Sunday, December 30, 2012

Chubby, Underachieving Runner's Bible

In the summer I started pushing myself towards a goal running.  I track my progress on my phone.  I learned a lot about myself and about myself running.  I am not sure what I learned is universal, but just true for me, which is nearly like the real Bible (up for interpretation) .  My list of lessons is way shorter than the real Bible.

On January 1, 2013 I'll reset my iPhone app to zero miles, and see how far I get next year.

Before I list what I learned, there are some self deprecating caveats.  I am not a real runner, or what you might think of as a runner.  I see folks who are good at stuff and get intimidated.  DO NOT get intimidated by my running.  I ran 350 miles, which is less than a mile a day.  You, most likely, went that far as well.  I happened to have run the miles.  I am not lean.  I don't have long legs.  I don't run fast.  I'm not sporty.  I'm fumbly.

Here is my list:

  • Run up hill as much as you can, then walk until you recover. 
  • Push yourself a bit downhill, but not so much that you fall.
  • Tip your tailbone under and engage your abdominals while you are running.
  • Relax.
  • Lead with your toes and your head.
  • When your feet or knees start to hurt, get a new pair of shoes.
  • Relax.
  • Your shoes will wear out. 
  • Dress for weather that is 15 degrees warmer than it is outside.  This is good in the winter, and bad in the hot summer.
  • Do not run and listen to Verdi's Requiem.  It is not relaxing.
  • Stevie Wonder really is a wonder!
  • If you have to, walk.
  • If you can, go faster or farther, but not necessarily both.
  • Run with someone you love. 
  • When running alone, remember running with the people you love. 
  • When running alone, listen to music, but not when you have a friend along.
  • Not all people I know who run are good running partners.
  • Carry a cell phone and pepper spray.  The cell phone, if you need help, the spray to ward off dogs and make you feel safer in the woods. 
  • If you fall down, get up.  
  • If you are really injured, use your cell phone and don't try to get up.
  • Drink a lot of water.
  • Run when you go new places.  Get up early and see a place before everyone wakes up!
  • Say hello to everyone you see on your path.
  • Don't push yourself too hard, or you'll get a headache and not be able to run tomorrow.
  • Don't compare yourself to other runners.  Comparison is the thief of joy.
  • Your body is stronger than you think it is.
  • Running hurts a bit, but the more you do it, the easier it is.
  • If you don't feel like running, get ready and go before your mind tells you not too, you have about 5 seconds.
  • If you run at sea level you will feel like a rock star for about a week, then it will feel just like your mountain elevation.
  • Don't get caught up on time and distance and miss the beauty outside (I take photos).
  • Have fun.

If I were you, I'd hold loosely to my observations.  They are probably a moving target, except for the running to the Verdi Requiem.

I'm really proud of myself and running so much this year.  I worked hard at it.  I have nothing but this photo of a number to show for it on the outside.  On the inside, I can't wait to go on my next run.  I can't wait to get all my wiggles out.  I can't wait to see the woods on the trails in my town, or the streets of a new town or park.
Took a spill on the trail below.

My favorite run.

A run this fall in Central Park.

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