Why Running Doesn’t Suck

I found this gem on Facebook, thanks to Distant Runners!

How great is this?  These kinds of lists are all great, because everyone relates to at least ONE item.  For me? Numbers 2, 4, 5, 6, and 9.

#2:  It’s the time in my day when I shamelessly blast Hanson, Nsync, Backstreet Boys, One Direction, etc. and find a way to dance while running.  BTW, I’m still trying to figure out how to do the “Bye, Bye, Bye” moves during a run.  One day!

#4:  Confession: I’d wear my compression capris every day even if I didn’t run or do any physical activity.  Shower, scrunch hair, compression capris, done.  No make-up, no hair dryer.  I don’t know how I haven’t terrified small children every weekend…I sadly whine a little if we make plans for dinner that requires me to wear jeans.

#5:  Not gonna lie, I feel like a total badass when I’m extra sweaty after a good run.  I mean really, it screams “I’m tough, don’t mess with me!” One time during my “I’m crazy and like doing long runs in 20-degree weather” phase, I had a seriously snotty nose and the sniffling wasn’t cutting the mustard.  I managed to leave the tissues at home so I blew a full nose of snot into my gloved hands and wiped it on my leg.  Yeah…hottie.

#6: This one is cheating…I’m a light-weight even if I don’t workout that day…but catch me on a long workout day and I’m the cheapest date you’ll find in the St. Louis area.

#9: This one blows my mind.  Before the RnR Marathon in October, I went through a period of mental & physical exhaustion.  I just couldn’t get myself out of bed in the morning.  I’d force myself to at least 2-3 easy workouts a week, considerably less than what I had been completing.  One day, after several consecutive days of not working out, I realized, “This is what it feels like for normal people…”  And I didn’t like the feeling one little bit.  To NOT wake up and workout, going through my day knowing I didn’t physically (and mentally)  better myself?  No thanks.  It’s become so routine for me that NOT running or working out is more unpleasant than being an average human being.

On that note…I’m taking an unscheduled “off day” tomorrow.  I’m going with my gut here, which ya’ll know is something I struggle, struggle, struggle with.  I pushed myself harder than necessary during Sunday’s long run and I just don’t feel as “recovered” as I should after 24 hours of rest.  I’m feeling in a much better place mentally with my fitness and health and am learning to calm my anxiety-ridden brain that ONE extra day off won’t be detrimental to my progress.  In fact, it could actually improve my progress by preventing an easily preventable injury…Here’s to an injury free 2013-2014 running season 🙂

Big City “Get Away”

 

 

 

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Skyline View, The Bean, Millennium Park

Can’t fool you, blogger friends!  Yes, Chicago was our recent “get away” destination.  Get away?  You went to the 3rd largest city in the US to “get away”? Yeah…I always leave Chicago ticked off about something.  I’m not a city girl by any means.  I always fantasize living in a hustling, bustling city.  But when I’m faced with big city nonsense, I retreat to my beloved rolling fields, fresh cut grass, and slower pace of rural/suburban life.  My “city” is by no means small – we have a Target, Best Buy, 4 grocery stores, Kohl’s, Walmart, Sam’s, etc. But it’s so nicely situated in the middle of corn & bean fields with plenty of open space.  It’s my paradise.

Anyhoo…Our Chicago trip was our Valentine’s gift to each other.  We wanted to see Big Fish on Broadway and it was opening in Chicago at the Oriental Theater (it was great, btw!). For us, a trip to Chicago is easy and hassel-free.  Just a “quick” 5-hour train ride and we’re there.  We found a good deal at The Whitehall Hotel on the northern part of Michigan Ave. and spent the weekend walking, shopping, running along Lake Michigan, and eating at places we’d never tried before.  It was so nice to get away and just “be” and reconnect.  We’re terribly guilty of being on a pretty tight routine during the week, especially with our training schedules, that once the weekend is here (if one of us doesn’t have to work) all we can fathom doing is grocery shopping and lounging on the couch.  Here are a few snapshots of our adventures:

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Another view of Chicago, from the Natural History Museum

So yeah…on Saturday we ran (I did 7, Jeff did 10) and decided it’d be a great idea to walk to the Natural History Museum from our hotel, shop, AND walk to the theater…we logged an additional 15 miles that day (not including our run mileage).  I was dead.

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Yes, that is a T-rex foot. Sue’s foot is the size of my entire body. YIKES!

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Sue! Highlight of the museum adventure!

Confession, aside from the Louvre in Paris, I’ve never been to a “real” museum (the kind with dinosaur bones & stuff).  So the museum was extra cool to me.  Seeing a real mummy, the lion “man eaters”, and dino fossils…nerd alert!

We’ve decided to keep this 4-day weekend travel thing going…considering Indianapolis next before students come back in August.  Fun 🙂

Boston

Social media is a wonderful way for an expansive community to come together and feel united.  I’ve been scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed today and can’t help but feel a little nostalgic about the way the “running community” comes together as a family.  We may always joke that we’re “friends” before we even speak to each other when we pass along on the trails or in a race because we “get it”.  We get the pain, the struggles, the motivation, the passion, the sacrifices, the amazing empty but satisfying feeling after a long run.  We can relate to each others’ craziness.  Just like a family.  So here are just a few of the images that made me feel united among my running family today:

 

As wonderfully stated by Katherine Switzer, women’s pioneer marathoner, “If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon”.  Strangers cheering and supporting strangers.  Strangers helping strangers  up when they fall.  Strangers competing among themselves but reaching out to motivate others, even when they are drained and depleted.  Strangers with signs to keep spirits up: “You’re all CRAZY! Keep going!”, “Toenails are overrated!”, “Worst parade ever!”. Strangers with little cups of beer for runners, with jelly beans and Skittles, and even race volunteers that hand you a Pepsi instead of Gatorade at Mile 23 because one more sip of Lemon Lime Gatorade just might make you puke.   The recent attacks on this community of runners, spectators, and volunteers has only solidified our unity.  These attackers obviously don’t realize that fighting through pain and refusing to give up is what we do best.  We wouldn’t be at a marathon otherwise.

There’s currently a Run For Boston “memorial run” taking place in honor of the victims of yesterday’s attack.  Nothing spectacular or difficult.  Simply run. I had an easy 2-miler scheduled before a circuit training this morning.  I didn’t realize until I hit the treadmill that I’d forgotten my iPod.  Annoyed, but knowing I could easily run 2 without my iPod, I trudged on.  Afterwards I realized I wasn’t supposed to run with music today.  I was supposed to run with only my thoughts and reflections.  A happy accident, indeed.