A Few Things I have Learned About Running – 2018

Things that I have learned in 2018 about running and about life.

First – Everyone has an opinion about running shoes and the brands behind them. Even when they have not run in or seen the actual running shoe being talked about. Which makes me go mmmmmm and think to myself don’t pull shit out of your arse people.

If you haven’t run in a particular shoe, how in the hell do you know whether it is any good or not – you don’t. Running shoes do change for better and yes, worse from version to version. So shut up, keep your not so knowledgeable opinion about that model and version to yourself until you do run in that model and version. Then be honest about how the shoe works and doesn’t work.

If you are hating on a brand in general because you don’t agree with how they do things that is your choice and make it clear that you are hating the brand itself, but it does not mean that the running shoe sucks just because a certain brand’s name is on it.

Second – I don’t have to race. I don’t have to prove anything to anyone, but myself and for the most part most other people don’t really give a rat’s arse if I ran a sub 20:00 minute 5K or a sub 25:00 minute 5K.

It took me a long time to realize this and be happy with that choice. Racing stresses me out and every time I have one on the calendar and I have to “train for it”. I attempt to live up to how I think I woulda, coulda and shoulda been. I am one of those never-was runners who dreams that I could have been better than I was – a LOT better. My running has gone a lot better this year without racing and worrying about what I ain’t.

It doesn’t mean that I won’t run races in the future (I plan to, but they will not be the primary focus of my running). I have learned that they are not necessary for me to enjoy my running and that I still love to train to run faster, even when I don’t race. I still do love to run fast – at least fast for me.

Third – EBay is really addictive. I really have over-used eBay this year to the tune of an even dozen running shoes. Which means that have also had the opportunity to run in some shoes that I never would have otherwise gotten the opportunity to try otherwise.

A word of advice – don’t look for the shoes you can get affordably at the big box stores, hold out for those high-end running shoes that are typically found in the world of run specialty or older models that you can’t find elsewhere and be very picky about the price and condition you are willing to accept. If the seller has a make an offer button activated – make an offer, you never know they might accept it, the most they can say is no.

Fourth – I had given up on ever using Apple’s ear buds any place but when sitting on the couch. They were always falling out of my ears and were more of a distraction than an asset during any activity – especially running.

I discovered two little pieces of formed silicon on Amazon that slip over the outside of the ear buds and now I can do any activity and they stay put. When I run on the treadmill, I get decent sounding music, instead of that cheap, tinny sounding crap from the budget stuff I had to use because at least they stayed in place. Plus I haven’t found a pair of Bluetooth ear buds that I like – charging them is a pain.

Fifth – Another little piece of silicon that I use pretty much daily has helped alleviate my Tailor’s Bunionette issue to manageable levels. Well at least to the point where I can wear D-width shoes on my right foot without it bothering to much.

Which is a big deal, because I have gotten rid of so many good to great shoes in the past for only that reason. Finding this little piece of silicon has opened a whole new world of running shoes that I can actually run in for me.

Sixth – That while I am an old fart, it does not mean that I need to let myself go and find a couch to become a part of it – that give up and go away quietly idea that so many seem to think you are supposed to do once you are over 60.

Yeah, the old body creaks and I groan/moan a lot about the aches and pains that have accumulated over the years.

However, I am getting out there doing what needs to be done and yes, I am still learning about running, thinking about how I can still improve my times at multiple distances and that I can do more than I and a few others think I can. I just have to be smarter about how I go about my training and think more about what I put down the pie hole.

I have a feeling that I am going to surprise myself a bit in 2019 if and when I do race.

Bonus thought:

Think for yourself, no one else knows you like you do.

Be skeptical, ask for alternatives or why someone believes you need to do/take this or that, what are they basing their recommendation(s) on, what are the side or negative effects are to what is being proposed or discussed. Discuss the what you want to see happen, how you want to live YOUR life and ask about the long-term effects on you.

Ask about the positives of an action/medication including the adverse affects and/or black box considerations when it comes to medical care or pharmaceuticals. Think long and hard about the recommendations and take into account your age and how whatever is being recommended will affect your quality of life.

Sometimes quality of life questions and answers are the final and most important factor that needs to be discussed. Are a few extra months of possibly sitting on the couch worth, the possibility of years of a lower quality of life.

That is an answer only you can make – not anyone else.

We are all experiments of one and what is great for others, may be the absolute worst thing for you.

Yeah, that 1 in 10,000 chance of negative whatever sounds pretty positive or a minimal chance of ‘it’ happening to you, but if you are that one, well it sure can suck. Think about what is in YOUR best interests based on more than someone going on and on because “I said so” – remember no matter their credentials, initials behind their names OR connections, they are not a god and do not have ALL the answers all the time.

You get the final say in most cases about your body, what you eat or how you are treated and sometimes the best or right answer for you might be – “no thank you” and to walk away to enjoy life the way you want to live it.

The reality is that

These are just a few of the things that I have learned in 2018, but sometimes it is the little things that add up to be the ones that make the biggest differences in our lives as we attempt to keep putting one foot in front of the other and make the best of the lives we have.

Be yourself, enjoy life and don’t be an arsehole about things.

Photo by Sam Winebaum – Road, Trail, Run

3 thoughts on “A Few Things I have Learned About Running – 2018

  1. a nice round up, Harold. Silicon seems to be the material of the year for you!
    I just wanted to stop by and let you know that I’ve run another marathon- and I PRd it. It wasn’t the 3:23 you kindly predicted for me in April, but it was a 20 second PR on a much tougher course than the one I got the last one on. 🙂 I may still post about it on the running site… but probably not. And while you’re right, most people don’t care about other people’s performances, I do! And I thought you do as well and would like to know about it.
    Cheers,
    Dorothea

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    • Dorothea – thank you. Congratulations and yes, you are correct, I do care about some people’s performance and you are one of them. I gotta keep up with you whippersnappers somehow, though I have a feeling I would be watching you finish quite a ways ahead of me at any distance. 🙂 You should go ahead and write it up, not for anyone else to read (though I will), but for yourself. That way you have the real memory versus the one you think you had. Sometimes when I go back and re-read some my old race posts, it jogs memories of that race that I wouldn’t never retrieve otherwise. Do it while it is still fresh in your mind, blogging is a web log of your experiences and if you don’t write them down you loose a little bit of you over the years. 🙂

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