Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Running like A Girl - or anyone

The Chicago Public Library recently changed their website and now it's a lot more dynamic.  It seems that the staff has responsibility for creating content and suggesting book titles.  When I was checking out the new site this book appeared in one of the content blocks and I thought it looked interesting so I put it on hold.  When it arrived at the library I read it in about a day and a half.

If you already run, you know that if you ask 10 runners the same question you might get 10 answers.  One of the golden rules of running is do what works....for you.  I ran with a woman last year during Marathon training who swore by a burrito the night before the long run.  A burrito from "that Mexican place under the El on Addison".  Those of you who live in Chicago know when you visit those places and it's usually not the night before a vigorous physical effort - it's usually at the end of a night of too much drinking.  But it worked for her!  I have a female friend who runs in men's basketball shorts, shoes from Payless and cotton shirts.  And she's fast!

Reading this book made me chuckle and it was good timing to read it as we get closer to the start of Marathon training.  She has the same discoveries as all runners - my toe nails!  Wow, a shower feels good after a run!  I love napping!  Etc.  I also appreciate her honesty about the ebbs and flows with running.  Just because you run doesn't mean you don't have times where you aren't as dedicated or as excited about it.

I agree with her on most points, although I think she ran her first Marathon too soon after starting running (CARA suggests one year of steady running), I think she is too reliant on technology (I try to run faster than people on their phones) and she doesn't wear shorts (I like to let my legs air out in the summer).  But, again, those are my opinions.  And, please, please, please, believe her one important piece of advice - if you are considering running do not be embarrassed.  No one is really paying attention to you.  The only people I ever heckle are the ones at the gym doing really dangerous exercises - kettle bell in front of the huge glass window on the second floor I'm talking to you!

Here are some of my own running tips/opinions -
1.  I don't wear exercise clothes except when I'm exercising.  When I put on my workout clothes my brain goes "ok, time to work".  For me I think I look sloppy in workout gear except when I'm actually working out - then I look great!

2.  I never say someone is jogging.  Jogging, for me, is derogatory.  It means slow.  Sorry - slow compared to what other runner(s)?  Because I'm never winning the Chicago Marathon but I'm not jogging.  I'm running!

 3.  You don't know any one's story.  Runners come in all shapes and sizes.  Don't assume.  I sometimes, on purpose, wear heels to the running store just to see them look at my feet.  Hey, I'm about to train for my 12th marathon and I like to wear heels (see #1).

4.  Keep running.  Age has its perks.  I have now come in the Top 3 in my age group in the past two 10ks I have run.  Me - the Polish Flash.  Me - the person who my parents say was born tired.  Me - the person who (in the past) has carried an extra 40 lbs across 26.2 miles.  Me - the person, who at age 28, watched the Olympic Marathons in Atlanta and thought "yeah, I might want to do that one day".  Now I am going to lead others this summer to help them reach their goals and it feels great.

I just watched an interview with Christian Louboutin and he said that woman will sometimes put on his shoes and say "but I can't run" and he asked "why do you want to run"?  That made me laugh.  You use the gear for the purpose designed - you wouldn't actually run in high heels.

Interested in running?  Talk to someone you know who runs.  Ask me any questions.  Surf the Internet.  Go to the local running store.  But, in the end, you are the only one who can run your run and I think that is the point of this book.

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