Posted by: Ticktock | February 1, 2010

Running… Keep it in the Family

My wife is an avid runner. It’s the one activity in life that promises to cheer her up on a gloomy day, which is why I’m her biggest fan when she competes.

I’m not a runner. I could probably stand to be a runner, but sprinting like a gazelle does not come naturally for me. The only time I could run and keep up with my wife was when she was pregnant (science says that pregnant jogging is safe). Even then, I lacked the willpower to become enthusiastic about running. I forced myself, so that she could have a companion.

Now we have a dog that likes to run. She’s such a fast and powerful little dog that she’s snapped two of her leashes.

During inclement weather and winter cold snaps, we use our new treadmill, a purchase well spent. Even our young daughters have been using the treadmill (with assistance). We want them to have their mother’s healthy love for running, and not their father’s disdain for the activity. Not every parent who runs has kids who run, or who are old enough to run, but some active women may want to be an inspiration to other girls. If you’re an adult female runner, and you want to pass down your love of running to the next generation, consider going to Girls on the Run, a mentor program that matches older and younger female runners.

I’ve always been a fan of runners. My best friend in high school was a state champion distance runner; he went on to lead the Stanford Cross Country Team. He was also one of the smartest kids I’ve known, as are many of the runners with whom I’ve been acquainted. There may be a reason for his impressive intelligence. Studies on mice have shown that the critters who use running wheels were likely to have more brain cells and do better at spacial learning tests.

One study showed that distance running helped improve the fitness of asthmatic children – not an issue with our children, but it’s a good fact to have on hand in the future.

Certain co-workers have questioned whether my wife will have sore joints when she ages because of all the damage that pounding asphalt will have caused over the years. The answer to those pesky gossipers is that the evidence indicates that the common fears of running-related arthritis and joint pain are most likely myths.

So, how about it? Any runners out there? Anyone running with their children? Please share.



  1. My partner is an avid runner but I just dont get it. I have, however, started to run using an interval training program called Podrunner. Its part of couch to 5km I think. And its great! It tells me when to run and when to walk. It pushes me past the point I’d normally stop and lets me have rests when I feel like I need them.
    So after my ‘run/walk’ yesterday I thought ‘I could keep going!’

  2. Oh, dude… I used to run… I went from 300 pounds, added Weight Watchers and running, and got down to 175. Goal weight. Running was so fun for me… It’s competition against yourself — then, on race day, competition against others as well as yourself.

    At my best I did a half-marathon (13.1 miles) on under 1:50 – a sub-8-minute pace (IIRC).

    I got sidelined by a back injury from years before that was aggrivated by the running. Haven’t been able to ever get back.

    My kids never came to see me run, since most races were at o’dark’30, but they both were interested in following in my footsteps (get it?). I was all ready to start them working towards a 1 mile fun run with me when I had to shut it down.

    I did enjoy running with others; it kept me pushing ahead. But solo was fun, too – just me and my music…

  3. I ran all the time before kids, multiple marathons and lots of triathlons, capping it off with an Ironman the year before the first child.

    Priorities of being a parent changes things, but I still run, now with both kids since they could hold their heads up…I bought a double Chariot carrier which is a fantastic running stroller which you can also pull behind your bike. Take the kids out for a run – they sleep, you get a good workout, the spouse gets a break! Win-Win-Win!

  4. I’m a runner – I do C25K. Well, I say I’m a runner – I haven’t been out running in several months, because I have ME/CFS and it doesn’t play nice in the winter. Give me a month or so and I’ll be back out pounding the streets of my city with gusto.

    The best thing about it? I’m fat (and properly, middle-obese fat rather than “bit of a tummy” fat). The look on people’s faces when they see the fat girl running, and running easily, and enjoying it, is fabulous.

  5. I just started running again on the treadmill at the Y. I’m almost up to 2 miles and I figure I can take it outside when the weather warms up and run in a 5K this spring. I drop the Hellions off at YMCA childwatch and get a good half hour workout in. I’m surprised at how easy its been. Quitting smoking a year ago has probably helped.

  6. I used to run. I quit because my knees started hurting really bad.

    REALLY bad.

    They kept hurting for years. They’re ok now. No more running. I prefer swimming, walking, biking, whatever. But no running.

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