It’s true. I’m a running fiend. I am sick (again!) and off running. It’s been three days since my last run.
I’m heeding the running wisdom of head cold = run/body aches and cough = don’t run. Since I have a cough, sore throat, body aches, fever, laryngitis, and headache, I have a mixed bag of symptoms. It seemed best to not run. Well, truth be told, I’m so tired I don’t know how I could possibly run. That, and I can’t breathe well when sitting still so running and breathing might be tough. I know my running friends like me, but I doubt they want to carry me home from a run. But I really did think about ignoring the conventional wisdom and going for a run. A little run. A run-ette, just a tiny run…
Maybe I could run. Just a short one. It could be our little secret. A little one would hardly count. I could go just one mile. No one would ever have to know…
Don’t I sound like a fiend? I swear as I’m typing this I’m trying to rationalize going for a run. I know it’s crazy, but I really miss running. This is something you can’t tell your non-running friends. Non-runners don’t understand how I could miss something so much after only three days that I seriously consider sneaking out for a stealth run.
Being a therapist by trade, this begs the question, am I really a running fiend? To be a fiend, I suppose I have to be an addict. The classic CAGE acronym may be useful here. Basically, if you answer yes to the majority of the questions, you have a problem. I have substituted drinking for running.
- Have you ever felt you should Cut down on your running? – Hmmm maybe?
- Have you ever been Annoyed when people have commented on your running? – Yes! Only if they are run haters, though.
- Have you ever felt Guilty or badly about your running? – Nope. Well, maybe now and then when I leave work early for a run.
- Have you ever had an Eye opener first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or get rid of a hangover? – Yes
- You’ve built up a run tolerance. You need to use more of the run to experience the same effects you used to attain with smaller amounts. – Yep.
- You use runs to avoid or relieve withdrawal symptoms. If you go too long without running, you experience symptoms such as nausea, restlessness, insomnia, depression, sweating, shaking, and anxiety. – Yep.
- Your life revolves around running. You spend a lot of time using and thinking about running, figuring out how to get them, and recovering from the run’s effects. – Definitely!
- You’ve abandoned activities you used to enjoy, such as hobbies, sports, and socializing, because of your running use. – Does it count if all the activities I enjoy are running-related?
It seems clear. I am an addict. An addict who is fiending for a run. My name is Rachel and I’m a runner.
(side note: As a therapist, I feel compelled to note that this post is meant to be silly and is not meant in any way to detract from, or make light of, addiction and the serious consequences of addictions to things other than running. If you answer these questions and find that you, or someone you love, is addicted to alcohol, drugs, or another maladaptive habit, please consult a therapist. You can find a therapist in your area easily on AAMFT.org, or TherapistLocator.com)