Oct 14, 2010

Runners Book of Awesome

My article in the August issue of iRun Magazine.

The Runners' Book of Awesome

Running is awesome. And we’re lucky as runners, because we have our own world of wonderful happenings and moments that are just part of the experience. So inspired by The Book of Awesome - a book of simple, brilliant everyday things - here are a few of them:

A Tail Wind

You’re three-quarters of the way through your long run; you’re zonked and have been out of liquids for a while. It has been such a tough morning that you’re praying you’ll have enough energy left to make it home. Please, oh please. You turn east onto the long homestretch - feet almost dragging now - but wait, great beards of Zeus! There’s a tail wind! It’s a 15-20 k.p.h. breeze coming from the north-east-east. (Yep, just five minutes a day of the Weather Network has made you a freakin’ meteorologist.) It’s as if Mother Nature herself has looked down upon you and said “there, there tiny struggling runner, allow my soothing hand to gently push you the rest of the way home.” You happily comply, because the feeling of the wind upon your back as you run is like having another gear. AWESOME

Pace Bunnies

The rest of the world is missing out. How cool would it be if there were pace bunnies in our everyday lives? Okay, I’m going to the mall and am not going to spend too much money, because I’m following the $75 bunny. There’s a big assignment due at work, but it’s no problem, I’ve got the high productivity bunny. But really it’s what they do for us at races. Adorning their crazy ears like some valiant knight’s helmet, leading us fearlessly onward to the promised land of a PB. These wonderful folks are like something out of a storybook. Step aside Santa, move over Tooth Fairy, thanks for coming out Easter Bunny, there are some new sheriffs in town. Bless you, pace bunnies, you are…AWESOME

The Superstar Treatment

If a runner friend asks you what you did yesterday and you tell them you ran 15k, don’t expect accolades. If you’re lucky, you might get the nod of approval, but beware, they could also one-up you by saying something like: “nice, I ran, too - 18k.” What the heck? I did 15k, give me something!
If you really want the superstar treatment, you have to tell a casual friend or co-worker who is obliious to our world. The kind of person who thinks a long run is from the driveway to the house when it’s raining. When you tell him you did 15k, he will truly be in awe. “Whoa, 15k is crazy! How far is that?” “It’s 15 k-i-lo- m-e-t-r-e-s” you can coolly reply. And the stunned look on his face will tell you he still can’t grasp the magnitude of your monumental achievement. It’s as if Superman himself is standing in his presence. Yes, that is a more appropriate response. You are a superstar! Thank you non-runner friends, we appreciate your lack of knowledge on the subject. AWESOME

New Gear

The magnificent aroma of new shoes; that soft feel of new shorts on your butt; your new watch that can satellite track you down to the centimetre even if you’re running on Mars. Seriously, is there anything better than getting new gear? In the old days, like a decade ago, you’d run in cotton and by 20 minutes in your shirt would weigh a gazillion pounds. Now, clothing is made from tiny space microbes from a distant galaxy that gather your sweat and launch it from your body with tiny catapults. And the second you get something new you can’t wait to run just so you can take it for a test drive. You can easily spot other runners who are sporting new stuff as well, and not just from the blinding gleam of their white shoes. Their run has an eerily similar look to a model on a catwalk, plus the little spins at every corner are a dead giveaway. And that’s just the guys! AWESOME

Courteous Drivers

Unless you do every single run on a treadmill or live so remotely in the Rockies that the only gridlock you experience is from a herd of elk, then at some point you have to make like Frogger (that awesome ’80s video game hero) and deal with the chaos of our road ways. Dodging and weaving traffic, coupled with some fist shaking and swearing, can be an all-too-familiar occurrence for many of us. Yet for every cell phone-using, race-car-driving wannabe behind the wheel, there are many more drivers who are courteous and respectful. Whether it’s the oncoming vehicle who switches lanes entirely to give you ample room - in case you need to flail your arms about, or need a wide berth to reach for your water belt or gel - or the guy at the stop sign who sees you, makes eye contact and gives the friendly wave to proceed. That’s right mini-van, I see you, seeing me, seeing you. Oh, why thank-you, I will mosey on. AWESOME

Crossing the Finish Line

Been there? Enough said. If not, you really should experience a race day, because it’s awesome to the power of, you guessed it...AWESOME