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!

 

You Are Awesome

In running without my watch, I have lost all the standard ways I have of measuring success. On a long run, for instance, am I sticking strictly to the 10 minutes of running and 1 minute of walking, or did I sneak in an extra walking break? Are my splits even? Did I run exactly 16k or was it 15.9k? Did I blast out at the beginning only to crawl towards the end? Without my watch, I don’t know. And sometimes, that is a good thing.

I know I’m not alone here. We all strive for the cleanest run possible. For the perfect run.

All of these measurements, while they can help us to improve when used properly, frequently cloud the bigger successes. This is something I have realized running without all my tech, because I simply can’t measure as I normally do. I’m left to only decide “Did I do it?”

It is so easy for us as runners to finish up a run, and then immediately pick holes in it. I hear this all the time at running groups. Invariably, the leader says “Great run everyone, good job!” and the runners promptly begin to grumble: “yah, but I didn’t hit that hill as fast as I can” or “It was okay, but my splits weren’t even”. All of this is said out of wanting to push ourselves to be better. To be clear: that is fine. What isn’t fine is forgetting that

You are awesome.

What runners do all the time is totally remarkable. That applies if you run 3k or 30k on a regular day. Either way, you are choosing to challenge yourself. You are choosing to be physically active. You are choosing your health. And you are doing so in a world of temptations. You could watch tv instead, after all.

Now, I think that constantly pushing ourselves is a good thing. I just don’t want us to forget, as a community, that this sport of ours really is awesome.

Now go for a run. Happy Running!

 

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.

Happy FRIDAY!

Happy Friday fellow Runners!

Stopped for a rest East of 3 valleys Gap Transcanada Highway

It’s Friday; wonderful, beautiful Friday. Rest day for me, so I’ll be doing, well, not a whole lot of anything. Reading, specifically my newest acquisition, Ultramarathon Man by Dean Karnazes, and heading up north. If you’re not from Toronto, “up north” is the standard term for going anywhere but the big city for the weekend (seeing as anywhere due south of Toronto technically takes you across Lake Ontario into the States). In my case, I’ll be going to Wasaga Beach for some quality family time.

While I’m there, I’m planning on getting in some good trail runs in the Provincial parks. Trail running is its own kind of beast, and not one that I get to tackle often living in the concrete jungle. Trail running forces us to break our stride and pacing, and therefore typically expends more energy. Trail runners tend to be stronger runners overall, as they are more agile and have stronger cores. That said, my times tend to go up (ahem, way up if I’m being honest) when I run trails.

Pictures will follow. How are you spending your Friday run? I want to hear from you in the comments.

Happy Running!

(Photo Credit: Thank You For Visiting)

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!

 

 

 

 

Yes, You Do Need New Running Shoes

Whether or not you have to purchase a new pair of running shoes is one of those questions that, if it has to be asked, the answer is usually yes. Unless you are a true aficionado and already own 12 trillion pairs. In that case, get your sh*t together. Or just take me shopping instead?

But assuming you are currently staring down at your beat up old gym shoes that have seen considerably better days, then yes you really do need new running shoes.

Here are all the excuses you will use:

  • I don’t really need them (you probably do, see below)
  • They are expensive (true, but so is reconstructive foot surgery, so the ball’s in your court)
  • I will want to BUY ALL THE RUNNING THINGS if I go to get them (again, take me with you?)

And here are all the reasons you need new running shoes:

  • Improved comfort
  • Improved stability for your foot
  • It’s like running on little, custom-designed clouds for your feet

And if you really aren’t sure if you need new ones, the scientific but somewhat useless way to  go about determining it is to calculate the number of miles run on your shoes. If you keep a really, really detailed log (and good for you if you do!) then this is snap.

Once you hit 400 miles, you should be looking at a new pair. For those in marathon training, thats every 3 to 4 months.

For us mortals, it’s a bit more difficult. You know the squishy foam under the heel of your shoe? Pick up your shoe and give that a squeeze. If you can squish that with your hands then its time for a new pair.

Get thee to the Running Room, or your nearest athletic wear store and pick up a new pair. Happy shopping and happy running!