Off and running

If there’s one thing we, as runners, can take pride in (or be accused of) it’s persistence. No matter the conditions – snowdrifts up to the windows, thunder and lightning, or heat and humidity that would wilt the hardiest Panamanian – you’ll find at least one, and often many, of us out there on the roads, track or trails, putting in our daily miles.

No doubt this is the result of another attribute of virtually every runner: we’re creatures of habit, craving the routine our workout schedules create for us. Often, this virtue becomes a fault, like when we “train through” injury or illness when a day or two’s rest would be more beneficial. But, good or bad, hewing to a routine, and persisting even in the face of obstacles to doing so, tend to define us as runners.

It’s much the same way with writing. While the occasional burst of inspiration from a divine muse might inspire the odd book or article here or there, for the most part, writers are a lot like runners, achieving whatever measure of success we get through the often tedious process of sitting down at a keyboard and pecking away, whether it’s for a matter of minutes or months. And in doing so, the process often becomes more important than the product, just as the act of completing a 45-minute run creates its own intrinsic reward more gratifying, certainly in terms of immediacy, than any competitive accomplishments it might engender down the road.

So it’s not surprising that after more than three decades of writing a running column for the local newspaper every week, I feel the need to continue to voice my thoughts on the world of running which has embraced and to a large degree defined me for most of my adult life.

WestportStartSo today begins a new phase of this running-writing symbiosis, with the launch of RunOnThoughts, a blog where I will continue what I’ve been doing for the past 31 years, voicing my reflections on our sport, at all its levels, global, local, and in between.

Some posts might focus on some races in Fairfield County, new events that are worth a drive and an entry fee, or established ones that are making changes.

Others might be on national or international competitions, or about the industry side of running, be it a new accessory or app touted to make your workouts faster or better, or a revolutionary shoe or clothing technology.

Or, they might be just my own musings on the state of the sport, thoughts that popped into my head in the midst of an endorphin-producing run – a common and desirable product of performing a habitual activity that frees the mind to wander and wonder as the ground passes beneath one’s feet.

The posts, like the column, will appear more or less weekly, but freed from the publishing constraints of the Sunday recreation page might well come more frequently, especially at times of the year when the running action and news is varied, widespread, and frequent. The best way to keep up is to check here frequently, or better yet, sign up for notifications when a new post is published.

How long this blog will continue is anyone’s guess. With the increasingly rapid changes in the online world, I doubt it will last as long as the running column, even if I remained cogent on the cusp of turning 90.

For now, we’ll take this as you should approach any run – a step at a time. Concentrate on putting your foot in front of you and before you know it, you’ll have covered a mile, or a marathon.

Today is the first step for RunOnThoughts. I hope you’ll come along for the rest.


9 thoughts on “Off and running

  1. This is the first blog I have ever read- I had a personal policy not to read any (especially when I heard about some of the people who were writing them… people I really didn’t want to hear in person, either). But I will break my streak and begin a new chapter of blog reading. Most likely however just yours as far as I can tell. The trouble will be- remembering to look for it. Write On! as we used to say in the 70’s

    • Thanks Marty! I would also nominate – great insights from a guy who’s been around the running scene even longer than me. Some nice posts about Bix.
      Speaking of Bix, those Daily Diaries you used to post from Quad Cities during our trips there (some of which I helped out on) were basically blogs – we just didn’t know that’s what it was called back then!

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