Cailies Blog #10, Why do I run?

Cailie Logue is a homegrown girl she arguably is Kansas best female distance runner and continues to add to her resume. While in high school Cailie was a 9X Kansas state champion on the track (4x 3200m, 3x 1600m, 2x 800m) and a 4X Kansas state cross country champion. Now at Iowa State, she has earned All American honors and like the rest of us is coming to terms and learning to deal with the "new normal" that we now face.Cailie has graciously decided to help us out this year without a season and take a dive into the writing world. We thank Cailie from the bottom of our heart for taking the time from her training and studies to fit this into her busy schedule and do this for us.

Blog 10-Why do I run?

I haven't run a step since last Wednesday. Last Wednesday I ran a three by one mile time trial before starting a two week break to allow myself to mentally and physically recover from a track season's worth of intentional training.

The time trial I ran was a blast! I ran a three by one mile trial with full recovery between each mile. I went out with the attitude of finding my edge. I had splits in my head for what I wanted to do, but I had told myself that if, on that day, I was ready to do better or worse, I would adjust, just as long as I was working to run to the best of my abilities and to exhaustion, where I finished with my hands on my legs and head down, after the final rep.

While many of us have anticipated the pain and discomfort of that moment when we cross threshold and hang on, we also know that there is something exhilarating about doing our best. When we finish and we know that we have worked for months, gave a full effort, and pushed ourselves to the very edge of our abilities, we feel fulfilled.

At times, I experience a "runner's high" of sorts after some of the best races, where I feel overwhelming joy and purpose.

I've never won a national championship or earned an Olympic medal, but I've experienced exhilarating feelings, like I have truly "won" by doing my best.

I once told my friends, "I could run and train for a whole year just to experience that feeling, even if it was just once or twice a year!" It was fun to feel like that after a time trial. I felt like I was successful even though there was no one else involved in the race, no medals to be won, and no crowd to impress.

Without a track season and with more time to think and reflect, I had to ask myself some questions, and I wanted to seriously think on them as I tried to answer them.

Why do I spend hours a week, year-round, training without ever skipping a run? Why do I make sacrifices in my daily life, social life, and even career preparation at times to become a better runner? Is this to experience success? Has this become a part of my identity? Is this all for fun? Is there more to running that just an enjoyable experience?

With my last month of blogging, I want to take time to answer some of these questions in each of my upcoming blogs, in hopes to encourage you to do the same. More important thanwhat we do iswhy we do it, and in the next few blogs, I want to share my motivation for the dedication I have to being a runner.

And while that answer doesn't just "jump" right out at me, I want to try to articulate it now. As you can read about in Blogs 1-9, there are an array of experiences, people, moments, and predispositions that lead me to enjoy being a runner today. In this blog, I will answer one of these questions:

Do I run to experience success?

Something I enjoy in my spare time is listening to TEDx and other podcasts. One I listened to by John Wooden, resonated with me. It was calledthe difference between winning and succeeding, and Wooden redefined success in a way I agreed with more than others.

I've attached the link here:'s insight and experience makes it well worth the watch.(Maybe ask if we could embed the video?!)

In this video, Wooden says Webster's dictionary defined success as, "the accumulation of material possessions or the attainment of power or prestige, or something of that sort."

Wooden says he thinks the Webster's definition is "not necessarily indicative of success, so [he] wanted to come up with something of [his] own." Wooden's definition is now widely shared in coaching. Wooden shares that his father told him from a young age:

"Never try to be better than someone else, always learn from others, never cease trying to be the best you could be-- that's under your control. If you get too engrossed and involved and concerned in regard to the things which you have no control, it will adversely affect the things over which you have control."

This is a graphic made of Wooden's pyramid of success, containing the building blocks of his own definition of what it meant to be successful.

Wooden, a former English teacher, goes on to share a poetry verse that stuck with him into his retirement:

"At God's footstool, the poor soul knelt and bowed his head. 'I failed!', he cried. The master said. 'Thy didst thy best, that is success.'"

Wooden goes on to define success in his eyes:

"Peace-of-mind attained only through self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do the best of which you're capable of."

Wooden's definition of success is one I have worked to adopt as my own.

One of the people who guided me in my running once told me a story I will never forget. When running professionally, the individual said there was a competitor they saw often, and they thought the competitor looked foolish. The competing athlete finished every race on the edge of collapse. The competitor may have appeared less fit than the surrounding runners, and those finishes may have looked dramatic. However, as my mentor detailed later in the story, it seemed that none of this stopped the competitor. My mentor pondered why this athlete was doing this, as the athlete was clearly worse than the other runners. So, one day after the conclusion of the race, my mentor walked up and asked the competitor, almost accusingly, what the competitor thought they were doing. Why was the competitor coming to these races and finishing near collapse each time? The competitor replied with passion, "I think I am succeeding." This hit my mentor and impacted my mentor's perspective, to the point where my mentor passed this insight on to me.

As runners, we realize we have our own experiences, and I've found that these moments help us to define our wins and create our own meaning of success.

In high school my father encouraged me not to worry about winning or losing to individuals in the race, but to simply view them as "tools." This was not meant to be derogatory or demeaning, instead it was to help me to realize that I could use my competitors to help stretch myself, but the outcome was not personal. Competition is universal and important in challenging ourselves, but another individual's success does not define our failure, and our success makes us no more valuable than anyone else.

Through my running career, I have been most inspired by my teammates who put forth full efforts, giving everything they had, doing everything they possibly could with their situation and their talents.

When thinking about why I run and the underlying questions that would help me to articulate this, I found the answer to these questions would not be simple "yes" or "no" answers, but contemplative explanations.

I do not run for power or possessions, but I do run for that feeling that comes once in a while, when I've done everything I can to reach my potential. Why can a time trial bring such satisfaction? Because, to me, winning is not success. To me, success is not a moment, but a process. It's learning to use what I have to reach the edge of my potential.