Giving Up on Numbers, Giving In to Passion
Numbers are a key part of running: 5 min. 10 min. 5k, 10k, 21.1, 42.2, etc. It’s how we set goals: time, distance, pace. Numbers do matter. But maybe they shouldn’t, at least not as much as I once thought.
Let me be clear. If numbers work for you. Good. They’ve kept me motivated and inspired. But lately I’m starting to realize that it’s not just numbers. Sometimes its just getting out there and running.
The last few weeks I’ve unplugged from my runkeeper account. I’m still running and I have a good sense of my distance travelled during any particular run. But I’ve stopped keeping track of them. Instead, I just go out for a run and come back feeling good. If I’m tired, I turn around. If I feel like I can keep going, then I keep on going.
I’m not worried about meeting any kind of expectation or goal. I’m just running free. Maybe this won’t last. Maybe I’ll become obsessed with beating my 5k pace record. But for now, it is nice to just run for the sake of running and not worry about the numbers.
Hope you find your passion.
Still running. Not as much as I’d like. But I’m also doing more planks, push-ups, etc.
Trying to work on my gut. Keep on keeping on.
"What are you running from?” my mother asked one night over dinner. I had moved in with her temporarily after the breakup. “No,” I corrected her. “It’s something I’m running to."
I heard a woodpecker today.
That is all.
Name: Alex Flint
Height/Weight: 6’/150lbs (skinny dude)
Occupation: Communications manager at a start-up
1) How long have you been running? When/why did you start?
I ran my first race (10k) on August 18th, 2010. I started because after 7 years of drinking, smoking and eating pizza, I wanted to change my lifestyle. I started by parking my car and cycling to work. That 15 minute ride each morning was the most challenging thing I’d done in nearly a decade. I just wanted to feel healthy and strong for the first time in my life.
2) What keeps you motivated?
The community of friends I’ve met through running is what motivates me. If I didn’t have them around me, I’d still run but would never have pushed myself as hard as I do now.
3) Do you follow a specific plan, training, running program?
I have a coach that helps me build a training plan, based on which races and goals I want to meet each season. Currently I’m working towards Boston Qualifying at the Toronto Marathon on May 4th, and running a 100 mile ultra in Haliburton in September.
4) How often do you run?
4 times a week. Sometimes 5, but that extra would just be slow, fun and social.
5) What is your favourite thing about running?
The silence. I’m a hyper connected and have terrible ADD, so when I’m running is the only time I can force myself to disconnect. Running on the trails when it’s too early, too late, or the weather is too crappy for anyone else to be out there is my heaven.
6) What is your least favourite thing about running?
Being injured. I’m constantly battling injuries because my form isn’t perfect, and I get lazy with recovery exercises and cross training. Not being able to run for more than a few days is my hell.
7) Shoes or Barefoot?
Shoes, but minimal shoes. I run in Merrell and Skora shoes, both of which are zero-drop and very minimal. I started with traditional supportive shoes, and never finished a race without major pains and aches. Now I feel much better!
8) With headphones or without?
Both. I make sure to do some long training runs without music, because in a race I rarely listen to anything. But somedays, I just need a distraction.
9) Do you race? If so - why?
Yep, I need to have a goal for myself, or I’d never push myself on training runs.
10) Ideal pre-race/post-race meals? (If you do not race - then you can ignore this question.)
Smoothie and oatmeal, and bananas pre-race. Sushi post-race.
11) Most embarrassing running moment/memory?
I once had to duck into a bush to relieve my upset stomach while running with a lady friend. I told her I had to pee. I doubt she believed me.
12) Solo runner or with a friend(s)?
Solo mostly, but I LOVE running with friends. It’s my favourite way to socialize.
13) If you had to give some advice to someone just getting into the sport: what advice would you give them?
Don’t run too fast. So many people think running means all out effort, and then they get hurt, or get discouraged when they can’t finish 2km. Run slow, enjoy the experience.
