Run tomorrow. And the next day. And the next.
Run for love and life and passion. I don’t care if you hate running and think it is the stupidest thing on planet earth. Just run. Because you are alive.
Then, run a race. You can walk 5K. Do it because you can. Find a race near you in the next week or three and pin on that number and run.
Tell others you are running. Ask them to join. Run for health and better living. Run because right now there is someone who wants to but literally cannot. Run to feel better physically and mentally
Run to show the violent that there are not enough bombs in the world to stop you. Run to remember those killed today, and to show those injured that you will not forget them. Run to show the bombers that they will never win. Ever.
Run for Boston.
"Never underestimate the power that one good workout will have on your mind. Keeping the dream alive is half the battle. "
In case you can’t guess… I did my whole run with a pebble stuck under the ball of my foot. RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE!!!!
Also: This applies to life. Sometimes, once you fix the little problems, you realize they were actually the big problems all along.
"Truly, I love running. It’s who I am. It’s a part of me. Even if I can only run for 10 minutes, I feel whole and happy. And if everything else is falling to pieces, I go for a run, and I feel like things are going to be okay. "
"Without running, I would have missed the joy of rain. What could be considered an inconvenience or a bummer to the inexperienced is actually a gift. Without running, I would miss a lot of things—like seeing cities in a certain way, or knowing certain people all the way to the core. I’m glad we don’t experience life through glass, under cover, or from the sidelines. Good things take miles. "
"At first I was running just to lose weight, and then after about six months when I was increasing the distance of my long runs, I was intrigued and fascinated how the human body can go from barely able to run a mile to being able to run eight miles. "
if you live in the New England area and want to run the Spartan, they are have a $50 sale.
I filmed a video of my run. It was so pretty that I went back (just for you guys) and ran it again.
I took a few 1 minute videos I’m going to string together and post shortly. I hope you’ll enjoy it! (I sure enjoyed running it twice!)
I would suggest you look into a running club. They are usually really knowledgeable about places you can run that are safe and they usually do group runs you can join in on. Safety in numbers.
Look into getting some pepper spray. Here in Massachusetts, you need a firearms permit to carry mace, but it’s not difficult to get. It would be worth your while if safety is a concern.
Stay safe and be smart! Always run during daylight hours, always carry ID and a few dollars cash and always let someone know where you’ll be running (how far, what path and how long you expect it to take.)
If you live alone, text a friend and tell them your running route/plan. Let them know you’ll text them when you get back and if they don’t hear from you by a certain time to try to get in contact with you or to call the police.
Well, HI! :D
Thank you! I hope I can impart some of my enthusiasm to you!
I did a big long write-up on running. I called it the unofficial guide to running and you can find it here.
There was a time, a moment really, when I figured out what changed. When I went from hating running to loving running: it was when I realized what my surroundings were. I went from running in a boring, normal, neighborhood in the suburbs to running on the roads of a rural town with cranberry bogs, farms with sheep, llamas, horses, lakes, ponds, paths leading off into the woods every 1/4 mile or so and parks and trails everywhere. I am completely surrounded by stunning natural beauty. And the scents are overwhelming! Honeysuckle, lilies, wisteria, paperwhites… the list goes on. We have endangered lady slippers growing like it was no big thing. There is one corner of my run where if there is one lady slipper… there are 100. A field of endangered flowers. It’s unbelievable. Rock formations, moss, butterflies, dragonflies, (also horseflies and deer flies… those jerks. Those bitey, poop monkeys. I hate them…)
Every time I step outside I am blown away by nature and all her beautiful glory.
Now, not everyone has this opportunity (and I promise, I appreciate what I have extra for you guys. I appreciate enough for an army of middle-city people) But you can seek out parks. And maybe even some places you would never expect to be beautiful. I took my bike on a short 15 mile ride and found the water treatment plant… it was STUNNING!!! It was tucked behind an ugly old gate. It’s an old mason work building sitting on a corner of a lake I didn’t even know was there. Mosses and ivy crawling everywhere. And behind it… more paths through beautiful trees and gardens than I thought could possibly fit.
Once I stopped running with music I realized just how many people near me own chickens. Oh my! And geese! I didn’t realize there was enough room in some of those seemingly tiny yards to house farm animals. But… appearances can be deceiving. And whoa! What do you know? An old cemetery! COOL! And hey… there’s an aviary menagerie like a mile from my house. And… WHAT!!?? A forge? A FORGE!!!!
There are tons of things to find. It’s the coolest treasure hunt ever. You can quite literally RUN YOUR TOWN. You will find nooks and crannies you never knew existed.
If those things don’t make you want to run, I don’t know what will. It can be a goal. My first goal was to run 10 miles… so I could run to my double lakes and back. I wanted so desperately to run to that lake road. The lake was the reward. The view. The scenery. Running by the people fishing, the people on motorcycles who stop to stand on the tiny beach.
So, go on google, look at the map of the areas surrounding where you live. Look for parks. Look for green spots on the map. Ask friends who live around you. You’d be surprised what can be hiding behind an old building. Ask your local farmers market. Ask if there are any vineyards or old corn fields you can run through.
It’s your time to spend alone with your thoughts. Nothing but your own head. Anything you want to think about. No interruptions. No distractions. No phone ringing. No texts binging. No mail to open, bills to pay or games to play. Just you and the beautiful, gorgeous, perfect open road.
