The Non-Runner’s Guide to Running
|April 11, 2011||Posted by Christina under Guest Posts, Running|
I think by now it’s pretty apparent that I’m a crazy runner. I love talking about running just as much as I love actually doing it. And while I try to place all the blame for how I turned out on my parents (who are crazy runners themselves), the truth is that I really only have myself to blame. You see, there are four girls in the HOTR family, and of the four of us, I’m the only one who has fallen off the deep-end.
So what happened to the others? What was it like for a non-runner to grow up in a running-obsessed family?? Hell, I’m sure… (haha just kidding Mom & Dad ). Over the years, I think you learn to adapt. And with enough time, you can sort of trick yourself into becoming a runner.
Just ask my sister. Today, she is here to share her secrets with her second guest post. For all of you out there who hate running, or don’t consider yourself a runner, this post is for you!
I am not a runner. Running and I have always had a love/hate relationship. There are days when I wake up and excitedly think, “I am going to run today!!” (Which in all reality happens once a month. Maybe). And on those days I run with a smile, breathing in deeply and thinking about how amazing running feels. And then there are days (most of them) when I know I should go running, but it takes every ounce of my will to drag myself out there. And on those days, I trudge along hating every minute of running. (Cue gasps of outrage from blog readers.) I know what you are all thinking: “Umm…doesn’t she know that this is a running blog?” and “This girl must be lazy. She doesn’t know the true joy of running.” I know, seriously. The second one may be true.
Nonetheless, growing up in a running family basically means that you will be running whether you like it or not.
“Oh, you want to stay up until midnight on New Year’s Eve? Okay, well then you better run a mile in under 12 minutes!”
(Let it be known that I was 9 years old at the time…)
Some of my earliest memories are of races, family runs and wearing an embarrassing t-shirt to my 5th grade class that read: “Running’s the Drug, I’m the Addict.” Yes…running is “in my blood” and I can’t seem to be able to escape it.
So what’s a non-runner to do when she knows she needs to run? Well have no fear! Over the past 17 or so years that I have been running, I have developed a (not so much) fail-proof guide to running. It would be selfish of me to keep these amazing techniques a secret, so I have decided to share them in the hopes that non-runners everywhere can experience the joys of running, fooling runners around us into thinking we are “one of them.”
That’s me on the left, leaping running alongside my sister during the National Marathon
The Non-Runner’s Guide to Running
Tactic #1: Have something more important to do and then use running as a procrastination tool.
Yes it may be more important to finish that big project for work or your entire master’s thesis, but when there is a deadline on the horizon I always feel as though it is the perfect time for a run! Sure you may get fired, or not graduate, but trust me, you will have your best run when you are “running away” from a bigger responsibility.
Tactic #2: Tell yourself horrible things will happen if you do not keep running.
Scenario: I’m running along and I am exhausted. I must have gone at LEAST 10 miles by now. Okay, so in reality it’s more like 3, but it feels like 10. I want to give up, but instead my terrible motivational thoughts kick in! “Christina, do you see that dog in that yard? That dog will DIE if you do not finish your run!” This gives me a few minutes of renewed energy. I will not be the cause of that dog’s death!! This lasts for about ½ mile until my renewed energy slips away. You know what? That dog looked really old…it has lived a happy life… the dog’s the one being selfish…making me keep running…I think it’s fine if I stop. Every dog’s gotta die sometime you know! Maybe it would have worked better if my threat had been about a child instead…
Tactic #3: Threaten yourself.
When threats against innocent, but random dogs stop working, you know it’s time to turn the threats on yourself. “You know what Christina, this is it. If you do not finish this run you are not eating ice cream tonight. Seriously. If you do not earn the dessert than you do not get the dessert!” Nothing is a more serious threat to me than my ice cream. I need to eat it every night to feel as though my night is complete. Therefore, this threat really gets me going for a bit. I just bought a new carton of cake batter ice cream and you better believe I’ll be scooping myself a big bowl tonight. I’m really going now. I might even be chanting “run for the ice cream, run for the ice cream” in my head. But then the other voice in my head kicks in, “Okay so you’re totally going to eat that ice cream tonight, even if you stop. I mean, who is really going to stop you?” I try to tell the voices to shut up, but I know they’re right. I mean, my parents should have made me a t-shirt that said, “Ice Cream’s the Drug, I’m the Addict.” It would have been a lot more accurate. Who am I kidding, nothing can keep me away.
Tactic # 4: Make up magical scenarios in your head.
When my sisters and I were little we had a mile running loop that went around our neighborhood. Our parents would send us off on a run and we would make sure to tie our shoes as loosely as possible so that we’d be forced to stop and tie our shoes at least 10 times along the way. Lauren and I also came up with “magical leaves” to get our younger sister to keep running. We told her that whenever she felt tired running, all she had to do was reach up and grab some leaves from a tree. Then, when she squeezed the leaves over her head their magic would enter her and she would get tons of energy to keep on running! This same tactic still works when you’re 25, trust me. Magic’s real, right?? If there are no leaves in sight, maybe a stick will work. Grab a stick from the ground and poke yourself with it, letting its magic enter into you. Pokes may by needed every mile or so, as the magic tends to not be long-lasting. Yes, people might look at you like you’re inane, but trust me, the magic works.
So there you have it. Four tactics that, when used correctly, will have people thinking you are a runner in no time! No need to thank me, just make sure to pass them along to other non-runners in need.