Emily T: Hey running friends: I want to start running once toronto is thawed out, what do you think of the couch to 5k program? Any other suggestions?
I started the Couch to 5K (C25K) program 3 years ago. I was about to turn 30 and I was not happy with my health, weight, lifestyle. I could not afford a gym membership and so I found the Couch to 5K program.
The program eases you into the practice of running. For about ten years prior to this program I had not participated in any major exercise or physical activity. I was a bit worried but the program anticipates this.
You walk for a few minutes and then you run and then you walk. WALK/RUN/WALK. You run three times a week. Each week the running slowly increases and the walking slowly decreases. Before you realize it, you’re running more than you’re walking.
You can print out a schedule, purchase an app for your smart phone or do like I did: write down numbers on your hand in a marker and take a stopwatch. Walk for your time, hit the stopwatch and then run for your time and repeat.
It’s pretty simple. Personally speaking I was embarrassed when I first started as I was really out of shape and afraid I would be “jiggling” a lot. So I found a spot and a time that wasn’t so busy in the afternoon. I feel silly in retrospect as you’ll figure out that most runners don’t care about how another runner looks or how they are running. They’re mostly just thrilled to see another person who is enjoying the feel of the run.
The other thing I’d suggest is that you not give up or feel disheartened if you miss a day in the first few weeks. It happens, we stumble, we fall, but we then pick ourselves up again.
Just keep at it and you’ll surprise yourself with the progress you’ll be making by the end of weeks two and three. I know I was and I hated running growing up. Something clicked 3 years ago and I found myself looking forward to the running moments more than the walking moments. Early on you may feel like the walking is stupid but its about building your stamina so follow the program and you’ll soon be running for a half hour at a time.
Be patient. Stay positive.
3 Minutes Each Day
This winter has been a brutal one for running. I’ve not run as much as I have the past two winters and it is a bit disappointing to me. I’m still out there but not as much as I should. I’ve tried to compensate by lifting weights and working on my core when I opt to stay indoors. But it still feels like I’m neglecting that part of me that needs to run.
Maybe it’s too easy to blame the weather but I’m tired of grey, tired of snow, tired of a winter that feels like forever.
The only thing that keeps me going is knowing that Spring is on its way. I was listening to CBC Radio 1 and a weather person stated that we are getting 3 more minutes of sun-light each day. The days are getting longer.
I am trying to hold on to that thought. I am thinking about the sun and the green and a hot pavement. I am dreaming of these things.
That’s two days in a row. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to do this. It felt good. It’s going to feel good tomorrow. Yes. Running. It’s back. That feeling.
This blog used to be a big deal in my life. That has changed the last year. I still run. I still feel that passion and that fire. But it’s become such a normal part of my life that I find myself at a loss of what to say here. Hence, all the short micro-blogs about running.
I guess it’s turned into a kind of zen reminder.
- Do it.
- Take a break.
I’m still here. I’m still on tumblr (in other forms). I just find myself running and working out more and talking about it a lot less. It’s always on my brain, so this blog which started out as a kind of reminder has not become as necessary as it once was.
But I’ll still post when I feel like I need to remind myself that it’s important.
You fall off. You get back on.
Just start running again.
There are other things you can do today. The runner’s body is complex. Work on your core. Work on your strength training. Work on your breathing. You can work on all of these things INSIDE.
Running in -35 C windchill doesn’t prove you’re a badass. It proves you’re an idiot to me. My skin and my extremities are both important to me. I also rather not risk pneumonia.
I’m a runner. I run year round. I run in winter. But there are days when it is important to avoid the outdoors and stay in. This is one of those days.
Good on you if you run but please be safe. There are other ways to stay active while indoors.
Only run once this week. But I’ve managed to lift weights more than once.
Better than nothing.
That is all.
"Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up,” Bannister said. “It knows it must outrun the fastest lion, or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a lion or a gazelle - when the sun comes up, you’d better be running."