On Running: Part One

As I’ve mentioned, I’d like to do a three-part series on running: The pros, the cons, and general tips for running.  I’ve been weighing my options, and I’ve decided to present the cons first (with my tips for how to overcome them).  I don’t want the last thing you read about running to be the bad parts about it, but you should know that it isn’t all rainbows and kittens.  Without further ado… The downside to running:

  • You’ll feel sore.  Probably a lot.  There are, unfortunately, very few days when I don’t feel sore.  I don’t have the answers to this, other than a foam roller does seem to make a huge difference.  It hurts while using it, and for a little bit afterward, but it seems like I have less soreness the following day.  I’m trying to get better at using it more religiously.  A caveat: I said you’ll feel sore.  If you feel actual pain--like need painkillers to get by pain–then rest, rest, rest.  Do not run through actual pain.
  • You might feel bad about yourself.  If you’re like me, you’ll have runs where you feel like you suck at it, that you’ll never get better, never lose weight, etc.  Recognize your feelings, but then shake it off as fast as you can.  Even if you never get faster than a 12 minute mile, even if you never lose a pound, you’re still doing something really good for yourself.  And if you keep pushing forward, you really can’t help but improve in some way.  That is the nature of things.
  • You’ll sweat.  It will be gross.  You’ll probably drip giant drops of sweat on your Android.  You’ll be afraid to sit down on your furniture before you shower.  Your sweat will make you stink.  But you know what?  Get over it.  As long as you’re drinking plenty of water, sweating isn’t going to hurt you.  Be proud of your sweat because it’s a sign that you’re getting out there and doing something awesome for yourself.
  • It’s a little time consuming.  You’ve gotta warm up, run, stretch, foam roller, shower… If you have somewhere to be, you’ll have to do something with your hair to make it look less like you’ve just gotten out of the shower.  All told, I make sure I have an hour or so in which to do all my running related stuff.  There are some days when I simply don’t have that hour, and then I just don’t run.  And that’s that.
  • A high percentage of runners get skin cancer.  This is a serious bummer.  This is something I should probably take far more seriously.  It’s really just a bridge I’ll cross when I get to it, I guess.  I’m a dumbass who doesn’t wear sunscreen.  I’ll kick myself later, I’m sure.  I’ll probably get angry comments, I’m sure.  But I’m a stick, and I love my mud.

That’s what I’ve got so far.  I was a little afraid that my cons list would be huge and daunting, but I really hope that it gives you a realistic, but overcomeable (I just made that a word) idea of what to “look forward to” when you run.  And now that you’ve made it through this list, the pros can be found here.

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