What is Vitarunner?
My intense hope is to post quality information that I have gleaned over the years that might be of some benefit to other runners.
- I’ve spent many years observing the various forms of running, absorbing all the running literature & media, digesting pertinent nutritional information, and working through gobs of training information. All of that, combined with an incredible amount of personal experience, conversations & feedback from runners of all ages and abilities, has resulted in a vast amount of useful information. So, I decided to organize my thoughts & experiences and collections of running lore here on this website. It’s a personal reference of sorts which I have recently decided might be fun to share with others who are on the same track, path, road, trail…
Vita? - There are multiple ways to define Vita in my world. Traditionally it is defined as a brief biographical sketch, applicable here. More importantly though, is the Latin origin for the word, which directly translates to “life” or “beginning”— I think most of you reading this would agree that running always has a beginning and it is life for us…
I like to think that the term “vitarunner” is a mixture of all of the above… and more.
Who Am I?
My name is Kyle and I presently live in Northern Idaho by way of Boston, San Francisco, Burlington,VT and a variety of other locations less exotic. I am a runner who identifies myself with the sport in a very passionate way. I spent many years knowing this, yet for whatever reason, I attached myself to titles involving my labor, my location, and even my relationships. Finding peace with who I am has allowed me to be a more productive and loving human being in all areas. I am a runner. I love to run.
I caught the running bug back in the 1970s as a kid in Central Massachusetts. Those were the days of Bill Rodgers and the rapid growth of the running “Boom” as they called it then. Stimulated by the thoughtful dialog of people like George Sheehan, James Fixx, Ed Ayres, Amby Burfoot and others, running took hold in the hearts and minds of many of us back then. Inspired by the amazing running prowess of not only Bill Rodgers, there was Steve Prefontaine’s legacy, Frank Shorter, Joan Benoit, Lynn Jennings and so many others who were on the radar in those days.
Attending a JR-SR High School with a fervent tradition of running, I was quickly swept up in Cross Country and Track & Field year round. I was a glutton for punishment and had a knack for ignoring pain, so things went pretty good for me in competition, yet in hindsight, there were better things than fast times and medals.
The team I ran with for all those years has impacted me my entire life - the coaches, the other kids, the experience - all of it was priceless. We were a small school. There was no fancy track and no modern equipment, so we ran in and through the woods mostly. Track work was done on an old railroad bed of cinder, and we never received the “cred” that the glory sport participants (who had all the fancy equipment) received, even though we won a lot.
As those years chugged along, what stands out the most is the comradery we had - all abilities, all shapes and sizes, all different interests and hobbies - yet we all held one primary focus: our team. Every practice we worked hard, cheered each other on, pushed one another to amazing heights - even those who weren’t “state” material worked hard and stuck it out for as many as six years. Those are the heroes in my book. Them and the coaches who ran with us, pushed us, encouraged us all to care about each other and insisted we run our asses off day after day. After facing that adversity, the rest of the world sure has been easier to deal with.
After high school, I ran off to college where I continued to compete. Yet there was not a “team” with quite so much selflessness as the one of my youth to be found there. Obviously at the collegiate level, it was all about winning and improving and getting recognized. It was more about building yourself up for the win and less about building each other up for the experience. In retrospect, that mentality was a direct correlation to our lack of experience in life. The time I spent running the woods as a “squirrel chaser” with my friends still comes to mind regularly. Those years influence my actions and emotions still today: those reflections bring a smile to my face and make me feel good inside.
There in lies the beauty of the running community. Whether I meet up with an old friend to run, new friends for a long Sunday workout, or maybe even a group outing on the track with local folks, there’s always the potential to gel as a team. Running bonds people across the globe on so many levels. It’s a great connector, linking impassioned souls with a shared lifeline. Regardless of where we runners are, there seems to be a multitude of races and events nearly every weekend. Always there is a sense of belonging, of being a part of this beautiful thing that is so much larger than any one of us alone. That thing is something I hope to embrace for the rest of my days, while inspiring others to keep going and even others to begin by taking those vital first steps.
In the moments when we come together to run, we all share and exchange information, anecdotes, and stories of all types. With the current technology, we are given the permission and freedom to share these moments digitally and electronically. I hope via vitarunner.com I will be able to convey the essence of “team” of “togetherness”, albeit not in the flesh, though certainly in mind and spirit. So stay tuned as I pour through the journals of past and present, post current events, inspirational materials, media pertaining to the running life, as well as some important nutritional info. One of my passions that competes heavily with my passion for running is food quality - no doubt the two are an important team for a reason. As runners, we must be aware of the chemicals hidden in our nourishment, as these have an influence on our bodies and our minds, just as running itself does. The state of the food supply is in flux, the nutrient levels are poor, the additives are scarier than ever, and we runners sure filter a helluva lot of food and fluids fueling ourselves through this life.
Please stay tuned- more to come!