was the subject-line of an email I received from a close college friend, but
we'll get to that in a moment.
been dutifully cranking up my miles; you'd think I'm running in the double-digits
based on the amount I'm sweating these days, but it's just the humidity.
I the only one who thinks the more she sweats, the more accomplished/cleansed
sweat! The sure sign of a good run!
was what the sky looked like - without any editing or effects - before my run. I've never seen clouds like that!
my run last night, I tried Vega Sport's recovery accelerator drink in Tropical.
I really loved the flavor, and I'm definitely less sore this morning than I
expected to be based on how I felt post-run. This is probably something I'll
onto the real topic of today's post. My friend Caryn has just recently gotten
into running. She has a certain way with words; after receiving this email from
her, I just knew I had to share it with the blogging world. Her questions are
in black, and my responses are in purple:
response to [this blog post]: THINGS I WISH I KNEW NOW, BUT I AM SURE THEY WILL EVENTUALLY
COME TO ME IF I JUST KEEP RUNNING Yep. Rule #1 - keep at it, don't give up; it'll all come to you in time.
When will I figure out the breathing rhythm? You
could actually research HOW to breathe while you run, but counting breaths
confuses me. I recommend that when you start to feel your shoulders getting
stiff, or if you're hyperventilating and feel winded, take a DEEP, SLOW breath
and let it out SLOWLY. Breathe like that until you feel better. Fast steps =/=
I am clearly not stretching enough beforehand, but when will everything stop
hurting as soon as my running shoes touch the pavement? I am fully aware of the
location of the following muscles/tendons: Achilles tendons, vastus medialis,
and tibilais anterior. I know their names, because I made Alex teach them to me
so that I may swear at them properly when they start to hurt. I am always
polite to the body parts I insult. Don't stretch
before. Stretching before is 90s gym coach theory and it's just plain wrong.
Your muscles are getting accustomed to movement, so some pain is normal.
Stretch AFTER a run, to keep yourself loose, and avoid sitting on your ass for
hours after a run; move around a normal amount. Take rest days during which you
stretch or do some yoga. Don't add too much distance too quickly. (Add about 5
minutes to your workout at a time, and don't add more than 10 minutes to your
workout in less than a week's time. Go for time, not distance, when you're just
Why are hills assholes? One cannot run down a hill comfortably in shoes or
uphill without wheezing and straining. Assholes. They're
assholes because they love you and want you to be strong. For now, walk hills.
As your breathing gets easier, you'll be able to run them without a problem.
Some tips: when you run UP, use your arms like you're pulling a rope. When
running DOWN, lean forward into the angle of the hill, don't try to lean back.
Parking lots are flat, but also exceedingly boring. I must figure out a way to
make them entertaining. Why the hell are you
running in parking lots?! No wonder running is so painful. Talk about boring.
Go park at a library or other public building that has some nice sidewalks and
run there. Use google maps to figure out your route before you go.
Dogs under the age of five judge you on your pace.
Dogs are assholes.
Running with your firefighter boyfriend is not a good way to determine a decent
pace. Especially when he is 6'4" and you are 5'7". (ok, fine
5'6.5") An "easy" run should be at a
pace that you can talk during. A "hard" run means you can only get a
few words out and you're annoyed to be talking. Also, consider doing intervals.
Run for a minute, walk for a minute, etc, for 30 minutes total. That way you're
not expecting your body to just know how to run out of the blue. Intervals are
freaking life savers.
Letting said boyfriend tell you that he will match your pace and
believing him, because honestly, he is going to look like an injured gazelle,
still graceful, yet obviously stinted by something, that something being you,
and you will most likely end up feeling like a stubby-legged warthog, trying to
escape a pride of lions; out of breath, sweaty, smelly, and suddenly aware that
you could be dying at any second. (See above breathing rhythm issues, thus
feeling of dying.) One day you'll be able to run
with him. I like running with Matt because our paces are similar even if our
strides aren't. I take two steps for his every one. Give it time; you'll get
there. For now, maybe don't run with him because it's discouraging. Maybe he
could bike or skateboard while you run, and he can go out ahead and come back a
Why can I walk correctly at a 20-inch step, and then when I start
running, cannot expand past what feels like a choppy jog, a fully reduced
stride? Again, I shall refer to this as a warthog run. Proper
form means you shouldn't be LEAPING. You want your steps to be small but quick.
If you're listening to a metronome (go download an app pronto), a
"normal" runner runs at 160 BPM. An efficient runner runs at 180.
Small steps, fast cadence.
Dirty rap songs are motivating in a disturbing way. While I do not agree with
how you treat your bitches and hoes (hos?), your deep bass and caustic rhyming
keep me going, until my lungs refuse. DMX Party Up
is like, my favorite running song. Other weird music habits: sad 90s ballads
and musicals. If you know ALL the lyrics and can sing along and zone out, the
run is a lot more fun.
Remember death metal is scary at night. DO NOT LISTEN TO IT ANYMORE FUTURE
SELF. Only in car rides. While holding hands. During the day. Also no scary audiobooks.
When can I qualify myself as a runner? The minute
you decided to try, put shoes on, and got out the door. Opinions differ on
this, but I think I considered myself a runner when it became something I
NEEDED in my life in order to feel fulfilled and complete.
Will you be my fairy"running"godmother? Is that too forward of an
awkward question? I'm honored and humbled to accept
this awkward and forward request. Do I get a wand?
was your biggest obstacle when you first began running?
did you become a runner?
words of wisdom would you offer Caryn, and other newbies?