I just read a quote in the latest issue of Runner’s World from airline pilot and “Miracle on the Hudson” hero Captain “Sully” Sullenberger. He said “I’m not a good runner, but I’m better than someone who doesn’t run at all.”
I always feel embarrassed in a way when I tell other people that I’m a runner. I think, I’m not a real runner. I’m painfully slow and I mix running with walking. When I do run, my form isn’t lovely and I don’t look like a graceful cheetah, but rather an awkward giraffe.
After reading Sully’s quote, I realized he’s right. Maybe I’m not good, but I am better than someone who does not run at all. I’ve completed three half marathons and one full marathon. Not including the training, that alone is 65.5 miles that my little feet have covered. When you include the training, I’ve done over 500 miles. So, yes, I AM a runner. Good or bad, anyone who puts one foot in front of the other at a pace above walking is a runner.
Until I’ve gotten back in the gym these past three weeks, I hadn’t realized how much I missed running and working out. More importantly, I didn’t realize how much I felt how good it makes me feel. When I’m pounding away the miles on the treadmill or dying a slow death in the plank position, I’m really happy and finally feeling like me again. I feel like a real runner and I feel strong like I can conquer anything.
So right now, I’m going through a really tough time. I miss my boyfriend and am horribly worried about him. Work and home life have also been extremely stressful. But what I can count on is that I am coming back to me, slowly but surely. And I can say, no a matter what, I am a runner.
I’ve been a runner for a little over a year now. Up until recently when people asked me if I was a runner, I’d always give a response like “I’m trying to be” or “Sort of.” What a bunch of crap. The moment you start running, you’re a runner. It doesn’t matter if you do one mile or thirty, you are a runner and you’re part of that community. I always said my response because I felt embarrassed that I’m such a slow runner, so then I was like well I’m not really a runner. Well, no more. I’ve done a half marathon, a full marathon, 3 5Ks and run over 550 miles in the past year. I’m definitely a runner and I’m proud of it. Who cares if I’m slow, I’m still a runner like all the other runners out there.
So to celebrate this revelation, let’s go through the many reasons why you and I are runners. This list is compiled from several lists online, but I have hand-chosen the points that most reflect me. Please share your reasons why you’re a runner too!
- you go into Starbucks more often to use the bathroom than to actually buy coffee.
In my case, it’s Panera as there are a few along the trail I run on, but hey Starbucks works!
- you no longer make fun of fanny packs because your running belt looks very similar (although cooler) to one.
In addition to being a runner, I’m a huge fashion freak, and I’ve made fun of fanny packs for years. Yes, now I own a hydration belt (not going to call it a fanny pack no matter how similar they look). So much for my style!!!
- you know how to take a cup of water from a water stop without choking on it or spilling it all over yourself.
I perfected this method by my full marathon, took a while though.
- you know where your illiotibial band is located.
I hate to say I do know this one. This is what gives me the most grief when I run. Thank goodness for foam rollers.
- you no longer hate port-a-johns. In fact, there have been times when you’ve been very happy to see one.
I think this is the most tragic one. So, so true.
- you know where exactly one mile from your front door is (in any direction).
I also know all the miles on the trail I run and exactly how far each one is by landmarks. Scary!
- when you hear PR, you automatically think “personal record”, not “public relations”.
What, doesn’t everyone think that?
- you have several drawers dedicated to running shirts.
I have a huge dresser drawer with all of my running clothes in it. It is overflowing and really needs to expand to 2 drawers.
- you get excited when the new Runner’s World comes in the mail.
Best. Day. Ever.
- your Facebook or Twitter updates frequently involve running.
Yes, I’d say I post about running usually 2 – 3 times a week
- you get jealous when you’re driving in your car and pass runners.
I want to wave to them and say me too, me too, but I figure I’d look weird and they’d arrest me.
- you spent more timing researching a running watch than you did your car.
Yes, I spent weeks researching which Garmin to get. My car, not so much.
- You know the location of every 7-11, public restroom, and water fountain in running distance from your home.
