11-14-2013

“OK, You’re a Runner, Get Over It.” My Response

I read this article last night after seeing it posted on Facebook. Its tagline is: “Running a marathon is hard enough without also patting yourself on the back every step of the way.”

Hm…

Well…duh ;)

People have commented on the article and on Facebook saying people shouldn’t even bother responding because it is only spreading the author’s piece to a wider audience. But I did want to respond, because I want people to see my side (a runner) of things, especially those who may not share my passion (and I have a lot of friends who don’t) but may read his article.

He basically writes about how people only run marathons and half marathons to boast about it and put those 26.2 and 13.1 stickers on their car. Yes, I have those stickers, because I ran a freakin’ half and a full marathon, I think it’s certainly something to boast about! But to say that people train for 5-6 months solely for a sticker is absurd.

Runners train for many reasons. We train to feel fit. We train because it’s a stress reliever. We train because we want to compete against ourselves. We train to get over hardships. I don’t know of any runner who runs day in and day out, or trains for a marathon or half marathon solely to brag about it.

“But the clothes—well, that’s a different story. Many of the shirts on the racks have running logos, motivational slogans and images of stick people running.

Like the 26.2 and 13.1 bumper stickers, this apparel serves a clear purpose: We can look at them and immediately know that the person wearing it is a runner—perhaps even an accomplished one.”

I like buying these clothes with quotes on the front because it motivates me. I also see plenty of people at the gym who LIFT and don’t run wearing this type of clothing. What’s wrong with wanting to buy clothes that motivate you as soon as you put them on?

“I have a theory. There is no more visible form of strenuous exercise than running. When runners are dashing down a street in the middle of town or through a subdivision, they know that every driver, every pedestrian, every leaf-raker and every person idly staring out a window can see them.

These days, people want more than ever to be seen.”

So basically, we should stick to working out in the gym, because if we exercise outdoors, it’s only because we want attention?

I run because I like being outside and feeling the different seasons. I love feeling the heat and humidity in the summer. I love seeing my breath in the winter. I like that you need no equipment to run outside. All you need is your body. What’s wrong with that?

I suppose what bothered me about this article is that it lumps all runners together, stating that we all just want attention. Yes, I’ve been told by my boyfriend that I post too much about my running on my Instagram or Twitter (he isn’t a runner), but on the flip side, I have gotten so many inspiring comments from followers, as well as tips and advice from fellow runners. We are a community of people who help each other, and the same can be said for any fitness related community (lifting, CrossFit, spin, fitness in general).

I never post things because I want to brag and get a “like.” I certainly don’t run for that either…trust me, there are many days where I hate running and being out there.

And time out, runners are the only one posting on Facebook? What about statuses or tweets about “I’m going to the gym,” “I squatted X amount today!” etc. etc. Those don’t bother me at all, and sometimes they even motivate me to get my butt to the gym.  What’s so bad about that?

It’s like, you can’t win. If we don’t exercise, people write about how lazy/obese America is becoming. When there is a running boom in the US and more runners than ever who are being active, people write about how they only do it for attention.

Sigh.

Update: You need to read this hilarious rebuttal by Runner’s World.

What are your thoughts on the article? I’d love to hear them!

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10-28-2013

Motivational Monday!

October is over already…my friend and I were talking about New Year’s dresses the other day…where is time going??? I don’t want it to be 2014!

Anyway, last week, I found this quote on Instagram on a fellow runner’s account (@blonde_bun_runner). I totally could relate:

This can relate to anyone. How often do you get caught up with worrying and stressing out? We don’t even realize how much we worry sometimes. I saw this and immediately related it to my marathon training. I haven’t had the best last 3 weeks of running and I’m really nervous. Then I saw this and thought, I’m running a marathon. I have the ability to RUN, period. I have an able body, and 2 legs that will take me through 26.2 miles (hopefully). Time doesn’t matter. I should be thankful for the opportunity…because there are many people out there who wish they could walk or run. Something I need to remember whenever I start worrying this week…

What are you currently worrying about? How will you change your point of view on this and instead of thankful? Tell me in the comments!

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10-21-2013

Motivational Monday!

Happy Monday! Another new week…and less than 2 weeks until the New York City Marathon! =O

I decided to go with this quote today:

Once again, this quote is one I can relate to, especially while marathon training. As you may know, recently I’ve had to take multiple days off due to some shin pain. It has made me nervous, paranoid, and doubting myself. But I love this quote and need to remember it!

