Running Doesn’t Suck!

Because I’m such a rebel, this is a little Throwback Friday for you.

I really hate those shirts that say “Running Sucks.” So much so that I have a shirt with the opposite message: “Not Running Sucks.” Sure, there will be times when running feels like it sucks (e.g. when you’ve hit the wall), but even if that moment sucks, in no way does running overall suck. Running keeps us honest, shows us what we’re made of, teaches commitment, brings us joy, helps us stay healthy…I could go on and on. We all probably need a reminder sometimes of why running is awesome. With that in mind, I submit to you this memory from 2013.

2013 was the year I ran approximately 400,000 races. Or 40. Whichever. It was also the year of the bombing that shook the Boston Marathon, and with it, the rest of America. I wanted to do something to show my unwavering support for my sport and my country. Of course (of course!) I had a race the weekend after the attack, so I decided to carry a flag over the entire 10k distance. I plucked my parents’ flag from their porch for a brief test run around the neighborhood. Keeping the chilly pole aloft was a challenge, but the encouraging honks I got from passing cars was enough to keep me going. I had proof of concept. Mission: Run with the Flag was a go.

On race day at the Pike’s Peek 10k (yes, that’s the spelling), I was joined by my friend Kim who had agreed to sacrifice her time to hang with me in case I needed help with the flag. Unsurprisingly, Kim is the same good soul who crewed for me at the JFK 50 Mile Race. I saw several other flags among the field of runners — I wasn’t the only one who had been inspired to show America and the running community’s strong spirit as it grieved. Fellow runners on the course commented about how good it was to see Old Glory, and offered their support. Fueled by adrenaline, the energy of the crowd, and cups of water snagged by the dutiful Kim, I finished the race without ever walking or letting go of the flag in a respectable 58:59. We even managed to zip down the final hill at a 6:30 pace! I’d thought that my arms would be destroyed after carrying the flag for so long, but I banged out 15 full-extension chin-ups to hustle a guy for a T-shirt at the finish festival.

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If your motivation to run is flagging (pun very much intended) — find it again! Running definitely doesn’t suck. It’s amazing what you can do when ignited by genuine passion.

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Also, for those of you cool enough to have recognized my Chive shirt (one of several I own; I’m a dedicated Chivette), KCCO!

Friday Motivation: December 5, 2014

Monday motivation is more alliterative and Mondays truly do suck, but if you’re looking at a long run in the cold this weekend, you might need some Friday motivation.

If you want to get what you’ve never had, you must do things you’ve never done. You have to become someone else. You have to be something else. At any cost. Believe.

Success occurs when your dreams get bigger than your excuses.

Fear of failure is only for those arrogant enough to think that somehow they can achieve success without paying the price.

Don’t let a bad day make you feel like you have a bad life.

You’ve got what it takes, but it will take everything you’ve got.

If you want to change, you have to be willing to be uncomfortable.

We all have great inner power. The power is self-faith. There’s really an attitude to winning. You have to see yourself winning before you win. And you have to be hungry. You have to want to conquer. – Arnold Schwarzenegger

You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.

Giving up your goal because of one setback is like slashing your other three tires because you got a flat.

Be the person your dog thinks you are.

From Coach Lou:

If you’re bored with life — you don’t get up every morning with a burning desire to do things — you don’t have enough goals. – Lou Holtz

Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it. – Lou Holtz

Create a vision that makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning.

A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.

Success is not owned. It’s leased and rent is due every day. – J.J. Watt

For those of you not blessed with Kilian Jornet/Deena Kastor/[substitute your favorite beast of an athlete here] genes:

Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but of playing a poor hand well. – Robert Louis Stevenson

And for those of you carb loading for a big race:

Every pizza is a personal pizza if you try hard and believe in yourself.

I don’t want to look back and think ‘I could’ve eaten that.’