Monday, December 26, 2011

10 Things I learned about running in 2011

10 11 Things I learned about running in 2011

1.       Supplements?  Who needs em!  I tried nearly every vitamin, tonic and snake oil potion advertised in Runner’s World, Triathlete Magazine, Lava and Men’s Health and none of them made me faster, stronger, more handsome or recover faster.  Save your money.  Invest it in good shoes and gear.  Or, use the money to take your partner/spouse out to dinner as payback for the lost hours and smelly laundry.

2.       Injuries suck and usually are your own damn fault.  I spent nearly 3 months of my 2011 on the disabled list.  Every injury I got this year was earned by my own stupidity.  Overuse.  Ignoring vital signs.  Lack of rest.  I own every injury.  Injuries are the body’s way of telling you to slow the hell down.  Injuries are preventable.

3.       You reach a point where PR’ing is not going to happen…and it does not matter!  Get over it.  It happens to everyone.  Sooner or later the clock catches up to you.  The only way I can now PR is to change the race venue.  This year, I got a PR on the San Francisco Marathon, San Francisco Half Marathon and the North Face 50.  I will likely PR on new courses next year! 

4.       Never judge runners by the package they come in.  This year, I got regularly dusted by people I would have never guessed would have been able to keep up with me.  I have stopped sizing the competition.  The fit looking guy wearing the Navy Seal shirt?  You will likely pass him at mile 20.  The 180 lb. , 5 foot mother of 3?  She will kick your ass and laugh while she is doing it. 

5.       Running is an entirely social hobby.  Huh?  Yeah.  I said it.  Even though you throw your shoes on by yourself and move your own legs, running is a social activity.   I have made more friends, solid acquaintances and casual “e”connections through running than I have made through 29 years of adulthood.  (JohnT, Hugh! Carolyn! KathyJ! Dave Noctropolis! Andy! And dozens of others!)  I hope to make dozens of new running friends next year.

6.       People pay too much attention to “being” a runner versus just moving their legs.  I know, I used to be one of “Those” people.   I used to get so wrapped up in a lot of “extra” garbage about running.  Proper food.  Proper hydration.  Proper Training.  Proper clothes.  Proper this.  Proper that.  In reality, all you need to do is throw on some shoes, eat when your body tells you to, drink when your body tells you to do….and keep your legs moving.  When you are at mile 50, none of the bullshit you thought was the gospel about running matters.  Just move your leg. 

7.       Running behind pretty girls is 10X better than running behind a dude.    If you have to be in back of someone because they are faster than you…  (There, I said it..don’t hate me!) 

8.       There still are some good people in the world.  The people I met along the way of my failed Run Across  America attempt made me realize that there are still some nice folks in the world.  People selflessly volunteered hours, time, houses and money for no other reason than to help me achieve a dream.  If you are one of those people reading this….Thank you.  If you are in Columbus, Georgia and reading this, I am declaring Columbus the city of awesome people!

9.       Setting a big goal and failing is better than sitting on your ass watching the world go by.  I highly recommend to everyone to set a huge goal and work towards it.  Even if you fail – You learn.  You get better.  You get a notch on the totem pole.  Whether you are thinking about your first 5K, your first marathon or first ultra or are thinking about a non running adventure, put yourself out on a limb.  Even if you fail, you will be better for it.  Try something awesome!

10.   Vaseline-don’t leave home for the ultra without it.  Trust me.  I have the bloody shirts and other “evidence” to prove it. 

11.   Don’t load up on veggie juice the day before a big race. 

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