I need to “rid my mind of can’t” and think of everything I have accomplished and will accomplish on Nov. 3.

Sometimes it’s so easy for us to get down on ourselves and believe we will not do well enough (in whatever it may be), but if we just change our mindset, we could excel and potentially surprise ourselves….something I should write down on my hand or something on race day!

Have you read any good books on building mental strength? I need tips and help!

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07-23-2013

Guest Post: Running & Motivation

Hi everyone! Today I have a great post by Justin from Always Running Forward.

Sometimes you just don’t have the motivation for a run…let alone a long run during marathon training. Here are some great tips from Justin!

Running & Motivation

Running isn’t easy. You really have to want it to succeed. Running requires a lot of self-discipline, sacrifice and effort to make it work. And, even after you think you’ve found the perfect approach, running will turn 180 degrees and kick you in the face. Sometimes, it’s too much to handle and you just want to throw in the towel, and that’s when you need a good support system. In this sport of self-inflicted torture sometimes you need someone there to pick you up and get you back on track. This can be a family member, a coach, or even other runners who share in the same experiences (I believe the running community is a great example of how camaraderie is prevalent, even in the face of competition). After all, we runners don’t race each other, we race ourselves.

But, what if you are on Mile 18 of a marathon and there’s no support group? What if you are on a long training run, miles from home, and suddenly lost all motivation to continue? What if it’s 5 in the morning and it’s raining? There won’t always be a shoulder to lean on. That’s when we runners need to dig deep and find the motivation within ourselves to forge ahead. Sometimes, it may be a happy thought that gets you through the extra miles, and other times (from what I’ve heard are most effective) are mantras or key messages runners say to themselves to keep going. Finding motivation may be easier for some than others (I sometimes have trouble with it). But, I found some examples of what runners use to keep them going and wanted to share their inspiration through the perspiration.

Here are a few examples. See if they are similar to your methods. If not, what do you do to keep yourself motivated?

Breaking Up the Miles: Especially during longer races, breaking up the race into more manageable pieces may help to keep you motivated during the race. Do the math. If it’s a marathon, I like to break it into two half marathons with the first leg being a slow, methodical half marathon.

Run 1 Mile at a Time: Don’t think about the miles you ran, think about the mile you are running. Put yourself in the now by enjoying your current mile.

Focus On an Object in the Distance: Say to yourself, “If I can just get to that point…” Doing that will get you to focus on the race and not dwell on the mileage number. Refresh every time you get to that point. This is particularly easy for Disney races.

Find Something to Tell Yourself that You Believe In. Don’t say, “If I finish this marathon, the Cubs will win the World Series.” First of all, that’s not personal to your effort. Second, it’s just unbelievable. Instead, say to yourself “This race is mine,” or “I’ve got this.”
Some others:
· “I’m ready for this.”
· “This race won’t beat me.”
· “Another mile down.”
· “Focus.”
· “Speed. I am pure speed” (My personal go-to)
At the very heart of it, motivation needs to be personal to you. You can have all the support in the world, but at the end of the day it’s you logging in the miles and not every mile is going to be sunshine and roses. Hopefully, finding a way to make it just a little bit easier through positive affirmation or race day tricks to manage distance will get you through that next run. See you on the course!

Read more from Justin on his blog!

06-17-2013

Motivational Monday!

Happy Monday! New week…new opportunity to get after your goals.

I mentioned in my marathon training post that I will be doing a new training plan…and I’m terrified! No, seriously, as I was reading about this plan, I had a knot in my stomach of nervousness. But I knew it was the right thing to try…so now I’m scared…and excited at the same time.

I found this quote and really found it relevant:

il_fullxfull.249645986Whatever it is your pursuing this week, it may scare you, but it’s worth it in the end. My goals will be lifting 3x this week, running 2-3x, and eating healthy all week AND into the weekend (unlike this past weekend). But still nothing has scared me more than starting this new marathon training plan in 2 weeks. Will I be able to do it? Will I finish NYC Marathon in under 5 hours, which was my original goal in 2011 before everything went wrong? Will I get sick of running along the way? I hope not…

What scares you currently? How are you “saddling up?”

 

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