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Friday, March 18, 2011

Red Bandana: Charlie Sheen-free Running (With Excuses)

Read the latest: Red Bandana: Ice Cream Running

Charlie Sheen has nothing to do with this article. No tiger blood, nothing about winning, and his favorite drug "Charlie Sheen" will not be suggested as a way to run faster. It would, after all, kill you. And no one wants that.

This is about running, sort of. It is really about getting things done. What does a runner do?

A runner runs. Right? But is he coming or going? He runs this way, then turns around and comes right back. Or, he heads to the track and runs in a circle. What goes around, we know, will come around. It is coming around for you?

Beginning runners often have a corner they try to get to. Or, a certain number of laps around the block. Maybe a lap more than last time. Maybe a few telephone poles farther.

As I progressed as a runner in high school, this was the case. At first, I was all about distance. Another mile. Another mile.

Later, it became a glorified version of "touch the stop sign and turn around." My stop sign, so to speak, might be an ice cream shop, hot dog stand or bridge.

The goal was the thing. It was quantitative. Sure, "to get in shape" is a fine goal, but this is more difficult to ascertain. "Lose weight," is a nifty idea too, but not especially helpful.

Now, my goals are different. I already know I can run far enough to blow my knees out. Instead, my goal is about consistency. That means I want to run X amount of days per week. My goal is to do the right things. Do the right the things, and right results will follow.

Things get in the way. Mostly, it is because I let them get in the way.

The same things in the way this week will be the way next week.

We can categorize our excuses in three groups. Good excuses., but stopping you from running just the same.

Solution: Schedule ahead this week when you will run next week. Something will have to give. Less TV. Skip your favorite political rant show. Cut back on playing Bejeweled on Facebook.

Solution: Watch the reports, schedule longer runs when the weather is primo and days off when there is a blizzard (Don't look at me that way. I'm not the one who makes Chicago weather what it is.)

Solution: Got big meetings, long days? Same ideas as the weather problem: schedule. One difference is, though, planning to run before you are exhausted.

Solution: It happens. Take it seriously. Read up on it, treat it yourself if you can. Mostly, all you need to to rest, but, if you must, see a doctor. Do not play around with injuries. Be sure that sore Achilles tendon is OK before pushing through it.

And there you have it. No Charlie Sheen, but still enough excuses to keep you from running.

Running Playlist Song of the Week
Be-Bop a Lula by Gene Vincent

Pure fun. This will have you in a carefree mood, swaying as you go. Crank it up and run past a few extra telephone poles.

Well, be-bop-a-lula, she's my baby
Be-bop-a-lula, I don't mean maybe
Be-bop-a-lula, she's my baby
Be-bop-a-lula, I don't mean maybe
Be-bop-a-lula, she's my baby love
My baby love, my baby love

Writer Anthony Trendl makes more excuses than you can imagine. Contact me to send your favorite tips, songs, recipes, or to tell me about your road race. See
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