Do it because it’s the closest you will ever come to flying. Because you are flying. Make airplane noises. Fart and pretend it’s a speed boost (… … … I’m totally guilty of this. Tell no one…)
So many reasons to love running. I am rereading this and realizing you may think I am romanticizing it. I’m not. It really is that beautiful. Anything can be beautiful if you allow it to be.
"A sprint is not so much a speed as it is a sound. You know when you’re approaching it from the way your shoes hit the ground, the way your breath beats and jiggles, the swish of flat hands chopping the air. Speed is relative, but effort always sounds the same. "
"It’s a treat being a runner, out in the world by yourself with not a soul to make you bad-tempered or tell you what to do. "
I think many people who run are intimidated by the idea of calling themselves a runner. Like somehow they believe they aren’t fast enough, don’t train hard enough or don’t enter enough (or any) races to be considered a “true runner.”
Well, guess what?
Being a runner is a lifestyle. It’s a state of being. It’s a state of mind.
If you run once a week, or twice a day.
If you are willing to brave the wind, rain and ice, or if you say “F it, I’m cross training today.”
If you run from your problems, to solve your problems, to forget your problems, or to come to grips with your problems…
If you run because you can’t cry unless you run, or because you can’t stop crying unless you run.
If you run for the distance, or you run for the speed.
If you run with a dog, with a friend or with your shadow.
If you run on a track, in the woods, on the road, or through farm fields.
If you run, you’re a runner.
Blood can paint an indelible portrait, as Alicia Follmar learned last spring. The Stanford runner was just over a lap into the first leg of the distance medley at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia when she was tripped accidentally from behind. She fell hard, and six or seven runners appeared to go straight over her.
What happened next was captured in unforgettable photos: Follmar got up quickly and regained her stride, while long streams of blood flowed down her face and neck. She had been spiked in the forehead, showed nasty abrasions up and down her right side and generally looked liked someone running in the Freddy Krueger Invitational.
As she powered her way from 10th to third over the remaining two laps, she ran into Internet-lauded fame. There’s far more to the two-event All-American than that one race, but no pictures of her are anywhere near as memorable.
“I wouldn’t say it was as bad as it looks … . I can’t say it really hurt, there was so much adrenaline,” says Follmar, now a senior. “There was a feeling that I had in my head—like a sensation in my head—so I felt my head with my hand and looked at it, and there was blood on it. At that point, I was already running. I kind of panicked, but I still kept running.” Stanford finished third.
All the best clichés—dedication, determination, tenacity—can be justified by that performance alone. But Follmar, a human biology major who is applying to dental schools, is intent on overachieving throughout her last year of running at Stanford. She was the women’s champion in the opening cross-country meet, the August 30 USF Invitational, serving immediate public notice that she has “big goals” for every event in which she competes. She hasn’t made a checklist of objectives that span the cross-country, indoor and outdoor seasons because, basically, she wants to do it all.
“I don’t really know what I want,” she says, thinking out loud. “I want to be All-American. I want [Stanford] to win a national championship again in cross-country. I just want to be one of the best in the nation.” Stanford has taken the title three years in a row.
Whatever Follmar accomplishes, it will be rooted in a fortitude that became conspicuous during high school in Saratoga, Calif. She was a sophomore when well-known Saratoga High track coach Marshall Clark collapsed and died at practice.
Clark, an assistant coach at Stanford from 1968 to 1978, was renowned for his leadership, and his impact on Follmar turned out to be profound and poignant. Debbie Follmar, Alicia’s mother, remembers how shaken her daughter was by Clark’s death. “She got on her cell phone,” she recalls, “and she was crying hysterically. I finally made out that Marshall had died, and I couldn’t believe it. Then I started crying, too.”
Six years later, Alicia Follmar remains conscious of how powerfully she was influenced by Clark’s life and death. “I’m not crying about it at night anymore and stuff like that. But it’s still, you know, on my mind… . It’s kind of nice to be able to run in his memory a little bit.”
After Clark died, says Follmar, the Saratoga High runners looked to each other for emotional support, and she found a strength and self-confidence that seemed almost new to her personality. Today, it is those qualities that define her in the minds of others.
“Committed is the word,” says Edrick Floreal, Stanford’s director of track and field. “There’s a level of commitment that goes toward her team and Stanford that is unparalleled.”
Follmar, 5-foot-10 with a big back kick, has run since she was very young, sometimes with her mother, who has logged six miles a day for 35 years. Alicia was a state champ in the 1,600 meters as a high schooler; at Stanford, she won All-America status in the indoor mile and distance medley relay as a junior.
If everything clicks, Follmar may have people talking about numerous athletic moments besides the Penn Relays exploits. The problem, though, is how rich in detail that one blood-streaked day is.
Consider this: one of her three older brothers is a plastic surgeon who was at the race. The family is still talking about how much he would have preferred to stitch up his sister’s spike wound instead of its being done by the podiatrist on duty. There’s also the dramatic residue. One lap of merely running, then two laps of courage.
“As much as I was unhappy that she got hurt,” says Floreal, “I was pleased that people could see what Alicia Follmar is like.”
I have no idea how fast I actually ran (I was having a shitty enough
day week that I left all my technology at home and just RAN) but I can say this: It felt fucking FAST. I absolutely shredded my lungs. I haven’t run this hard in a long, long time. Possibly not since I learned how to run…
I just ran like I forgot how to pace myself… I made it the whole damn way, too. Holy hell… that was fast.
I needed that. I feel clean.