Thanksgiving is a day to reflect on all the reasons we are grateful. As I ran this morning, I started thinking about all the ways I’m thankful as a runner, especially at this point in history. Here’s my top six:
I like data. A lot. The ability to wear a little watch to gather an insane amount of information is mind-blowing to me. The Garmin (or Apple Watch, Fitbit, etc.) captures time, distance, pace, heart rate, VO2 max, elevation, calories, cadence, and probably more. Then you can sync with Strava to get even more information about routes and records. The apps allow us to connect with people and form a community which brings me to…
I was about done with social media before I found the Sub-30 Club. I’ve talked about his many times in the blog and on the podcast. What Ted Spiker formed back in 2012 is something special. Ted had no idea he was starting a movement but that is what happened because of the common mission of the people who join which I think is summed up best with this line – No Subber Left Behind. Speed doesn’t matter in Sub-30 and it allowed me to finally figure out that I’m a runner. I’ve also connected with Team E4E (Endurance for Everyone which has a podcast hosted by John and Rob and that I highly recommend). If used in this way, social media brings us together in a whole new way. The best part is that I’ve become friends with many of the people and now my Facebook and Instagram feed is full of positive health and fitness posts versus a bunch of negativity. Oh, and if you need a kick in the rear, there is always someone to do that and they will be the first to give you a virtual hug too.
Body Glide/Two Toms
As a fat guy, I’m especially thankful for these miracles of modern science that prevent chafing and blisters. I know chafing can happen to everyone, regardless of weight because of the friction of clothing, so runners of all sizes are likely happy to have this stuff around. So much cleaner and less gross than Vaseline.
Free Training Plans and Advice
Seriously, you could train for any distance at any fitness level and never spend a dime on a training plan. The information available online is insane. You can get an app to tell you what to do and when to do it. There is definitely a time and place for a coach. However, this free information can get you started or allow those without the means to benefit from expert advice. And join the groups on social media to help point you in the right direction. The one thing here is to be careful with injury and crowd sourcing advice on how to treat yourself. Take the free advice but listen to your body and get help when you need it.
The Women’s Running Movement
I love Meb. We have some crazy talented male runners trying to break a 2-hour marathon. But, the women are where it is at! Shalane winning New York. The three badass women in Rio, including Shalane, crushing it. Women making up the majority of so many big races. The positive attitude and tactical methods employed by the elite women are something the men just haven’t figured out, at least in the United States. In my running groups, the women are just amazing, and I learn more from them than the men. Sorry boys, it is true. Maybe this has always been and I’m just noticing. If I’m late to the game, that is ok because I’m just happy to witness it now!
I’ve been listening to podcasts for over a decade. I love them, and the explosive growth of the medium is exactly what runners need. Podcasts can teach you so much about running, mental toughness, weight loss, or any other subject you want to learn about. You are passionate about blue running short’s impact on running in heat on odd days in the town of French Lick, you can probably find a podcast. True crime, history, comedy, whatever your interest, there is a podcast. Even a husband and wife talking about a journey to weight loss, health, and, hopefully, happiness.