- you wear running T-shirts with funny slogans.
I heart these shirts!
Share the reasons you’re a runner and proud of your fanny pack…er…hydration belt!
Training for and participating in a marathon wreaked havoc on my running shoes. Most shoes have a lifespan of 300-500 miles depending on your stride and how well the shoe is made. Mine had 375 miles on them, and my knees let me know it was time to retire them.
I had been wearing Brooks Addiction, which is their uber stability shoe made for people with very messed up feet. They provided great, great support and carried me through my first half marathon and full marathon safely. Sadly for a girlie girl like me, they only came in boring white, but they did their job.
I went to my favorite running store to get fitted for a new pair. I thought my stride had changed and was ready to get a new gait analysis. After several trial and error pairs, I settled on the Brooks Ravenna 2, which is a midrange stability shoe that came in a gorgeous turquoise color.
I have to give this shoe five out of five stars. It is a fabulous, fantastic piece of footwear. The editors at Runners World agree with me as they made it Editors Choice this year. It is much lighter in weight than my old Addiction shoes. Since I came from a super heavy shoe, this one feels light as a feather to me. It offers wonderful padding and shock absorption that makes me feel like I’m gliding effortlessly along both the pavement and treadmill.
I’m still breaking them in, but have already clocked about 10 miles on them. They’re pricey at $100, but worth every penny. I can’t wait to run my next half marathon in these fantastic new duds!
Just a few links and niblets to get your weekend started. Have a great weekend and try to incorporate some physical exercise into your time off. Take a nice walk, go for a run, go for a bike ride to enjoy fall weather!
High Intensity is Best for Burning Calories
FitSugar.com posted an article about a study recently done that has shown high intensity workouts are the best for burning calories. Some have theorized that long, slow workouts will get a good fat burn going, but in reality it’s high intensity workouts. So hop on the treadmill or elliptical and do some speed intervals for 30 minutes. Try 30 seconds high speed, 1 minute medium speed and do this on and off for 30 minutes. According to the study, your caloric burn will last for another 14 hours!
FitSugar: High Intensity Workouts Best
7 Exercise Machines to Skip
Not all exercise machines are created equal. Some cause more harm than good and others don’t do anything. Check out this list from Shape Magazine.
Shape Magazine: 7 Exercise Machines to Skip
Last Chance Workout
Have a race coming up? Runner’s World has come up with last chance workout plans to implement the week before a 5K, 10K, half or full marathon to help improve your speed for the race itself.
Runner\'s World: Last Chance Race Workout
Have a great weekend!
A few niblets to get you going throughout the day.
Current Workout Music Obsessions
Middle Finger by Cobra Starship
Sing by My Chemical Romance
Healthier Fast Food Lunch: Panera
When going out to eat, choose healthy options. Most restaurant chains have their nutrition information online.
If you’re going to Panera, try the “pick two” lunch option and order a soup and half sandwich of:
• Low Fat Chicken Noodle Soup
Calories: 80 Fat: 1g
• Half Smokehouse Turkey Hot Panini
Calories: 340 Fat: 13g
*If you order the sandwich without bacon, you shave off 60 calories and 4.5g of fat.
Total Lunch Calories: 430 calories, 13.5g fat
Shape Magazine: 10 Best Weight Loss Tips
Fitness Magazine: 8 Guilt Free Smoothie Recipes
Runner\'s World: Reasons to Eat Honey
I know I’m not the only one having a hard time working out in the scorching summer weather. I used to be able to run at 8:00 in the morning, and now I’m getting up at 5:00am to get my run in. One thing I find very valuable, besides getting up extremely early, is soaking a bandana in water and then wrapping ice cubes inside it to wear around my neck. As the cubes melt, you get a nice trickle of cold water down your neck and back.
Here are a few links to summer workout tips…
ABC News: Summer Workout Tips
Runner\'s World: Beat the Heat
Runner\'s World: 10 Signs You Need a Rest Day
Resting is just as important as training. If your muscles cannot recover you are facing an injury which then means many weeks away from the gym. It’s better to take a few days here and there rather than missing weeks or months of training. This article from Runner’s World offers 10 signs to watch for when you need a rest day.
