- When did you start running and why?
- Why did you continue to run?
- What ultimate running goal would you like to accomplish?
- Tell us about your first race or when you plan to start!
- What’s your favorite distance to run or race and why?
- To you, what’s the hardest thing about running?
- Who supports you the most with your running goals and why do you pick them?
- Show us a picture of your running shoes! What are they and why do you like them?
- What’s the strangest or most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you on a run?
- Where do you run: treadmill, street, track, trail? And why do you prefer running there?
- What kind of clothes do you run in? Actual running clothes or old t-shirts? Show us a picture!
- How has running changed you or your life?
- Have you ever been injured because of running? How?
- What was your favorite race you’e run? If you haven’t raced, what are you most looking forward to with racing?
- Show us a picture of your sexy running calves!
- Do you carry water or powerfood with you while running? If so, how and what kind?
- How many miles a week are you usually running and what’s your normal pace? How would you like to improve this?
- What are your PRs? Time, distance?
- Show us a picture of your best “I’m a beast runner” runner face!
- Have you ever followed any sort of training plan? Which ones and how did you like them?
- What advice would you give to someone looking into running?
- Define your relationship with running.
- If you couldn’t run for the rest of your life, what other exercise would you start doing in its place?
- What’s your favorite pre-run snack or meal?
- What’s your favorite post-run snack or meal?
- The only day in the challenge where I’m going to ask you to run: go run a mile as fast as you can and tell us about it!
- While running do you use any watches or apps? What technology do you utilize?
- Headphones in or out? If in, what music gets you the most pumped up for running?
- Do you like running with a buddy, in groups, or solo? Why?
- Show us a sweaty post-run picture!
10. Where do you run: treadmill, street, track, trail? And why do you prefer running there?
Road, grass, & trail. I’m not an indoor running person. I think running on a treadmill would drive me mad. I enjoy the pavement too much. The changing scenery, the animals, the sounds, the smells, the surprises that await you as you turn the corner. It’s not all sunsets and deer crossings. I’ve been the subject of racial slurs and I’ve stepped in shit from time to time. But I never know what I’ll find when I take the next step and that’s why I enjoy running outdoors.
9. What is the strangest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on a run?
I don’t know that it’s strange so much as it’s sad. I was running around a park close to my neighbourhood. There was a group of young boys hanging around a skate park, four or five ranging in age from 10-13. I do not run with headphones. I dislike the distraction and I also worry about accidents as a result of inattention to my surroundings.
I lapped the park about four or five times and the first few times the boys yelled things that most runners are accustomed to hearing from non-runners: “Run Forrest Run!” etc. I ignored these jeers and continued on my way. When I get into the zone, I tend to tune other people out.
And maybe this entire situation could have been averted had I simply responded to these young boys but I’m out in public and it’s my prerogative to remain quiet and in my own personal space should I choose to.
Each time I passed these young boys they continued to jeer and make random commentary about my running. It was on the last lap around that something ugly occurred. One of the young boys yelled out to me: “Go back to your country!”
I considered responding but I kept quiet and ran on. My thinking is that the young boy who yelled that dirty minded phrase at me made an assumption about my non-response. I must be from another country because I’m not able to comprehend the English language. Or….maybe I’m just in my zone and not wanting to interact with asshole children. *sigh.
The sad thing is that this type of behaviour at such a young age is most likely a product of the home-life and parenting (or lack).
I’ve had racist commentary thrown my way, so it’s not something that is new to me, but from a child. That was fairly shocking and it’s safe to say that this ruined my run and troubles me still to this day.
8. Show us a picture of your running shoes. What are they? Why do you like them?
Nike Livestrong Lunarglide2. They’re minimalist and I’ve been running on them for about a year now. I am about to burn through my second pair. I bought two at the same time. I’m thinking of going to something a bit heavier and larger for more stability this next time around. The way I’ve run has changed a bit the past year and I’m needing more support on the inside of my shoe as I overpronate to the point of crows feet. The one thing I do love about these shoes is how light they are. I haven’t yet made the switch to Vibrams, those finger-toe running shoes you’ve no doubt seen on certain runners and extreme athletes but I’m considering making that switch.
7. Who supports you most with your running challenges?
Family, friends, & the internet. In that order.
Family: I run because I want my family to be proud of me, and I also want to be healthy enough to be in their lives for as long as possible.
Friends: They cheer me on and make me smile. One of my closest friends was at the finish line last year to greet me after my half-marathon. It probably was not a big deal to her but it meant the world to me. It’s nice to know that you have someone who is proud of you, who cheers you on.
Internet: I’ve said this so many times. If you talk about something, if you keep it on the brain, you’re more likely to not fail at doing it. Social media allows me to do that in a more accountable way. Talking about staying active and fit and then NOT doing that makes you a bit of an asshole. I talk about it because I’ll then feel guilty and follow through. Also, there are some fun websites that allow you to track your progress online. All of these things offer the kind of mental/emotional support that you need in order to stay strong.
I’ve also managed to form some very “real” friendships that transitioned from the web into my real personal life. I’ve met some wonderful people and formed some great relationships as a result of twitter.
I’m glad I met my weekly goal of 4 running sessions. It means I can take tonight off. I’m feeling like absolute shit. Entire body is tense and it’s because I work in a service industry dealing with stressful situations on a daily basis. This weekend in particular has turned into something of a beast. I have that stressed out feeling where you feel your muscles clenching. I lose my appetite and all I want to do is crawl into my bed and play video games. I think that’s exactly what I’ll do tonight.
