Tuesday, December 4, 2012

So, Too Much Running Can Kill You? Bury Me With My Shoes On Then

"You better get yourself together. Pretty soon you're going to be dead." ~John Lennon, Instant Karma

"Lord my body has been a good friend, but I won't'need it when I reach the end" ~ Cat Stevens, Miles From Nowhere

"I'm a rocket man, burning up my fuel up here alone." ~That Volkswagon commercial

There's a handful of articles rippling through the running world about a study that shows running endurance races and over 25 miles per week can lead to an early death and a shortened lifespan. In the Wall Street Journal, there is "One Running Shoe In The Grave"  and in Today's Health there is "Running Farther, Faster, And Longer Can Kill You."   

If you are a runner, you have already had non-running folks tell you how running is bad for you. I've had smokers tell me I'm going to have a heart attack, and some BMI champs warn me about my future of knee replacements.  Now they have this article to wave in your face, "See, go ahead and run those miles, it's going to kill you early."

Accepting and assuming the study is valid, my response is:

Well, lets hope so. That's how it should be.  Because, damn it, it wouldn't be natural to have us live that long after how long we have already really lived.

When you're running, you squeeze more life out of living than might be natural. You're twisting time and jumping in the matrix where things happen at a different speed.

You didn't go for an hours run, your brain experienced emotions and went on tangents and got lost in running daydreams that lasted way more than an hour.  You entertained thoughts and possibilities that spanned the entire universe. You jumped into a time warp where you experienced all of the collective consciousness of mankind's history, digging deep into the primordial dirt of all existence and then coming out messy and smiling. And having lived much more deeply due to the experience.  *(I'm nothing if not superlative)

 Like a dream that seems to go on for days but has really only lasted seconds, a runner gets way more out of their life during the time they ran than the clock shows. So, with all that life we've lived, it makes sense that the time is up sooner for us as opposed to those who are living at a slower speed.

Think of how we measure dog years.

You ever run a 4 hour marathon and think of that as just 4 hours?   Hell no, you have gone on journeys and descended into depths of yourself. Your thoughts lived multiple lifetimes and many years, and went on tangents of possible futures and possible pasts.  This is no ordinary 4 hours, this is 4 Score

Yep, if a year in a dogs life is the equivalent to a human's life times seven, I'm thinking that the time of a run is 'life lived' times twenty.
Thus, if you ran for 5 hours one week, that's really an extra 100 hours you have lived, over a year, that's 52 times 100 extra hours for a total of 5,200 extra hours we live each year.  (Is anybody following me? cause I'm really out there, like I'm on a space suit in a space walk and there's only one tiny cord that's keeping me from floating away for good into oblivion)

So, lets say, at 70 years old,  you've been running for 50 years. We've lived approximately 260,000 extra hours of life time, or 10,833 days and 30.4 extra years putting us at 104 years old, and not 70. Damn, who wants to live that long.  Sadness of family members and loved ones and losing time with grandchildren not withstanding, take me God, I'm done here.

Or perhaps not done, perhaps we've just 'gotten out' and evolved. Perhaps having generated all that spiritual energy from running and reached such heights of transcending ourselves, that we finally have ran fast enough to shed our snake skin. We've risen out of this burdensome shell made of flesh and paid the price to evolve to a higher being.  Yes, that's right, we've ran ourselves into higher ground.

Wait, um, did somebody cut my space cord?

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WlZ said...

Well stated! The eternal balance between quality and quantity -- miles, years, thoughts...

Unknown said...

Einstein's Theory of Relativity agrees with this. Time is relative to each individual and based on speed of the observer. A stationary clock ticks faster than a moving one.

Alison @ racingtales said...

Great perspective, Mark! I don't want to live a long life if I can't be active for all of it. Would like that cord to be cut long before I'm drooling in a wheelchair. ;)

Detroit Runner(Jeff) said...

Yeah I read that WSJ article. Where do they get that crap? Ha! My buddy said he must be dead already then.

Annie Crow said...

Love this!

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