Questions for the Long Run


By: Mark Lamb


The questions we ask show people what we really value. 

If we ask about people’s feelings and hearts— it shows we are compassionate and caring. If we ask about peoples families— it shows we care about what they care about. If we ask about the cost of certain things— we know someone is thinking about money. If someone ask how much weight we have lost— it means they think we had it to lose.

The questions we ask show people what we really value.

One thing I am learning about runners— they really only care about speed.

“What is your 5K PR?”

“Are you a 2.40 marathon guy?”

“How’s your 10K looking?”

“Was that a 7.40 pace?"

These are the questions runners ask each other. It shows me a large majority of us primarily care about our times.

I’m the kind of guy who wants to find out where different areas of life can overlap into another. I think there is much to learn from all kinds of places and want to discover what is applicable in a variety of fields.

But valuing the speed of my activities as the priority?

Imagine if time was the primary value in these:

  • What’s your diaper changing PR?
  • Pretty impressive how fast you sent that gram [instagram]…
  • How is your mailbox trip looking?
  • Your dog doesn’t look tired from that walk— was that a 5.45 mile?
  • Are you a 2.40 sleeper?

And I could go on and on.

Sometimes things take time. And sometimes speed isn’t important. Some of my favorite things in life take a long time.

  • Growing with my wife is a process I love
  • Building a friendship isn’t about speed
  • Listening to a friend talk life takes some time

And all of these things I can do on a nice long run.

So maybe we need to think about our questions when we talk about running. Maybe we need to think about what we value in running, because the questions we asking expose what we really care about.

Take some time— and have a good long run.


Mark is a creative, an instigator, and humorist living in Athens, GA. He has served with Connect Ministries as the leader of the WinShape Camps Experience Team for sometime. He is a reluctant runner-- only running with others because he always quits and sides with snacks when fronted with running alone. Mark likes to call himself a "marathoner" since he completed one.  Follow Mark on twitter @marktlamb