It’s important to take time off in between your runs. It’s ok to let the body rest. It doesn’t mean that you’re cheating or abusing your body in some way, no matter how much that nagging voice insists. Sometimes you just need to let yourself relax.
6. To you, what is the hardest thing about running?
It’s the discipline of it. I love running. But, there are days when it absolutely sucks. The discipline is what is most difficult. As a runner, your brain and body become accustomed to a certain level of activity. On those days when you feel at your worst, at your lowest, it’s difficult to tell your brain and body that you’d rather not go out and run for 40 minutes. That you want to just sit on the couch and drink beer and eat a pizza.
The discipline transforms itself into that nagging voice, guilt, sadness even. As a runner you get very emotional about running and NOT running. There’s a reason that non-runners often talk about runners as having a kind of mental illness. It gets inside of you and it doesn’t let go. This blog is an example of that. The only reason it exists is so that I can keep running on the brain. I am aware of my own bad habits. I know that I can rationalize and get lazy very quickly. So I keep on writing, keep on talking about it. It keeps it on the brain. And it’s all tied in with the discipline of running.
You have to train yourself to keep it in your life. It’s not easy, it’s often very difficult and particularly maddening. But you do it. You keep on doing it. There’s no going back.
5. What’s your favourite distance to run/race, why?
It’s all about numbers. I run 3-4 times a week at a distance of 5-7 km. It’s primarily a matter of convenience. I have a busy work schedule, 12-13 hour shifts, so time is something I do not have much of. When I get home I need to work out, eat dinner, relax a little bit and then get to bed early enough that I do not risk ruining my sleep or the next day of work.
I can run 5 km in about 30 minutes and that is just about the perfect amount of time for me. I know there are people who run much farther than myself and more frequently, but everyone has to find a balance that works for them. I sometimes imagine that I’m running several 5 km races back to back and then I don’t feel so poorly about my lack of a great distance. Anyways, it’s about the journey, not the destination.
4. Tell us about your first race.
It was October 23, 2011, the Buffalo/Niagara Falls International Marathon. I ran the half-marathon at a time of 2:23:40. I trained for many, many, months. And crossing that finish line is a feeling of joy that I do not think I can put into words.
The half-marathon was more than just a race it was an acknowledgement that I changed my lifestyle. The day itself was also of special significance. The race was the one year anniversary of my running life/getting fit. I am not ashamed to say that there were a few tears in my eyes as I crossed that finish line.
That day will forever be in my mind, the sounds, the smells, the feel of that silver blanket as it was placed on my shoulders by the volunteers. The banana that I greedily scarfed down and the look of one of my best friends as she smiled at me at the finish line and cheered me on.
That was a good day. :)
3. What ultimate running goal would you like to accomplish?
It’s interesting how my long-term running goals have shifted. This is something that is constantly changing. When I first started running it was to run non-stop for 10 min., 20 min, 30 min, 60 min. Soon after it was 5 km, 10 km, half-marathon (21 kms). I’ve met all of these goals.
The next big one is a full marathon but I don’t think I’m ready to do that yet. It’s something on the back-burner. It’s not something I’m overly worried about, I’ll get to it when I get to it. Until then, I’m just enjoying the pavement, one step at a time.
2. Why did you continue to run?
Why running and not a gym? Two reasons: 1- Because gym memberships cost money. 2- I’ve discovered that I’m someone who prefers the silent road more than a loud gym filled with many people.
1 - I couldn’t really afford any of the gym memberships in my area and thinking on past experiences with gym memberships I’ve signed up for, I only attempt to work out the first month and then I stop going. Much of it has to do with being intimidated by other gym people/machines. I worry that I’ll use a machine incorrectly or look stupid doing something that I shouldn’t. The brilliance of running is that everyone knows how to do it. Sure, there are some techniques that you can improve upon but the body’s natural mechanics will tell you all you need to know and it does most of the work for you.
2- When I first started out, I was a bit ashamed to work out in public. I worried about all that excess weight jiggling and shaking. So I started the Couch to 5K program by running in the evenings behind my house at an empty baseball park. No one around to watch me fail at running. I could do things at my own pace and not worry about people staring or laughing at that chubby brown guy who is trying to run.
I hated running growing up. Hated it in elementary school. Hated running laps when I was on Varsity Tennis. But, something just clicked. I’ve noticed that many people seem to catch the running bug around the age of thirty. Probably a combination of things: getting older, realizing your body is not immortal, needing a half hour out of your day to get away from everyone and every thing.
“ Caring for myself is not indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”
1. When did you start running and why?
I started late autumn of 2010, two weeks before my thirtieth birthday. I stood in front of the mirror and thought about my body. I looked at it from both a health and vanity point of view. I wasn’t looking good, nor was I feeling good. I made the decision right then and there to do something about my body/lifestyle. I went on the South Beach Diet for two months and started the Couch to 5K program. Changed my eating habits as well as my exercise habits. I lost 30 pounds by early January and discovered that I loved the feeling of running. Something just clicked and I found myself wanting to run more and more and more. Longer, harder, faster, farther. I’m coming up on the 2 year anniversary of running/lifestyle. Thinking back I can only smile and laugh.
I’m bored, let’s do a meme. For the next 30 days, I’ll be answering the following questions. Feel free to join me. We’ll start tomorrow.
Sometimes it’s the carrot and sometimes it’s the stick. This is running in a nutshell.
Sometimes I love the feel of sweat pouring down my body, sun shining down on my face as I run a long run.
And other times it’s pure agony. It’s miserable 42 degree humidity, underwear sticking to your body, hating the way your shoes feel as you run at the end of a 13 hour work day.
It can be both. It’s about the discipline.