Thursday, November 09, 2006


I was just told that I am "crazy." Huh???

I've been paying attention to my health and fitness for around the past 7 years. I run. I like the fact that I staying fit makes me feel younger and, most of the time, look younger than most of my same aged friends. I enjoy running. I've discovered that I enjoy running in events, everything from 5k's to marathons. I like getting caught up in the nerves before a run event. I like knowing that other people enjoy running as much as I do. I like knowing that there are newbies at every run, as well as seasoned world class athletes. I like that these events usually benefit an organization to raise money or awareness. I like that I usually receive a goodie bag, funky t-shirt and snacks at these events. I like that I get medals at half marathons and marathons. I like the way it feels when someone says "good run." I like the way it feels when it's over. I like how it feels when I think about past run events. I like that people start to recognize me on my long runs over the weekends. I like the feeling of "runner's high."

As far as "crazy" in terms of running, I just don't know. Crazy is such a broad term. A close friend told me that their spouse thought I was crazy for doing all these runs. I do a handful of runs throughout the year but it's just a fraction of what others do. I know people who have at least 3 or 4 events planned per month, and sometimes a couple of those are over a weekend. I've recently watched a news clip last week about a guy who ran 50 marathons in 50 states. Is he crazy? How about Forrest Gump? (Yeah, I know, I'm referring to a fictional movie character.) He just ran. No reason. Is the Brazilian gentleman, Gomes dos Santos, who just won the New York Marathon crazy? Probably crazy happy.

I run because I can and I am able to. It's that simple.

I was never great at team sports in high school. I participated in activities like tap dance, a short stint at ice skating, and a few dance classes in college to meet my Phys. Ed. Requirement. I did enjoy running in high school P.E. class. Running always guaranteed my "A" in P.E. There was no girls track team at my high school at that time, (but the boys had a track team where my brother excelled.) I didn't really start up running again until after I turned 40, about a year after I had decided to get off my fat butt and get in shape and joined a gym -- The running evolved out of working out at the gym and dropping 30 pounds. I have been plagued with bouts of asthma and I've been diagnosed with arthritis in both my knees two years ago. At 47, I'm still running, albeit at a pace good for me, but not as fast as I would like to be. I know when to say "Uncle" and take it easy... I don't need to break any records. I may never have a sub 4 hour marathon or qualify for the Boston Marathon, but that's okay. I actually had a second place finish in my age group two years ago, for a 5k run -- and that run was a not a personal best, in fact, it was the slowest I had ever run in a timed 5k. I was stunned and thrilled all at the same time - How could I run so slow and still win a second place spot? I had never won anything for my athletic abilities before. Participation is everything. I hope to be running for as long as I can. I'd like to run in that group of 60 and 70+ year olds, who I see from time to time at some events. If for some reason I can't run, I would certainly volunteer to help out at the run events.

I understand that running isn't for everyone. I know many people who intensely dislike running because it was used as punishment in P.E. class when they were younger, when the class became unruly, coach would just say "run laps." A lot of people find running monotonous and tedious. Running pains some people. Running is a mind set. It's like anything else. If your mind isn't into it, then it's not worth the effort. I wouldn't say someone is crazy for not running, why would they say I'm crazy for running?

I've entered in the word "crazy" on Wikipedia, and was cross-referenced to the word "Insanity." Hehehe...

Insanity, or madness, is a general term for a semi-permanent, severe mental disorder. The concept has been used in a number of ways historically. Today it is most commonly encountered as a generic informal term, or in the more narrow legal context of criminal insanity. In the medical profession, it is nowadays avoided in favor of specific diagnoses of mental illness.

Running as an enjoyable past-time = a mental disorder? I don't think so. I might be stubborn, but crazy? Nah.


Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


KatieFeldmom said...

I do not find you crazy at all. Which by the way, are you looking for Patsy Cline, LeAnn Rimes, Gnarls Barkley, K-C & Jojo, Simple Plan. WOW, way too many people sang a song entitled Crazy.

Anyhoo. I think it is so cool that you run and I value all of the info that you have provided me over the past couple of months. I want to be a runner so bad!!!!!!!! I want what you just described in your very eloquent post. I want that!

You are def not crazy. You are cool. Incidentally, Gwen Stefani has a song entitled Cool.

Cathy said...

You are definitely NOT crazy. You challenge yourself but are careful to not injure yourself with your training. I see you as a role model. I just wish I had your innate kindness.
So my snippy question is "Is your friend's spouse fat/unhealthy?"
My guess is that the person calling you names needs an excuse to not pursue a healthy lifestyle therefore anyone making healthy changes & having disciple must be "crazy." Bah Humbug.

barbie2be said...

there is nothing crazy about running. for yourself or for a cause! you just keep right on running, irene!

Evelyne said...

Ditto to what everyone else just said. You keep doing what makes you happy, to hell with what others have to say or what they think.

Now you say your hubby didn't always run with you, how did you get him to start? I would love to get my hubby involved and working out too, but he's so insistent on eating his junk food.

Miss Rachel said...

How 'bout Aerosmith?

I certainly don't think you are crazy. Sometimes being called "crazy" can be a compliment, but in this case, maybe the person who said it is insecure about his own fitness or lack thereof, and it's easier to just write you off as crazy.

I'd call you "inspirational." Really. :-)

Irene said...

Winner once again with Patsy Cline. I guess we inspire eachother, because I get inspired reading your workout and nutrition plans for the day, and I think to myself that I haven't really planned anything, so it gets me to think about what I need to do for the day. Thanks, Katie. No one has ever said I was cool before. :)

Thanks, and likewise. I wish I had some of your wonderful qualities as well, such as the work you do. LOL at the "snippy comment." The person who made the comment is actually naturally thin and relatively fit. She is not a very secure person, though, and often passes judgement too quickly. I know how she is. An Eric Clapton song comes to mind: "Before you accuse me, take a look at yourself." Perhaps she's jealous? I don't know. It won't stop me from anything. I just thought the comment she made was odd.

And I'll keep on running! Thanks!

I quit taking into consideration unthoughtful comments about my fitness a long time ago, but this comment just really struck me. Hubbie didn't always run with me. In fact, when I initially lost weight he felt threatened because I wasn't the comfortable chubby wife anymore. I was going in a different direction. He started participating in runs with me because he didn't have to run the whole way, plus it was something we could do together. Now I just sign him up and he goes with me, and he enjoys the bragging rights of saying he did a half marathon and a marathon... Too funny.

I'll take crazy as a compliment, if it was meant that way. After all, I am a running fool... LOL... I just don't think she understands that running keeps me going and gives me something to look forward to, as in events. She finds joy in shopping, which I'm not a big fan of, but I don't think she's crazy for enjoying a bargain... C'est la vie... Thank you for your kind words.

Pamela said...

Not Crazy at all... see we all say so! ~lol~ seriously tho' if it makes you happy & keeps you healthy.. damn girl ... how much saner can that be?? :D

sister smile said...

Sing it, sister! You do what you want to do and pay no mind to anyone else. Anyone with time to scrutinize your habits doesn't have enough good stuff going on in his or her own life.

Besides, what's wrong with a little crazy?

Irene said...

Thanks. :) I might be crazy for other reasons but not running... LOL...

Sister Smile,
I agree. I was a little amused that someone thought I was crazy for having healthy habits... I am a running fooo, though... LOL...

Irene said...

Oops... should be "running fool" not "running fooo." LOL.

Dori said...

What a great post, Irene. Well said! Racing is fun. And I laughed at the animated gif.

Irene said...

Thanks! ;)

sister smile said...

I'm a running fooo, too! That's a great word, even if it's not what you meant to type.