Tuesday, March 4, 2014

10 RUNNING THINGS FOR SPRING

I'm making this vow: No more posts about record cold, snow, the Polar Vortex, icy, below zero wind chills, or ice sculptures.

Instead, I would like to offer my list of 10 things runners should do in the spring. (Which is 16 days away)

1. GET OUT-Many of us have been homebound due to, well you know, so get off that treadmill, shake off the cobwebs, and enjoy the great outdoors again.

2. GET SOME SOUL-Returning to the outdoors with a new pair of shoes. It just doesn't get much better than that. A new ride may be just what you need. I just ordered a pair of orange Nikes. It's always fun to send some shock and awe through the minds of the locals, and an colorful pair of shoes will do just that.

3. PLAN-If you intend to run a marathon in 2014, plan now. There are many great marathons out there, but the good ones fill up fast. Register now, set up your marathon training schedule, and get ready to rock the 'thon in the autumn months.

4. BE SELECTIVE-Yes, run every race you can. Support small local races, and attend mega-races. But...select races, of varying distances, where you want to make a statement to yourself. Go for that 5K or half marathon PR. That's not going to happen at every race, so rest, taper, and be selective.

5. HIT THE TRACK-We all love the roads and trails, but speedwork is a necessary evil. As soon as you can, try to turn in a weekly track workout. You will become a faster runner, and #4 above will be more easily attained.

6. BE AN ATHLETIC SUPPORTER-Support those local kids who are participating in track and field. There are no Friday Night Lights for them. Cheer for the first and last finishers. Stick around and watch the end of the pole vault competition. Show the kids that others, who do what they do, appreciate their hard work. Volunteer to work a track meet, or use your expertise to coach or advise.

7. YOU'RE A SUPERSTAR, SO BE AN ACTIVIST-You are a big shot in your community. People see you out there on the roads, and, believe it or not, they admire you. Use your influence to advocate for the construction of running trails, promoting local running events, or starting running clubs or organizations.

8. INDULGE-Go on, try a mud run, see if you can handle an electrified fence, participate in a trail run, a beer run, or anything else crazy or off-beat out there. You only live once, so try it all.

9. ENJOY FRIENDS-I detest running alone. My friend, Brian Tonitis used to say, "Some people sit in a coffee shop or a bar to laugh and tell stories. We do it while we run." Friends can make you laugh. They can be your counselors, and they make you a better runner. Enjoy their company on the roads, whenever you can.

10. RUN EVERYWHERE-Run the mountains, run the beach. Run on islands and peninsulas. Run through thick forests, near lakes, and along rivers. There are so many places to run and so little time.