There Is Time To Run. Find it.

The excuses we give ourselves as to why we can’t go for a run are usually surmountable. We’ve just decided not to go for a run, and want to justify it to ourselves. That is why we call them excuses, and not reasons.

One of the most common is I don’t have time.

Here is what I have to say to that:

Someone busier than you is running right now. 

Want proof? The PRESIDENT of the United States of America works out. All the time. That means when you say you are too busy to run today, you are in fact claiming that you are more busy than the leader of one of the most powerful nations in the world. So first of all, congrats to you. You must be important. Second, what are you doing reading this? Go run!

Actually, let’s all do that. Let’s go run.

Happy Running!

 

Rainy Runs, Or, How To Be An Unstoppable Badass

Rain run

You can find a thousand reasons to not go outside for your run. The most common one I hear is “It’s raining”.

Now, I try as hard as I can to make this a judgement free zone. Do what you want, how you want to. But if truth be told, if you do not go for your run because it is raining, well then, I am judging you.

I do not care how sweet of a person you are, you are not made of sugar, and you will do just fine.

Plus – and this is really where it gets good – you will feel 50% more badass running any given route in the rain. Guaranteed.

It doesn’t matter how short, how flat, or how easy that route is. You automatically level up to 50% more badass-ery when running in the rain. It’s fantastic.

AND you get to be the crazy person running in the rain. The next day when you go into work, and everyone says they spent the evening inside, staring drearily out their windows, you can proudly announce “I went for a run.” They will all gape at you, but that is okay, because you got your run in.

Now, go for that run in the rain, you unstoppable badass.

And Happy Running!

 (Photo Credit: Antony_mayfield)

Remember: We GET To Do This

When I first started, every run was a milestone. My longest run ever; my longest time running; my fastest km; my fastest mile; you get the picture. I went from barely being able to muster 1 minute of running/1 minute of walking for 30 minutes in a row to 10 minutes of running/1 minute of walking, all over the course of 8 weeks. I thought that was pretty awesome. I think that is pretty awesome.

Each time I would hit a new milestone, I’d say, Wow, isn’t it amazing that my body can do this. I am grateful for a body that is able to run and bike and dance (however questionably) and allow me to live my life without complaint. It’s a privilege.

In fact, running has become my way of celebrating the beautiful and capable body I have been blessed with. I’m not an especially healthy eater, and I could certainly stand to shed a few pounds, but running reminds me regularly to be mindful of the abilities of the body I have been given.

As I have continued to run, it takes longer and longer to hit the next milestone, meaning I am less likely to stop at the end of the run and go Wow because it is just a thing I do regularly. It is the norm.

On Wednesday of this week, I had one of those moments. Actually, I had more like one of those runs. About 1k into my tempo run I realized that my breathing was easy. My breathing had barely above the rate I would need to walk, and yet here I was, running what I thought was my tempo rate. I realized I could step it up and run quite a bit faster to achieve a proper tempo effort. That was pretty amazing.

As I was finishing my run, sweat absolutely pouring down my face and neck, I felt fantastic; I had a classic case of runners high. It’s the feeling every runner is chasing, if we are very honest with ourselves. We are all chasing the euphoria that comes with hitting a new goal, or truly enjoying our run.

During the day, I was wavering as to whether or not I should go. I remembered that I don’t have to run, but that I GET to run. Because of this beautiful, functioning, capable body that I have been given. Because I am able to celebrate that. And so I did, and as always, I’m reminded that

No one has ever really regretted heading out for that run.

So Happy Running.

Gear Review: Nike Plus

This could just as easily be titled

An Ode to Nike Plus

Because, and this is so true, I am completely in love with the Nike+ app. (Pipe down, overly conservative mid-westerners, I am not suggesting marrying my app). This thing is awesome. I even have a basic Garmin and yet I head out most days clutching my smartphone so I can use the Nike+ app instead.

I should note that I am not in anyway getting paid by Nike, Nike+ or its affiliates to write this. But Nike, if you’re reading (ha!), I totally would. I’m just going to throw that out there.

The Nike+ app is a great product, especially for beginners in our sport. Although I had known about its existence for some time, I didn’t start using it until a friend recommended I do so when she picked up running. Like I said, I had a Garmin watch and I didn’t see the need for it. My Garmin is a highly accurate GPS tracker that also tells me my split times, makes sure I stay on pace and allows me to set intervals for long runs. What could the Nike+ app have on that?

