Mortal Kombat and Ancient Runners

Posted: November 9, 2011 by Roberts in Injuries, Running Log
Tags: , , , , ,
Distance: 6.08 Miles

It was an interesting run.  My legs have not fully recovered from this weekend’s run.  They were still stiff.  For the run I choose to listen to  the Mortal Kombat movie soundtrack.  It is an oldie but a goodie.

While waiting for the satellites to find me, I listened to the first track, A Taste of Things to Come.  It would be a lie if I said it didn’t start to psych me up.  Before the 49 second song had finished, the watch was synched up and I was off.

Mortal Kombat (soundtrack)
Image via Wikipedia

Each track played in order, one by one.  Goodbye, Juke-Joint Jezebel, Unlearn, Control, and then Halcyon + On + On by Orbital…

With the soft melody of Orbital playing in my ears, I reflected back to a couple days ago.  Anne, my mother-in-law, recently sent me an article from the NY Times, The Once and Future Way to Run.  It discusses the evolution of the runner and how we lost our way.  It touches on how ancient man once hunted merely by running down its prey; not to ambush it, but to bring it to the point of exhaustion.  Mankind was at one time built to run, and run great distances.  Now?  Well, now we are suffering from an epidemic of obesity, diabetes, and numerous other maladies from our poor health.  I raced under the same sky our ancestors chased their prey under.  Well, not the same sky.  The stars have shifted some in the thousands of years.  The air is filled with more pollutants.  The light of the stars is drowned out by the constant lights of civilization, even on our suburban street.  How the world has changed in a few thousand years.

In our quest is to protect ourselves from the world around us, we have only made ourselves more susceptible to it.  Christopher Mc Dougall, author of the article, touched on the fact.  Take the shoe, for example.  As we find ways to prevent ankle, knee, and joint damage, we only find ourselves more prone to injury.  How many amateur runners do you know who get shin splints just from running their first couple times?  What should be normal muscle strength is lacking.  I was the same way.  Pro runners, and innumerable articles will tell you not to land on your heel, yet most still do.  I still run wrong.  How could we allow ourselves to be so weak?  The ability to run a few miles should not be abnormal.  We as a species are designed to run.  It is amazing what your body is capable of adapting to.  If asked if I could run ten miles last year, I would have said no.  Now, of course I can.  Why not more?  Do not allow yourself to be weak.  Find your strength.

My four-year old daughter can run and sprint around the hardwood floors, never stopping.  She doesn’t tire, or complain of pain, and can take corners around the kitchen island without issue.  The idea of such play would tire others out.  When do we lose that as we grow?  I am trying to find what was lost.  Every time I place one foot in front of the other, it draws me closer to that what was lost.  I challenge all who read this to find that feeling and strength for yourself.  It is there.  It is waiting.  Now go find it.

Next Run: 2 Miles (Wednesday)
Next Workout:  P90X (Disc 01 & Disc 12) (Wednesday)
Next Race: Burlington Race for the Hungry 5K


  1. Chris Olsen says:

    Chris, great article. I really liked the NYT article. I am going to try the past / future running part. I friend of mine in my Econ class says he only runs in his five finger shoes. He states that he has worn out three pair and is on his fourth one right now.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s