Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Running Brights

People who claim to hate running on general principle should try three things before they dismiss the sport altogether:

1. Invest in some snazzy new gear. Of course you're not going to look forward to running if your workout wardrobe consists of reversible soccer shorts sans drawstring from your freshman year of high school and one of your dad's ratty college t-shirts. It's worth splurging a bit to get yourself up and moving. For me, nothing gets me excited and out the door like neon apparel*:

Running Brights from Running Warehouse
You can even get really carried away and buy bright shoes to match (we will save the accessories discussion for another day). I love matching separates. It's sort of become an issue. This morning I spent twenty minutes looking for the baby blue hair elastic that coordinates with my favorite shorts and I've been known to scrounge up enough laundry to justify doing a wash just so I can wear my speed yellow socks with their close relative: the Brooks Women's Infiniti Nightlife Short II (if you want to introduce some color into your collection but are a little apprenhensive about glowing like a traffic cone right off the bat, these shorts would be a great way to start).

Asics Gel Nimbus 13 Women's Shoes & Newton's Distance U Women's Shoes
*As an added bonus, running in bright and reflective gear wakes up the idiotic drivers too busy yakking on their cell phones or refereeing their children to see you on the side of the road.

2. Get off of the treadmill and join the world of the living running on the roads (or the trails, if you're lucky enough to have some nearby).

Loathing the treadmill doesn't automatically mean that you despise running. You won't ever catch me on one of those moving sidewalks that doubles as a horrendously inaccurate calorie-counter, but I do love running (at least, most of the time). Yes, running at the gym affords you some luxuries...namely an enormous umbrella over your head when it's raining and nearby access to a water fountain...but there's much to be said about running outside.

In order to really give this a try, you must promise to leave your iPod at home (I used to be an offender myself but I was a quick convert after my first music-free run). You'll be amazed at where your mind goes when it has the peace and quiet to wander. If you can overlook the occasional escaped dog, the inevitable roadkill, and the sporadic pebble in your shoes, you just might find that you like seeing the top of a hill, the twist down a curvy road that awaits on the other side, the ramshackle bridge over a bubbling brook, the discovery of an enviable garden, the momentary snapshot of a hawk in pursuit, the glimpse of an old sports car tucked away from the road, and the last street sign that will lead you home. 

Brother #2
(He doesn't always run in neons but it's excusable because he wins everything)

The miles truly do go by much faster when you aren't watching 3.1 change to 3.2 on a tiny screen (that is probably marinating in the person's sweat who used the machine before you).

3. Flip through The Quotable Runner (Great Moments of Wisdom, Inspiration, Wrongheadedness, and Humor) by Mark Will-Weber.

Christmas Gift from Brother #3

When even highlighter-esque gear can't brighten up an undeniably gloomy day and when the prospect of running along a scenic route pales in comparison to the thought of spending a morning baking this, Mark Will-Weber's collection of quotes can be counted on to get me going (or at least laughing).

Some of the sayings I return to again and again:
  1. "When I first started running, I was so embarassed, I'd walk when cars passed me. I'd pretend I was looking at the flowers." -Joan Benoit Samuelson
  2.  "Everyone is an athlete. The only difference is that some of us are in training, and some are not" and "The difference between a jogger and a runner is an entry blank." -Dr. George Sheehan (oof - I guess that's my cue to start racing again)
  3. "If you want to win something, run 100 meters. If you want to experience something, run a marathon." -Emil Zapotek
  4. "My feeling is that any day I am too busy to run is a day that I am too busy." -John Bryant
  5. "I'll be running until I'm a little old lady." -Claudine Schneider
  6. "They are beautiful because they run and they run because they are beautiful." -Dr. Ernest van Aaken
  7. "Avoid any diet that discourages the use of hot fudge" and "Without ice cream, there would be darkness and chaos." -Don Kardong (this is my kind of guy)
  8. "Somewhere in the world someone is training when you are not. When you race him, he will win." -Tom Fleming
  9. "In running, it doesn't matter whether you come in first, in the middle of the pack, or last. You can say, 'I have finished.' There is alot of satifisfaction in that."-Fred Lebrow
  10. "If someone says, 'Hey, I ran 100 miles this week. How far did you run?' ignore him! What the hell difference does it make?...The magic is in the man, not the 100 miles." -Bill Bowerman    

1 comment:

  1. good post hannaford. you picked one of my favorite photos of me running, but i must say i am a bit disappointed not to see me in the adizero adios pro ekidens!