It seems to be the season for marathons and running posts. I have been running for about five years or so at this point. I have run a number of 5k races, and last year, I was supposed to only run one leg of the marathon relay. Well, some of my team bailed at the 11th hour leaving an 11.1 mile gap at the end of the relay…so I did it. It was a great feeling, but also a little frustrating! I was only 2 miles short of running the half marathon! This year I decided to just run the half and see what happens. I’ve been training for months and, even though it might sound a bit less positive than I intend, I’m as ready as I’m gonna be for this.
I do love running. I’ve become one of those people who run on their lunch break (workday 5k! Yeah!). I run in the rain. I run in the snow. I run early in the morning. I run in the evening after a long day of work. It’s really been a great thing for me. I love seeing the city and the different neighborhoods from the perspective of the runner. I love that I can wake up early on a Saturday and crank out some miles with my friends and feel great. So…what are some of the things that inspire those runs? Read on, dear Eleventh Stack blog reader, read on:
I am NOT a barefoot runner, nor do I really even endorse the whole barefoot running movement. I think it’s kind of a shame that Christopher McDougall’s EXCELLENT book, Born to Run, gets saddled with being that book about barefoot running. There is A lot of other excellent stuff in there and I highly recommend it!
Mentioned in the above title is the amazing Scott Jurek. Jurek is one of the most remarkable runners in the world. He is an Ultra Marathoner. He’s won more Ultras than anyone. He is vegan. He is a hero. He wrote Eat and Run and I loved it.
John “The Penguin” Bingham is a great running writer who taps into the approachable style that allows you to think “Hey…maybe I CAN do this!” He wrote for years for Runner’s World magazine and his Marathons For Mortals is an EXCELLENT resource!
Scott Douglas collected a ton of brilliant little bits and bobs from runners of every skill level and compiled them into this fantastic little book. No section of The Little Red Book of Running is more than a page or so, but it’s so chock full of useful, inspirational material, you will be amazed.
And, apart from running, I tend to find some kind of inspiration from the Tao Te Ching. This translation by author Ursula K. LeGuin is absolutely fantastic. I highly recommend it!
So, enjoy it…read up and get out there and get a run in! After the bombings at the Boston Marathon this year, Amby Burfoot (1968 Boston Marathon winner and writer for Runner’s World) said what we can do to really help at this point is to help another runner. Here is my crack at helping:
If you used to run but stopped, get out and give it a go. You’ll probably see what you loved in it the first time around. Don’t be afraid to go slow. Don’t be afraid to take your time and only run short distances.
If you never ran but want to, try! Start slow. When I started I’d run for 20 or 30 seconds and walk for a minute or two. I used the Couch to 5k method. Try running between telephone poles and then walk awhile.
If you are currently couch-bound but want to be more active GET OUT AND WALK. Walking is probably the best thing you can do, especially if you currently aren’t doing an exercise plan. Remember, being outside and doing it is a million times better than sitting on a couch. Best of luck!