I ran across an article on addiction today and although this is a very serious issue, I couldn't help but ask myself, "Am I addicted to running?". Let's take a look at the symptoms the article listed, followed by my analysis of whether or not I am a candidate:
Tolerance - the need to engage in the addictive behavior more and more to get the desired effect. (I'm running in more races in the next six months than I have run in my 25 years on earth. Check.)
Withdrawal - happens when the person does not take the substance or engage in the activity, and they experience unpleasant symptoms, which are often the opposite of the effects of the addictive behavior. (Feeling restless on a day off or jealous when I see someone else out running. Check.)
Difficulty cutting down or controlling the addictive behavior. (Even with a full schedule, I can't help but look for more races. Check.)
Social, occupational or recreational activities becoming more focused around the addiction, and important social and occupational roles being jeopardized. (Can't stay out late, won't drink and my girlfriend knows how much time I can spend with her is solely based on how many miles I have to run the next morning. Check.)
The person becoming preoccupied with the addiction, spending a lot of time on planning, engaging in, and recovering from the addictive behavior. (Hundreds of dollars and races and even more on gear. Check.)
I am slowly coming to terms with my addiction and realizing the effects it has on other areas of my life. However, the only help I plan on seeking is from my ipod. The only support group I am looking for is more people to run with.
Some people turn to the bottle and others turn to narcotics. Not me. My name is Ryan and I am a running junkie.