, to practice chasing people out of a burning building, to make sure that the young Padawan does not ride his bicycle into a pond). No matter the shoes I wear, I am always ready to run.