Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Notes for Novice Runners from my Running Universe

Dear Novice Runners

I wanted to take some time to pass on some running wisdom. I am not an expert by any stretch, but I have learned a few things and because running keeps me out of the bar, I am always happy to encourage others to  give it a fair shot (not of tequila). Please note that this advice is not in anyway meant to discourage you from running, it is simply meant to help you understand what you can expect from your new athletic endeavor, as I see it.

1) If you want easy, look somewhere else. Running is not easy but that is what makes the reward so fantastic! When you achieve your goal, you can be proud knowing it took everything you had to make it happen. Stick it out.

2) You are, without a doubt going to meet more than one person that calls you "crazy" and says "all that running can't be good for you". Take notice...these will often be the peeps who consider walking to the fridge to grab a beer, exercise. You can offer them a seat on your "crazy" train by asking them to join you for a run, but I bet you a gel pack that they decline.

3) Adopting a barefoot running philosophy is NOT a good way to avoid spending your cash on running sneaks. Buy the shoes. Enough said.

4) You will get mixed running messages from a variety of sources..."listen to your body and don"t push it" vs. "push through the pain, you can do it!". There is a time and a place for both pieces of encouragement. Your challenge is finding out when and where the advice fits the circumstance.

5) In the world of textiles, 100% Cotton is a benchmark of quality. In the world of athletics, it is a bad, bad fabric. Oh yes, it will absorb your sweat...and then it will cling to you like a heavy wet suit. Now, go forth better appreciating the need for those Spandex shorts.

6) A full set of toenails is overrated. Don't be ashamed of your feet. You have earned every blister, callous and blackened or non existent toenail on them. As my daughter, Tilley advises me, I will advise you...wear them like trophies, they are reminders of your hard work.

7) It is not the end of the world if your children don't share your desire to run.They may not decide to follow in your running shoes and commit to heading out the door, but they will be aware of your dedication and if demonstrated consistently, they will absorb the message.

8) Races are for runners of all abilities. If the word "race" bothers you, refer to it as an "event". Only a handful of participants are there to try and win, and of those people, only one will cross the  finish line first. There! I just took the pressure off of you. Go experience the thrill of saying you did it. Go feel the lift you get from strangers cheering you on. People in worse shape than you with concerns greater than your own do it, so why not you.

9) If you are not walking, then you are a runner! Stop calling yourself a jogger. Jogging is lame. Saying you are a runner commits you to behaving like a runner. Erase the the word "jogger" from your vocabulary. It doesn't matter if a sloth could pass you, you are still a runner. Pace has nothing to do with categorizing your effort.

10) The things I say don't really matter if they don't resonate with you. If they are meaningful to you and your development, then pass them along to someone else that may may need them.

Yours truly and still sober,