The difference between a hobby and a desperate need to breathe

I found a running group online years ago when I found myself a little lonely for someone~anyone~ in the area who could possibly relate to me and my love of running.  I think I googled and came across iVillage.  A little digging produced Running Women and my friends were found.

None of them are anywhere near me…sadly

Not very helpful for a local run but just a conversation away.

Every single day I get online and talk to 25+ women about running.  I cannot tell you how awesome this is.

Early last year iVillage made a critical change at the same time Hurricane Sandy happened and all hell broke loose on the website.  We moved to Facebook temporarily and the problems never fixed themselves.  Facebook became home in a closed group.

These women are comprised of new runners and seasoned runners.   Many of us have run half marathons and marathons and a few have done triathlons.  There is one thing we all have in common.

We live and love to run.

We get injured

We get busy

Our running gets derailed

We have great runs…and bad runs.

We have PR’s and we have perfect racing experiences.

And sometime we plan for great races and get there without our shoes/sports bras/Garmins/jackets.

Let’s face it.  Glitches happen.

Welcome to

But one thing is certain…we will run.  Road, track, treadmill, wherever.  I’ve never, in the four years I’ve been on the board, known any of us to go two weeks without running unless we’ve had an injury.


I bring this up because I read a conversation today that completely threw me.

Someone wrote that they take the whole winter off and start again in the spring (this was not in my group of friends…this was a whole different group of people).  She wasn’t alone!  It seemed a very normal thing for these people to do as they as a whole despise the treadmill and winter alike and chose classes and such to cross train their way through the cold winter months.

I was floored. 

My entire running group will drag their sorry asses through the hurricanes and blizzards to get to the gym if they have to and run on the treadmills there in order to get a workout.

The treadmill is our friend.  Always there.  Always ready to save us when we just can’t take the craziness one second more.  It’s like we all have RLS for runners (Restless Leg Syndrome).*

*no offense intended to those actually suffering from this.


I read once about kids burying their mom with her most beloved possession.  I asked the kids what they would connect me with as my most beloved possession…they unanimously chose the treadmill…with my camera coming a close second.

I think they’ll have to bury me with the camera, the treadmill will be too awkward.

Though I plan to be cremated so that solves that problem.

I digress…

I can’t imagine giving up running every winter.  I need it to sustain my sanity.  I know my 25+ friends are exactly the same way.

Running is no hobby for us. It is a necessity to our daily life.  I know I personally get sad if I don’t get a run in.  Most of the people get cranky if they don’t get a run in.  Is that how you determine what makes a good running group? By how necessary it is to your world?  Is that how you determine what blogs to read and what blogs are just candy?  And by candy I mean…no substance?  Is running just a way to keep in shape, lose weight?  Can it be that and still be the most important thing to you?

What makes it important?  What brings running to the next level?  What raises running to a spiritual level…?  Or is it spiritual at all?  Running is completely spiritual to me.  And I can’t wait until tomorrow morning so I can run again.

Run Baby Run.