Running Curiosities: The quest to understand how to get the most from ourselves

Running curious. What could that mean? Well, if you’re like me you have had some pretty odd thoughts pop through your brain during all of those miles. But I’ve also seen some pretty crazy, even incredible, sights while running too.
running curious
Though running curiosities may not be limited to these two interpretations either; does running not teach us to be curious in wondering what could be? How much can we accomplish? What are we capable of, how far can we reach, how high can we dream? What goals can we achieve and how much can we overcome?

Running is a constant battle of the mind and body, mostly taming the mind or manipulating it in a way to keep going; going one second faster, going one step further, another PR, another mile. Your mind says, “No,” but you have to still encourage the body to “Go.” Go, Dog, Go! 😉

The longer you’re at this mental game the better you become at blocking out the distress signals from your brain; though it’s not always a linear learning curve, there are ups and downs. Like an EKG chart, some days you’re more ‘on’ and there are other days where your whining mind might win out too. That’s okay, we all have weaker moments, we are after all human. Just remember how you feel after those ‘weaker’ days, let down and frustrated, and the next time you feel the urge to give in remind yourself that you will, in fact, regret it later despite what your negative mind is yelling at you in the moment.
There are so many curiosities in running, intangibles that science is constantly trying to define, pinpoint, dissect, discover, and track, all in the effort to give us the answers to our questions. Why do we have days where our legs feel like lead for no apparent reason, why are there days when we feel magical and like we are running inhumanly, effortlessly? What’s the perfect way to taper, the smartest training plan, the perfect runner diet…why, why, why…

That is why all of those running magazines, journals, blogs, websites, and labs are there and why we swallow them up, devouring the information to fuel our training regimen, to further fuel this running addiction. To get the best from ourselves.
Eiffel tower
Running teaches us to get the best out of our bodies, but also our lives. That self-motivation, tenacity, resiliance spills into reaching and pushing ourselves to do better in other areas. Curious how that works.

1) What are some of the strangest things you’ve experienced on a run, seen, thought about, been a part of, or otherwise?
Have to say you should check out some of the awesome and hilarious things that went on during Britt’s run the other day! 🙂

2) What does running curious mean to you?

3) How does the curiosity to push yourself further translate to personal running goals? To other areas of life?

4) What is a physical curiosity tied to running that has sparked your interest as of late; an article you read about a certain workout, product, food, etc?

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13 thoughts on “Running Curiosities: The quest to understand how to get the most from ourselves

  1. Very thought provoking my dear 🙂
    Running curious to me means running to listen to whatever new things my body is trying to tell me. Do I need to do some more speed work? Do I need to learn to cope with surges towards the end of a race?
    Do I need to be more patient with myself in the first few miles and just let go into the run a little earlier?
    Running has changed so many parts of my life, but certainly the curiosity has spilled over into other goals. It has made me ask the questions of myself about what I would like to achieve with my designated time here? Then it has given me both time to figure these things out while I am on the road, and time away from all the thoughts running around in my head.
    Running is pressure and release for me – it is whatever I need it to be in that very moment.

  2. I love running, in part, because it’s one of the very few times that my thoughts just drift. I don’t tend to worry about things (unless I’m *really* worried about something), or plan things, or think back over things. I just think. Often I’m not even aware of the content…when I am, it can be quite odd, as you say! Odd in a good way though – definitely creative, and I guess curious.

    • i get random words or song lyrics stuck in my head a lot of the times, in HS i honestly memorized all those spanish words during my runs. 😛

  3. this is such a beautiful post! And I have to say all the drawings you included are pretty exquisite as well 🙂 . You make a good point about all the “unknowns” of running that all the scientists and magazines are trying to find out – diet, HR training, recovery, speedwork etc etc etc….we totally eat that up. we SEARCH for it. If we get to a point where there’s no more we can do ourselves, we seek out a coach. I think we’re all at least a tad curious as to “how far we can take this running thing”, and some people’s curiousity burns brighter than others. I’ve always been really curious about how far and fast I can eventually be, and that definitely has shaped my overall personality – I think without running, I wouldn’t be as driven or as much of a perfectionist in the rest of my life lol!

    • thanks girl for all the props. 🙂 i definitely agree running has channelled and honed that perfectionism, i had it even as a kid but it’s nice to be able to put it into something that i then really love and to see rewards is fulfilling. it could be argued that the same effort could be applied to anything and be rewarding if u love it, but i’m just glad mine is running and not like curling or homemade macrame curtains. 😉

  4. Man I think I’ve seen it all while running. The best thing I’ve seen would be a tie between the drunk man police were tazing and a biker, runner, and driver who somehow all collided and broke out into a bloody fist fight with lots of funny profanities. I think that I have some of my clearest thoughts while on the run, almost like the fresh air awakens my mind.

    • oh man, that is crazy!! the ‘scariest’ thing i’ve ever seen was when i was running at a sketchy track where a lot of hobo’s used to hang out by these bushes…i was in the middle of a repeat when this woman full on barges out of the brush without a shirt and starts screaming and running around like mad. 😛

  5. Not strange…but about 18 months ago I used to see a really overweight father & son walking the 2 mile loop ALL THE TIME. A few months ago I saw them – RUNNING- and they had both lost huge amounts of weight. Man, that made me smile.
    Whenever I run I start getting curious about how far my little legs can take me….I know they can do 26.2 miles, but can they do 30? 50?

  6. Running curious. Neat expression… I guess I will take it to mean that a good run gets all my creative juices going… my body, and my blood and sweat of course, but also my heart and soul. I think grande, I think huge, and a nice long run taps into a place in my psyche in a special way.

  7. Pingback: Run Like a Kid: Retaining some of those childlike qualities could be the best thing for your running |

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