Tag Archives: No Excuses

Running – R.U.T.S.

I am not currently in a running rut.  I enjoy it as much as always.  I am as motivated as always.  I look forward to getting out for that run as much as ever.  I have 5 races* on the training calendar.  I suffering from what I call R.U.T.S. however.  Running Under Time Stresses.   Most every runner suffers from this condition, the chief presenting symptoms of which are  difficulty fitting in that run for the day and the need to rearrange training schedules.

I see it as a good thing that I am having this problem.  For me, it means two things:  (1) Work is busy, which in my line of work is a good thing, and (2) I actually am anxious that I am having trouble finding the time to run.  If I was not anxious, I would be worried.  It would mean that I don’t have the motivation to continue to get out there and run.  Luckily, that is not a problem at this point, especially with those 5 races down the road.

When suffering from RUTS, the picture above explains the cure perfectly.  When you don’t have time to run, make time.  Most everyone has at least an extra 30 minutes a day.  For me, that generally includes taking my luch time to get a run in, or a late night treadmill run for my wife, or a mid-afternoon work break for a couple of my co-workers.  On weekends, finding the time for those long runs can be more difficult.  This weekend, it involves arriving at an out of town meeting a few hours early and finding a local running route for an 8 miler.  Finding creative ways to fit in that next run is part of the fun of it.  Just like life, it wouldn’t be nearly as interesting if everything fit neatly into a predetermined schedule.  Easier?  Sure.  More fun?  Probably not.

For that reason, I try not to complain too much when I am having trouble fitting in that run.  If that is the worst problem of my day, then I can call it a good day.  However, that Dumbo Double Dare is less than 60 days away, so making that time is becoming more important.  

*5 Races:  Dumble Double Dare (Disneyland), Mill Race Half Marathon(Columbus, IN), Southernmost Half Marathon (Key West, FL), Louisville Sports Commission Half Marathon (Louisville, KY), Walt Disney World 10K+Marathon.

Don’t Let Hurdles Get In Your Way . . .

Overcoming Hurdles

“Overcoming” Hurdles

This picture says a lot.  I saw it in the Daily Morning Awesomeness today.  It pretty much sums up how I feel at some of the half marathons I run. You know, the non-massive halves made up of predominately faster runners.

A few miles into the race, you notice there are not too many people behind you.  In those with out-and-backs, you start passing the masses on their way back to the finish line.  They are bounding like gazelles being chased by a leopard, while I had long since been devoured.

However, this picture says more than that.  The lagging runner has knocked over four hurdles.  He did not quit after the first or the second.  He kept going through the third and fourth, and looks to be well on his way to taking out the last three.  Heck, it doesn’t even look ylike he broke stride.

He is on the track, rather than being relegated to the sidelines or bleachers.  I feel my running is kind of like this guy.   I made the choice to get off the sidelines and step down from the bleachers.  I am not the fastest runner, or even close.  However, for almost two years, my wife and I have faced several hurdles to our running:  Busy work life, injury, kids’ activities, weather, laziness, etc.  Yet, we have not let those hurdles derail our running or our goals.    They have slowed us down a step here or there, but we have not let them stop us.

Such is running, such is life.  Both throw hurdles your way.  How you deal with them determines your outcome.  Do you give up after the first, or do you charge through to see what’s on the other side?  I hope I can be like the guy in the picture and punish those suckers along the way. . .

The Beauty Of A Winter Run

Let's run that way. . .

Let’s run that way. . .

I cannot tell you how hard it was to go out for our long run this weekend.   This was our first long run since the Walt Disney World Marathon, and it could not have been more opposite, weather-wise. Then, it was sunny with temps in the low 80s.  This time?  Temps in the low 20s.  Cloudy.  Windy.  Light snow blowing.  However, after my last post,  we couldn’t skip this one.  I am glad we didn’t.  It turned out to be one of the more beautiful runs I had been on, in a cold sort of way.  

We tried to pick a road that would not have too much traffic due to the fact that snow covered parts of the roads.  It is one thing to have to get into the grass to make room for a car.  It is quite another to jump into a slushy snow pile.  We decided on a road outside of town where the river had just receded.  It turned out to be a good choice.  There were only a few cars along our way.  Surely more more than one of them wondered about our sanity. 

Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Cranes

The landscape was gorgeous.  The sound of the sandhill cranes filled the air.  The horses came out of their barn to see those crazy people running down the half snow-covered road. The snow added so much to the beauty of the run.  I felt so lucky to be able to be there in that moment with the opportunity to enjoy that view.  Yes, it was a harsh winter’s day.  But it was one filled with beauty, and a bit of slush in our shoes.  Each of these pictures was taken along our route.  I am glad we walked out that door.

Checking on us

Checking on us

River Receeding

River Receding

Winter Beauty

Winter Field

It’s A Lovely Day For A Run

Photo Credit: KiG (aka Er.We) via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: KiG (aka Er.We) via Compfight cc

Snow.  Wind chill in the single digits or worse.  Schools are closed.  But the sun is out, and the roads are clearing.  To Run Or Not To Run, that is the question.

The answer to that question may say a lot about you and why you run.  If you run to ease stress, and it has been a stressful week, then yes, it is a good day for a run.  If you run because you have made a commitment to get fit and be more healthy, then yes, it is a good day to run.  If you run for fun, then yes, it is a good day to run.  If you run because people say you can’t or shouldn’t, then yes, it is a good day for a run.  If you run because that marathon you completed last month really kicked your butt, and you want to see to it that it does not happen again, then yes, it is a good day for a run.

In fact, as I thought about it,  I could not come up with a good reason no to run, even on a day like today.  My mind had a counter argument for every excuse I could think of.  (Too cold!  Add layers, you’ll have a good running story to tell).  I suppose that means that my conversion is complete.  That, or I am just crazy.  Either way, it looks like a lovely day for a run.


Marathon Guy

Marathon Guy

The headline was blunt, yet effective:  “101 Year Old Man Retires From Running Marathons, Shaming You.”  Deadspin.com strikes again.  You can always count on them for a good headline, and this one did not disappoint.  This was not just another bait of a headline, with no substance to back it up.  After reading the story, I wouldn’t say I was shamed, but it did give me another reminder of how flimsy some of my excuses can be.

For example:  “I am too old for this.”  This guy STARTED running marathons at age 89.   He has completed 8 marathons. He still plans to run four hours a day in his “retirement.”

So, as I work my way back into training, it is stories like this that help along the way.  Every little bit helps.  From cool memes to “shame on you stories” on the internet, I will take my motivation where I can find it.  And this article, particularly the last paragraph, provided both a laugh and some shaming inspiration for the day. I’ll admit I have my doubts about his real age.  But does it really matter all that much?