Social Circle: Do you run for pleasure or the benefits?
Welcome to a weekly segment called "Social Circle." It's a group effort between readers, social networkers and the OnMilwaukee.com editors. Every Monday, we ask a question via Facebook and Twitter and then post the responses from our Facebook "likers" and Twitter followers in this column. Well-known Milwaukee movers and shakers will contribute, too.
Running seems to become more and more popular every year, and it makes sense. It's a stress release, a form of exercise that doesn't require a lot of equipment or even a gym membership and it's a very efficient fat burner.
But not everyone "gets" running. For some, it sounds and looks like torture. So this week, OnMilwaukee.com asked the runners of the Social Circle to chime in and share what it is they like about running or if they simply do it for the results, not the enjoyment of the activity.
Nicole Acosta: "It's a passion of mine. You release more than just sweat!"
Jeanette Alred: "I may not be the best to answer this as a new runner. It is mixed, but I always feel good afterwards and I feel good enough while doing it to keep at it."
Lindsey Moon Arnold: "Running is great for overachievers. You set goals and within no time you can see yourself accomplish them. Adding on miles or cutting down your time both feel great. Always fun to drive a few miles and then realize, 'hey, I can run that far!' Zoning out, relieving stress, burning calories, and the major amount of endorphins don't hurt either."
Claudia Beaudoin: "I enjoy running when I have someone to run with and when I just need some time alone. Sometimes I focus too much on what could go wrong when I'm running because I had heat stroke or heat exhaustion after a race a few years ago and passed out. When I think about that, my run turns bad quickly. As long as I stay in the moment and don't think about breaking any records, I love it."
Janet Boehlke: "Love it. Love being out in nature, and it feels great during and after. Just wish I was faster."
Erin Boyle: "Both reasons actually! I love my alone time and there is nothing better than crossing a finish line, but I got into it to lose weight and stay in shape."
Steph Davies: "I ran cross country in high school which was 12 years ago. I LOVED it back then because of that adrenaline rush. I hardly ever run anymore and when I do – on a very rare occasion – can find that feeling again. But mostly I fight the unpleasant feeling of realizing I can't run 15 miles in one shot anymore – let alone one. So I did, but I don't so much anymore, even though I wish I did."
Jen Ede: "I like being able to Zen out for an hour and just let my mind wander while my body moves. The Runner's High actually exists, too, and is great once you hit it."
Michelle Fetherston: "I enjoy the alone time and the scenery when I am on a nice route, like the lakefront or parts of the Oak Leaf Trail. I also enjoy that running burns off the calories I take in from beer, wine, cupcakes, french fries..."
Amy Hanson: "I run regularly – have for some years – and the ONLY consistent pleasure I get out of it is getting to tell people that I went running."
Edward Harness: "The first 5-7 minutes of a run I hate, but after that it's enjoyable. The health benefits are great. I really enjoy a race that offers a free beer at the finish, those are the best."
Tom Held: "It's like most things in life: Some runs are good, some are a struggle, some you get through because it's good for you. But, there are those miles where your body seems to fly on its own, you run with the abandon of a child and it's sublime. Then it's beautiful."
Katharina Hren: "I actually enjoy it ... after the first couple of miles. Once I get my breathing regulated, it becomes a meditation for me. What really helped me was when my mp3 player broke. As much as I love music, running without it became a different experience. I started to pay more attention to my surroundings! I too always feel great afterwards."
Kevin A. Joy: "How do you define runner? Frequency? Length of run? Personally, I hate it for the first 10 minutes every time. Then love it after that."
Tyson Kuhrmeier: "I love it, especially fun running in costumes."
Laurie Marks: "I run four miles every day except Thursdays. Running is the only time I am alone with myself, and no one (kids, partner, co-workers) can need me for something during those 40 minutes. Plus, it is mind-cleansing and great for the body. I love going to bed at night and feeling my legs sort of sore, and my heart rate way way low compared to others, and when you run you sleep so well at night. I absolutely love it."
Heidi Meyer Moussa: "I don't run far and I am not hardcore, but the best part about it is that I physically feel my body working hard while my thoughts are present. If I pay attention to all thoughts and let my body do what is natural, it is the most amazing feeling of freedom. I have wanted to do something called dance/run, but I am sure people would think I was crazy. Oh and post-run results: better skin, breathing, and lots more positive thinking."
Lisa Tries Nelley: "I enjoy running for the time I get alone to think."
Sheila Postotnik: "I had always been a terrible runner (i.e. the last one in gym class to finish) and started about a year ago. I set small goals for myself: one song, five minutes, one mile, etc. and found myself progressing over time which was really inspiring for someone who started at age 39! Though I pretty much hate every moment of it when I am doing it, I love the feeling of accomplishing something that has always been so hard. I'm finally running a 5K this summer. I do love having more energy, better metabolism (somebody told me that you can pretty much eat anything when you run which is awesome!) and feeling more in shape. I am hoping that I will actually fall in love with it someday, but for now, it's a love-hate relationship."
Christina Poth: "The best part is being able to zone out with my music and let the stress of the day fall to the curb. Plus the exercise benefits are nice. It's always a good feeling when you can go further and faster than the previous day."
Andrew Rubin: "Back when I was running regularly I would gain enjoyment during the run if I was running well and feel good afterwards, and gain satisfaction for pushing through and completing after the run if I wasn't. Now when I run I feel miserable every step of the way until it's over. Unfortunately that means I need to run more because I'm in terrible shape."
Terry Sexton: "I really get a kick out of the crowds. A couple of Novembers ago I did the half marathon portion of the San Antonio Rock 'n' Roll Marathon - there were 30,000 runners! This past February the Austin Live Strong Marathon/Half Marathon attracted 18,000 runners. And just last month, 7,500 participated in the Summerfest Rock 'n' Sole Half Marathon. It's a spiritual lift to see that many people so willing to share such challenges (and also knowing the entry fees go to good causes)."
Ben St. John: "Depends on the day. If it's a tough run and I'm really having to push myself, then I'm just happy that I did it. But when I get a rhythm and things are going well, I love all of it: exploring neighborhoods, seeing what people are doing, the sounds (I never wear headphones), and the feeling that I could just keep going forever – although that wears off eventually. Oddly, I find that I get this groove more often when I don't actually want to run in the first place but force myself to go."
Renee Scherck-Meyer: "Do I enjoy running? Yes and no, it depends. I enjoy it when I have great weather, great views and am feeling strong and running well. I don't when the opposite is occurring. I always feel good after though, even if it was an unpleasant run. I feel like I accomplished something and feel great after a hard workout."
Laura Hoffmann Stratte: "I've been running for about 18 months and I really don't enjoy it. But like someone else had posted, I do enjoy telling people that I run! Reading all of these posts from people who love it is actually encouraging. Maybe one day I'll be one of them."
Cheyenne Therkildsen: "I enjoy it for both reasons! There's a great sense of freedom while my legs take me away from all the stresses of the day."
Carrie Torres: "I enjoy being outside with nature and I find it a great time to problem solve."
Sarah Zubarik: "I enjoy my time to just be alone and listen to whatever I want and tune out my email and social stuff and just be me. And yep, I love the 'runner's high.'"
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