I will start this post with admitting that I have a bit of a problem – I’m a runner and I cannot help it. I have tried several times to give it up and I can’t seem to kick it. My dad was a runner and I started running with him when I was four years old. So, it was with some joy that I picked up the San Francisco Chronicle (newspaper website: http://www.sfgate.com) this morning and found most of the E Section of the paper dedicated to stories on runners and running.
Two major stories focused on examining the health benefits and potential health risks to long distance running. Now I’ve gone in and out of phases where I’ve run long distances; I’ve done three marathons, and I definitely enjoy running more miles. I’ve never done it because I want to be healthier – I run because I love the way I feel when I’m running. I love the freedom and the solitude of jogging. I love the rush of exertion that I get from longer distances or hill work outs. I love noticing the things along the way that I never notice during drives or taxi rides. Running has also been a way for me to connect with the memories of my dad. I can often hear his words in the back of my head during long runs, commenting on the things that I’m thinking about.
All that said, there have been some significant studies that have come out in the past year or so, talking about the health risks of distance running. Both of the articles in today’s Chronicle were balanced but challenged the findings of those studies. I enjoyed the research both reporters did on how healthy exercise plays a role in living longer with less disease. Media can play an important role in getting people out there and getting them moving. Great stories SF Chronicle!