Running has been a part of my life for the last decade or so. At first it was something I did in the middle of the night to try to take off baby weight. Later it was something I did to try to improve my health. Around seven years ago, I started running in 5k races at the gym on our base. Every month they would hold a race, usually completely free. If you ran three you would get a water bottle, five a shirt, and ten a gym bag. Over the years I ran dozens, not always making it every month, but most months I was there ready to waddle away with the crowd. Due to horrible record keeping, I didn’t get my shirt for several years, but I still enjoyed the feeling of the race. I was never anywhere close to winning, but I was a part of the race and that was all that mattered. Eventually I moved onto longer distances, distances that required me to actually train.
Unfortunately I am horrible at training. I love the race, but I hate the buildup. It’s the only area where foreplay is a bad thing.
It’s not just the anticipation, or extreme hours of training required to prepare for a marathon. It’s also the many mistakes I tend to make along the way. From my mediocre amount of experience (dozens of 5k’s, two 10k’s, a 13k, four half marathons, and two marathons) here are a few things I’ve learned can help to make the least out of your running experience. While many of them are things I went through personally, many are not my personal mistakes. To save my dignity, I refuse to tell which is which.
1) Wear ill-fitting clothing
Make certain nothing fits right. Your shoes should be too small, your pants too big, and your shirt too short. Bonus points are given for improper underwear. Try the scraggy old ones with the elastic going out, or maybe the thong that is a little small and was only purchased to be taken off. Make sure to stop to adjust your clothing often, especially when a nun happens to be riding silently behind you on her bike. It won’t be at all embarrassing.
2) Forget to hydrate
Water really isn’t that essential to a bad run. In fact water can make a run better. Hydration means no relaxing rests where you pass out along the road. Try a nice carbonated soda instead. The bubbles in your stomach can only be a good thing.
3) Run long distances on an empty stomach
Exercise on an empty stomach means more fat to burn, and running longer distances means more calories burned. I read it in a fashion magazine, so it must be true, right?
4) Use Cheetos as mid-run fuel
Of course you start the long run on an empty stomach, but you might need a pick me up part way through. The combination of salt, fat and cheese powder will likely combine to become some sort of rocket fuel in your stomach.
5) Plan your runs with zero regard for neighborhood patterns
So the elderly neighbor checks his mail every day, rain or shine at 6 am wearing nothing but a trench coat. So the number of buttons closed has varied greatly each morning. So he recently started bringing his large, unleashed, and aggressive dog out to check the mail with him. That is no reason to change your run schedule. I’m sure this morning will be different.
6) Disregard training schedules
Maybe you have never run a full mile. That doesn’t mean today isn’t the day to try a marathon. It’s just running. No big deal.
7) Carefully plan your running time allotted in your schedule-then exceed it
Your job interview is at 1 o’clock and it is 12:30. There is still time for a 30 minute run, right? You don’t really need to shower first, it’s alright. If they are runners, they will understand.
8) Grab a family member’s ipod instead of your own
Not everyone runs with music, but for those who do, it is an essential part of their routine. But any old music will be fine. It doesn’t have to be the carefully planned running playlist you worked for months to perfect. Accidently grabbing your daughter’s boy band filled ipod, or spouses death metal will work just as well. Music is music.
9) Run injured or sick
Running through an injury or illness is a way to your body who is boss. It is not a matter of safety that requires rest like that quack of a doctor says. Run through the pain. Vomit in your neighbors begonias and then finish your miles. Any run is better than no run.
10) Stay on the couch
You know what? Just forget the whole running thing. Those cute running clothes look better without the sweat. Plop down on the couch and have a Netflix marathon instead. A marathon is a marathon. No one needs to know yours was with the television.
For anyone who to the bottom of this list and was still not aware, this is a joke. I do not actually recommend any of these as a way to achieve health, wellness, or happiness. (Well, maybe a family member’s music. They might have better taste than you do.) If you are going to run, consult a doctor, run safely, and listen to your own body. Everyone is different and has different needs for their body. Follow your own needs. Don’t blame me if you missed the joke. And above all, don’t try to sue me. I warned you it was a joke, and I don’t have anything worth suing for anyway.
I also do not technically have a personal issue with Cheetos. I have probably said more rude things about them over the years than they have said about me. Again, I have nothing worth suing for. If you have read this list you know my dignity is long gone.