Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Born to Run

A friend sent me an article today that I wanted to share. It is full of strange tests and some science lingo that is a bit over my head, but basically it is claiming that the human body was made to run, and it doesn't stop there. These guys claim that humans can run faster and longer than animals.

It is a funny article. They stuck a thermometer in a cheetah's rump and got it to run on a treadmill. This was to prove that humans get rid of heat better than other species because we sweat. The cheetah refused to run once it's temp reached 105. They also had a guy run next to a horse and they measured his stride, proving that his stride was actually greater than the horse's. It also talks about the value of our own butts and how they keep us balanced when our upper bodies would otherwise fall forward when running. They even told of a marathon called the Man Versus Horse Marathon in Llanwrtyd Wells, and in June 2004 a man actually won!

Of course they explain it all way better than I do. And it all sounds a little kooky, but as I was reading I thought, "I can believe this." The reason I believe it is from my own personal experience. And not just mine alone, but through the experiences of others as well. My husband, the gazelle for instance. I bet he could outrun that horse. :) My friend Kristi who has run a 54 mile race and lived to tell about it. Dean Karnazes who ran 50 marathons in 50 days. And the feats get wilder and bigger still! One hundred mile races across deserts. Marathons and ultra marathons in Antarctica.

And when I think about what our team of 6 people did at the Blue Ridge Relay, I can believe we were made to run. We ran for two days. We ran an average of six 10Ks at race pace (or tried in my case). We climbed and climbed and ran down steep hills - all on little to no sleep, and little food as well for some.

A track coach in Fayetteville, TN instructed her runners that running is 80% mind and 20% body. I'm not sure the ratio doesn't over exaggerate a little...but it might be right on target. After a marathon I often have someone say to me, "I could never run that far." And my reply is always, "You could if you wanted to." The relay was another proof of this for me, along with each surprising personal record I obtain in various races of varying distances. From a 5K to a marathon, my times slowly improve, and I am left with the question, "How much more can I do?"

I'm not sure why I have the desire to run. I'm not sure why some people hate it. I'm not sure why some people start running at age 36 or 57, and why some people start running in high school. But I do know that I love it. I love being outside. I love the wind and the sun in my face (in moderation, of course). I love watching the sunrise as I run toward it, and I love running in new places and coming up with new goals. I love talking about it with others and hearing of their own personal triumphs. I love discussing training strategies, stretching, and cross training, and I love giving an encouraging word to a new runner.

Anyway, I hadn't intended to blather on as I have, but the article got the wheels turning. I would like to say, however, that while these scientists believe human bodies have evolved to do what they do - I give all the credit to the Big Guy upstairs. Maybe He knew we'd need it to survive. Maybe He knew we'd want it for fun. Whatever the case I count it a blessing, and with each step I am grateful.

Here is the article. Enjoy.


1 comment:

  1. I read your whole blog page and enjoyed every word of it. I don't know why God blessed me with such a wonderful daughter. Maybe he knew I was going to help others with their children and would see so many bad ones, He'd better send me a couple of good ones. I do know your awesomeness is His doings and not mine. You have many gifts and all of them are blessings to me. You make others feel important everywhere you go so your enjoying others' stories and experiences does not surprise me. You can write so well. You are articulate and can share your thoughts in such a way that your readers can "feel" your passion. When I try to express my feelings about you, I can't seem to find the words. You have brought me such pride and joy and happiness and thoughts of you enter my mind many times every day and make me smile. You are every mother's dream. Thank you for giving me more happiness and pleasure than words could possibly express.
    I love you, dearly. Mom