Plus, the brand of smartphone I have (Google Nexus) makes it difficult for me to find an armband to lash it to my upper arm. I still don’t have one, but if you know of a good one worth ordering off of Amazon, please let me know.

The thing is, Nike+ is fast and easy to use, especially as the GPS tracker finds me very quickly. I live in a densely populated (read: skyscraper filled) area, so the GPS tracker on my Garmin could take upwards of 5 minutes to activate. Nike+ is free and available on all Android and iPhones, meaning many of my friends use the app already. Nike+ allows me to connect with them, through the app, and see how they are doing. Nike+ also publishes runs to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc, if you are into those sorts of things. The social media and communication driven aspects of Nike+ are things the Garmin line of products, while more professional, just can’t keep up with. Finally, Nike+ is speaks to me throughout my run via my headphones, so I can automatically hear when I have hit the next km, what my splits are so far, and if I’ve just achieved a new milestone.

Frankly, using Nike+ is like having my own little cheerleader in my pocket. Ellie Goulding once came on over my headphones to congratulate me on my fastest mile ever.

Now, truth be told here, there are some things the Garmin does better than Nike+ is designed to do on its own. I don’t have the Nike watch, so maybe it fills in the gaps. Garmin is a far more accurate GPS tracker and is lighter than carrying around a smartphone with you. Its battery life also lasts longer, and the watch is waterproof-ish. Plus the elevation charts Garmin provides post run are second to none. Garmin also offers a full line of products from the beginner (which I have) up to the triathlete level watch. Nike+ just isn’t designed for it.

So come race day, I’ll have my Garmin strapped to my wrist. But for every day leading up to race day? Nike+ all the way!

The 5 Phases of Every Run

Today I’ll be doing a steady run. Hands up if you are too!

If you are a new runner, you will soon notice a pattern developing in your runs, especially the longer ones. I’m here to give you the head’s up. Consider this your notice that if you are experiencing this, you are not alone. Every runner does, and You. Will. Get. Through. This.

Here are the five phases of every run.

 

THIS IS AWESOME

You are flying through the air! You have so much energy. You could do this forever! You know the training plan says 5k, but hey, 8k sounds great! Why not 10k? You look amazing. You’re hitting every green light, people are politely stepping out of your way, dogs are not chasing you, the birds are chirping. THIS IS AWESOME.

OMG WHY???

Why did you do that? Why did you start off so fast? This is killing. That’s a cramp. Yep, that’s definitely a cramp. Oh look, there’s another! How is it even possible for your legs to feel this heavy? Are they made of lead or something? Just remember, you do this for fun. Fun. Ha!

RESOLVE

You finally found it: the pace you can run comfortably at. Your time per mile/km (split) has grown, but at least you don’t feel like tiny gnomes are attacking your calves with pick axes. Your breathing is regular, your stomach doesn’t feel like it’s plotting a rebellion any more. This isn’t bad, actually. Next time,  you will actually run at this pace from the beginning. For real!

WILL I EVER GET THERE?

You’ve now been running in your second to last km for approximately ten kajillion hours. Or at least it feels like it. You’re so close you can taste it: the finish, your couch, a shower. But the time seems to be slowing down. What is happening here?

YOU’RE DONE!

Yay! You did it! You didn’t do too bad afterall. That was pretty great, actually. When’s the next one again?

 

So is the life of a new runner. Have you been through this? I want to hear from you in the comments!

 

 

 

 

Sunday Sign Off

That’s another week put to bed, as we all soon will be. I hope you all had fantastic weekends, both running and otherwise.

When I was out this morning, I saw many different runners, all likely doing their long runs. They were fast runners, slow runners, serious runners and weekend warriors. They were short, tall, slim and wide; some with powerfully long strides and others with short, quick steps. Some appeared to be professional athletes and others were regular wannabes like me.

But all of them – each and every single one, regardless of whether this was their first run or their 5000th – were runners.

Each of them was out there, trying their best and that effort should be rewarded. Its why at races, each participant gets a medal for completing the course.

Because they deserve it.

So here’s to you, if you went for a run today, yesterday or are thinking of lacing up tomorrow. Cheers, proost, my hat’s off to you! You are awesome.

See you tomorrow, and as always:

Happy running!