Make it Interesting. . .But Stay Alive! from Average_Jbob's blog

For some, running can be a tedious affair. . .trying to put a few miles on your running shoes, for some, can turn into a mind numbing loop of internal dialogue that goes a little something like:

"What am I doing?  I don't feel like I'm very good at this. . .so why am I doing it?  Isn't that new show out now?  I could be watching that!  My legs hurt.  My feet hurt.  I should probably turn back now, I bet I've gone a long. . .IT'S ONLY BEEN 5 MINUTES?"

Unless you're extremely good at self motivation (and if you are I really don't want to hear from you), then you will probably need a way of distracting yourself FROM yourself while you run!  A good trick is a nice set of headphones and an upbeat playlist!  Select all your favorite songs. . .ones that make you want to move, probably not love ballads unless you are trying for some slow-paced ZONE 2 runs (slow jog / fast walk).  For added variety, make sure you put that playlist on SHUFFLE so you don't know what song is next.  Doing this will help motivate you to keep moving AND occupy your brain with something other than what things you COULD be doing or how badly you might think you hurt!  Make sure to overload your playlist with more songs than you could possibly hear during the time you plan on running. . .having songs left un-played can help motivate you to run again just to hear them!

If music is not your thing OR your playlist is getting stale. . .then give PodCasts a try!  Sometimes I find that I might get behind on my favorite PodCasts because I'm too occupied during the day to be able to listen. . .so I catch up by listening while I run!  Sure, it might make me look like a crazy person if I burst out laughing while running at night, but at least I'm getting the miles in I need AND having fun while doing it!  Just try not to laugh so hard you actually pull a muscle!

Audio Books can be a great choice as well!  It's along the same lines as the PodCast suggestion, but it comes with the added benefit that you can pretend like you actually still make time to READ!  Sure, someone else is doing the actual reading, but your buddies in Book Club don't need to know that!  Book Clubs are still a thing, right?  BOOKS are still a thing, right?

Make it a way of connecting to friends!  You can simply use a running app like Garmin Connect (if you have a Garmin running device), Nike Run Club+, MapMyRun, or one of many others to keep track of your miles and routes.  Most of them have ways to connect to friends who are using the same app to compare runs with.  Getting plugged into a social group, even if it's only to compare stats, can help motivate you to keep going.  You're in this together!

Make running a game!  Yes, a game!  I know of one good example because I use it. . .it's an app called Zombies, Run!  It's basically an episodic Radio Drama in which you play the part of Runner 5. . .Think of it as a Walking Dead type thing where you are part of group of survivors who need 'Runners' to go out into the wasteland to look for supplies.  Each Episode is one of YOUR actual runs. . .as you run you will get updates from your survivors camp about where you are going (character wise) and what they need you to find. . .just run your normal route and enjoy listening to the show. . .and occasionally you will get warned that you need to pick up your pace because a group of zombies are closing in on you!  I suggest running at night since it heightens the fun!    No, I don't get paid by Zombies, Run! to tell you about it (unless they would like to. . .I AM open to it!). . .it's just a fun app I've been using once a week or two in order to change things up!

Explore your neighborhood / city. . .I have found that by running around my city I've actually discovered places that I NEVER would have known about by simply driving around. . .little shops, parks, statues, strangely painted bear statues, perfectly good bear statues that have been covered in a bizarre way that seems to scream 'this is why we can't have nice things!'. . .and actual wildlife.  In my case, I've seen lots of squirrels, rabbits, dogs, raccoons, possums, coyotes, and the occasional fox.  Most of these have been at night.

Whatever you do to help distract your mind from the discomfort and monotony running can be known for, DO keep mindful of your surroundings. . .especially if you are running in a city.  Remember this simple equation: Car + Runner = Car.  I cannot tell you how often I've seen drivers exiting parking lots and not even touching the brakes until they've crossed the sidewalk and started to nudge into the street.  DO NOT assume that they will see you running along the sidewalk or road. . .chances are good that they WILL NOT even be looking!  So make sure you are looking for them!  Just this past weekend I was running at night on a sidewalk that passes a huge parking lot outside of several stores.  This particular parking lot has the GREAT luxury of a HIGH retaining wall with brush at the top that keeps the parking lot somewhat secluded from the busy street it boarders.  Since it was at night I had the good fortune of seeing the sidewalk in front of me suddenly light up as I approached a break in the retaining wall where cars could enter and exit the parking lot SECONDS before I was going to be stepping onto that same patch of sidewalk and was able to abruptly pull up to a stop RIGHT as a car that was exiting cruised over the sidewalk and onto the street before it stopped, completely blocking the sidewalk. . .the driver was looking to her left the entire time trying to see if traffic was clear so she could turn right and never once bothered to look in my direction, where she would have seen a pasty-white middle aged man wondering what it would be like to become a hood ornament!  She never once thought that it might be a good idea to come to a stop BEFORE crossing over the sidewalk. . .or to look and make sure she wasn't about to commit vehicular manslaughter!  The first time she noticed me was when I said, "Excuse me ma'am, but you almost hit me" in what I like to think was a calm voice, but was probably squeaky and shrill from shear terror!  Please remember that even though you DO have the right away as a pedestrian. . .yield that right away to cars that you do NOT make eye contact with, and slow down when you're about to enter areas with little to no sight lines for traffic. . .it's really in your best interest!

So, distract your mind. . .but not so greatly that you lose track of your surroundings!  Be safe out there, have fun, and stay alive to run some more! 


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By Average_Jbob
Added Jun 18 '18



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