Archive for December, 2013

Happy New Year!

This is my DH, taking No Shave November a little too far, trying to do crunches at our house.  Foiled again!

I’ll be back after the new year.  I’m looking forward to writing some great race reports (Disney Princess Half Marathon, February 2014) and reviewing more products.  It will also be a great year at the store, with some amazing events planned that will be sure to fire up the running community in Rochester.

My last piece of advice for 2013?  When making your New Year’s Resolutions, don’t focus on what you didn’t achieve this year.  Rather, use this time to reflect on all of the things you accomplished this year. Your resolutions should not be yard sticks against which your worth is measured, but something to inspire you.


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I know I said you would receive a race report shortly after my half marathon.  It has now been two months, and nary a peep have you heard from me.

Race reports are hard to write, y’all.

In a nutshell, the race was okay, but it wasn’t great.  I finished 10 minutes slower than I anticipated, but I finished in good spirits (unlike the last half marathon).  The last three miles were the worst, and I started cramping up at the end.  But here’s why race reports are so hard:  There has to be a very careful balance in a race report between funny, insightful, inspirational, and whining.  If I complain too much, it looks like I’m soliciting sympathy.  If I make it sound lovely, I’m lying — and to be frank, you don’t want to read that.  So all of this back and forth means that I kept thinking about what I was going to write, and then just ended up not writing anything at all.

Anyways, but now I’m back and I’m going to tell you about the 4 most annoying things that customers say to me.  Now, before you get all excited, this will not be what it sounds like.

  1. “I know I don’t look like a runner.”  This is usually said while gesturing towards their supposedly fat, non-running body.  Listen folks, I’m tired of people who feel the need to cut themselves down.  There are plenty of people out there that will do that for you.  You don’t have to do it to yourself as well.  What does a “runner” look like anyway?  Most of the people who come into the store aren’t rail-thin.  I certainly don’t “look like a runner.”  And yet, I work at a running store.  And when you come into my store and dismiss your accomplishments and self-shame your body, you are really shaming everyone else who doesn’t “look like a runner.”  A runner looks like you, like me, like your neighbor, like your grandpa.
  2. “I’m not really a runner.”  This is said by at least one person a day at the store.  When I ask them what they mean, they usually respond by saying that they only run 3 days a week, or only 3 miles at a time, or whatever the case may be.  My response: “If you go out the door and you are moving in a forward direction and you aren’t walking, then you are running.  And if you run, you’re a runner.”  There is no special “club” or card that you need in order to be considered a runner.  Again, please stop dismissing your amazing accomplishments.  I’d be willing to bet that your friends, family, and neighbors who don’t run at all consider you a runner.
  3. “I’m really slow.” This is said to me usually in conjunction with one of the previous comments.  When a customer tells me he’s not a “real” runner, and I tell him that, indeed, he is, he responds with, “Well, I’m really slow” as if this somehow diminishes his “runner-ness.”  What is most amusing to me is that when I ask what his average pace is, his response is  “10 minute mile” or “9 minute mile.”  Well, I’ve got news for you buddy: that is a lot faster than many people run.  You are fast.  And besides, as I always say, whether you run a 7 minute mile or a 12 minute mile, it is still A MILE.
  4. “I just run 5Ks.” Or the alternative, “It’s only a half marathon.”  True, you are not running 26.2 miles, or a 50K, or competing in an IronMan challenge, but JUST 5Ks?  JUST a half marathon?  Please, please, please, take that “just” out of your vocabulary.  It is not JUST a 5K.  It is 3.1 miles!  That’s longer than most people can run.  13.1 miles is just as challenging for you as that 50K is to someone else.  When you come into my store, we are not running a competition for the best, or fastest, or longest runner.  You run?  Great, let’s get you taken care of so you can be the best runner YOU can be.

There are dozens of other examples that I could give, but they all boil down to the fact that people put themselves down FAR too much.  I ascribe to the HAES movement (Health at Every Size), which says that I can’t tell how healthy (or not) you are just by looking at you.  In fact, believe it or not, that really skinny guy that you think “looks like a runner” may very well be a chain smoking crack addict.  I believe running isn’t about losing weight (though it may have that added benefit), but it is about your TOTAL health.  That means not only your physical health, but being happy with how your body moves, celebrating the astounding accomplishments (yes, it is an astounding accomplishment that you ran 2 miles, because last year, you couldn’t walk up the stairs without getting winded), and clearing out the clutter in your mind.  There is something so freeing about being outside, enjoying the scenery, focused just on you and no one else, not worrying about the dry cleaning that needs to be picked up, or the kids’ Christmas program costumes you have to make, or the floors that need to be scrubbed.  When you are running, it is just YOU.  You are the HERO in the moment that you lace up your running shoes.  I don’t care if you run 1 mile or 31 miles, YOU ARE AMAZING.

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