Yesterday, I tried to run for the first time since my half marathon. I’d been doing cross training all week (walking, rowing machine, weights) and I thought I could run yesterday. I struggled and struggled and had a horrible time. Rather than forcing it, I stopped. It wasn’t worth it. I’m trying to do a 15 mile training run on Saturday, and I’d rather be rested and ready for that. So I stopped running and did some weights and called it a day. It’s okay to take a break. It’s more than okay, it’s healthy and necessary.
So if you start out your workout feeling really off or experiencing any of the 10 signs, call it a day. Take some time to rest and relax. You will be recharged and ready to go the next day.
Yesterday was day 2 of marathon training. I went to the YMCA indoor track. Unfortunately since it was so deep inside the building, I couldn’t get bars on my iPhone, which meant the GPS tracker on my RunKeeper app wouldn’t work. It said I did 0.18 miles in 43:03. I’m slow, but not that slow! I think given that my pace is usually around 12:00 – 12:30, I’m calculating I did about 3.5 miles yesterday in 43:03.
It was a really good run yesterday. I didn’t struggle, I had good energy. I like the indoor track since it’s inside, but it’s real running as opposed to the treadmill. I already started practicing for my final sprint when I’m dying at mile 26. I turn on my favorite running song, “Jump (For Your Love” by the Pointer Sisters, and I took off around the track at top speed my last minute of my workout. It felt great. I could envision myself crossing the finish line with arms held high and a smile through tears.
That’s the image I have to keep in my head during the upcoming months. This is going to be such a grueling, awful undertaking, I really must keep my eye on the prize. This month’s issue of Runner’s World had some good mantras to recite when you’re digging deep for energy. I’ve decided mine is going to be “I run because I can.” Since my doctor told me I couldn’t, I think it’s appropriate.
Today I do day 3, which is a short running day (20 – 30 minutes) plus cross training with weights.
As a side note, check out the documentary “Spirit of the Marathon.” It’s available as both an instant download and disc rental from Netflix. I watched it Sunday night. It’s about the Chicago marathon. It features 2 elite runners and 6 regular runners, several who are first timers. It’s extremely well done and inspiring. Brought me to tears on several occasions. Worth seeing!
I got my new issue of Runners World this weekend, and the big article was about marathon champion Eddy Hellebuyck’s admission to doping. It seems like every month a new athlete admits to doping to enhance their performance. I am so disgusted by this. I miss the days when we could look up to and admire athletes. Now I feel like there isn’t anyone.
I get to excited to watch the Olympics and the big superstars, but all the while wonder when the reports are going to come out about their drug use. What’s really awful is, what if they don’t dope? And here me and a million other people automatically assume they couldn’t perform the way they do unless they took drugs. I feel guilty for that.
I read Olympic swimmer Dara Torres‘s book this summer “Age Is Just a Number.” It was about her comeback to the Beijing Olympics as a 41 year old athlete. The book detailed her rigorous workout schedule and stressed over and over again that she didn’t use drugs. I want so desperately to believe her. I want to look up to her and think wow she did an amazing thing especially given her age. But a part of me doubts. A big part of me doubts honestly. I was excited watching Michael Phelps, but wonder when we’re going to hear about him.
Now that I’m interested in running, I’m starting to learn some of the big names in the sport. I want to believe these athletes work so insanely hard to accomplish what seems impossible, like winning marathons. But then things like Marion Jones comes out and I wonder. Or I read this article in Runners World and the doubts arise again.
I know the temptation must be great. The money and endorsement possibilities are insane. I have to keep to a strict budget every month, and the thought of being independently wealthy if I just won a few races, well it would be tempting. But then I think of how incredibly hard I’ve had to work just to get to where I am. And that would all be lost the second I took drugs. I know I couldn’t compromise my integrity like that.
Why do they?