Obsessive Runner The Diagnosis

The Diagnosis

Lots and lots of running medals
Signs of a little running obsession...

I didn’t realize that I had developed this condition – it just grew and grew on me over time. Most of us don’t notice at first, but there are some very specific signs to watch out for to alert ourselves of a newfound ‘focus.’

The first sign was my desire to wake up earlier – much earlier. Getting up early was no longer at the expense of sleep; getting up early meant the opportunity to get out and train – to get out and run. I was never a morning person, but now I had transformed into a morning runner.

Then came the clothes. My wardrobe grew considerably in a short period of time. I didn’t buy any additional work clothes, but I suddenly had many more articles that would wick my sweat away. Smooth, light, and synthetic fabrics suddenly tickled my fancy more than non-iron dress shirts.

What I talked about and how I spoke changed too. Tempo had a new meaning to me and the letters ‘PR’ were something to aspire to and I would look for creative ways to use “fartlek” in jokes. I would gab on and on about my training regimen and the next race that I was running.

And then, there were the races. I would scour the internet looking for the next perfect race. The faster and bigger the race, the better. I’d read running blogs to gaze at the previous year’s race shirt and medal as if I were shopping to add to my collection. I’d sign up for big races and then rationalize the need to sign up for some smaller races to prepare for those bigger ones.

The diagnosis, according to my wife, is that I have ORD: Obsessive Running Disorder. I constantly obsess about running and all the training, gear, preparation and races that come along with it.

When my favourite running shoes went on sale, I bought four pair. I have more technical wicking shirts than I do normal ones. In my first year of running, I ran seventeen races and worked my vacation around two of them. And on race day, I have a hard time picking which of my three new blue running shirts I should choose from to match my shoes.

So there, I admit it, I’m obsessed with running. Do you share some similar symptoms? Do you love exploring all the little details of running which make it such a satisfying sport? If so, then join me as we blog through some running therapy together.

Obsessively yours,


Related blog articles:

  • How I really want you to cheer for me on race day
  • Race day shirt selection syndrome

Follow me: @andrewchak


  1. Congratulations Andrew! Welcome to the ORD Club – the best club in the whole wide running world. First, let me just say, I like your style. Just think, soon you will be combing through running training blogs, books, websites and posts with a view to meticulously plotting your future runs and/or training goals on spreadsheets. Of course, the real fun is in delineating the various “types” of runs to be performed, on what days and in what splits, by multiple font size and colour(s) on said spreadsheets. Did I mention that you can turn these puppies into handy dandy training calendars?!? Awesome, I know! Then the other (arguably) “equally” important activities, such as sleeping, working, eating, family, kids, carpooling, dogs, groceries, cleaning, spouse’s birthday, yada, yada, yada, can be more efficiently worked around such vital training objectives. Everytime I fine tune such a spreadsheet/calendar, I utter a little giggle of pure ORD delight! Well, best of luck with the Idol 2.0, and catch you on the paths.

  2. yes, I’d like to add that I know someone at work who has to run to work everyday and he told me he just can’t help it. He said he knows that he should take at least one day off a week but he said he just can’t. I just thought he was having some kind of addiction for running. After reading your article it was just like, hey Andrew just gave me the description of my colleague. To be honest with you i love running too because it is just a good exercise. My doctor told me my heart rate is excellent and I only run short distance and only 2-3 times a week.

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