Area Man Stops Running for a Week and There’s Nothing Physically Wrong with Him or Anything

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Early Monday, Matt Morgan’s absence from the streets of Northbrook raised little concern among the parents driving their kids to school and the people rushing to catch the Metra train downtown.

By Tuesday morning, with no sign of the man in his moisture-wicking T-shirt and awkwardly short nylon shorts, rumors began to fly.

“I thought he had the flu or got hit by a bus or something,” one woman told us on condition of anonymity. “Just about every morning, I can count on him darting out in front of my car through the red ‘do not cross’ sign at Pfingsten. I mean, he thinks he can hold up his hand at me like ‘sorry’ and that makes it any less dangerous to run all willy-nilly into oncoming traffic. When I didn’t see him at all by the end of the week, I knew something was wrong.”

It turns out he is not sick or injured. He’s simply chosen not to run. In fact, it’s been a full week since Morgan has jogged anything more than a mile.

He did run a little bit on Wednesday, but only to participate in Global Running Day, which is an annual holiday made up by runners to congratulate themselves on running, and really, he only ran that day for the purpose of posting a running selfie on social media.

Members of the I Worked At Northbrook DQ Facebook group, who first reported him missing from the neighborhood sidewalks, wondered what could be the cause. If he were injured, they surely would have heard about it, because runners who are hurt will constantly tell you they are hurt as an explanation for why they aren’t running and post pictures of themselves doing things they normally don’t have time to do when they are running so much.

Aside from the isolated, shameless selfie self-promotion on that made-up running holiday this past week, Morgan hasn’t told many people about his running hiatus aside from his co-workers and church friends, who have heard him go on about it multiple times a day.

“I needed a break. I’ve run like six days a week for about a year. I mean, running a hundred miles a month takes a toll,” Morgan said, seemingly unaware of his intense humblebragging.

He went on for a few minutes, using words like “splits” and “VO2 max,” but nobody wants to read about that stuff.

What does a man who runs nearly every day do when he’s chosen not to run anymore? It defies logic.

“I’ve been staying up till like 9:30 at night, reading and sewing on buttons that fell off a couple shirts,” Morgan said. He declined to comment further.

Area Man Ends Running Streak After Nine Days

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.—The Kierland community streets were noticeably quiet this morning, the missing element being the labored huffing and puffing of 40-year-old Matt Morgan, a more or less familiar face to walkers and other runners who only sometimes acknowledged him on the roadways.

He had already run two days in a row—a Saturday and a Sunday—when, spurred on by Runner’s World and other promoters of running streaks, Morgan decided to see what it would be like to string more days together.

“I didn’t even intend to start running every day, necessarily. That’s the funny thing,” Morgan said. “It sort of just happened.”

The streak began in earnest on a Monday, a day Morgan normally doesn’t run, when he went out for a mile after a cross-training session. He recalled that his legs felt heavy from doing an awful lot of kettlebell swings and jump squats. Still, he persisted. And after his cross-training session later that week, when he should have been not running, he ran a mile again.

On Friday, he tacked on 2 more miles, despite the fact that it was his rest day. The streak, it seemed, was in full effect. And because it’s not unusual for him to run both Saturday and Sunday, those two days were a gimme.

Though starting the running streak sort of just happened, ending it was quite deliberate.

“I suddenly realized, why the heck am I running every single day? Am I trying to prove a point? This is silly,” Morgan said. “And so I stopped. Besides, odd numbers like nine make for good story headlines.”

Morgan said he enjoys running for the cardiovascular benefits, weight management and some other stuff, but he needs his breaks, too. “My body and my brain need the rest,” he explained, wincing in pain as he rubbed a muscle roller stick over his calves. “I know that for sure now. I just don’t get why some people would ever want to go out and pound the pavement every single day.”

In Morgan’s nine consecutive days of running, he totaled 36 miles, logging runs of 1 to 6 miles each, none of which is all that impressive.

With the streak over, Morgan vowed to continue running his normal, boring route every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. “But not those other days,” Morgan said. “That’s just nuts.”