What are elevators?


This is a running blog and so when I am sick and unable to run it makes it difficult to write and update the blog. This week flu-like aches and pains as well as a gnarly cough have taken over my body. One of the best things a runner can do is listen to his or her body. Knowing when to rest and when to crank out the miles is very important in staying injury free and free from burnout. I have run over a hundred miles a month every month for three years, but I have also never kept a streak nor have I been crazy about logging a certain amount of miles regardless of how my body feels. Your body knows when it needs to rest…we just need to listen.

Since I picked up running there are a few non running habits I have picked up that have also changed my life. Some are health related, but some have little to do with health. I will share five here that have changed my life. I have no idea if these are good changes or not but they are all noteworthy.

1. Five a.m. Is now my normal wake up time six days of the week. I actually “sleep in” on Sundays until seven. Before I began running I would normally sleep until 6:30 in the morning. Now even on days when I am not running I am up early tackling the day. This could mean taking care of work business, going to the gym, and even occasionally even cleaning up the house. I couldn’t imagine sleeping in until nine or ten. Ever.

2. Weather. I check the weather constantly now and the weather apps on my phone are my best friends. I addition to knowing what the weather will be I am also better able to guess the weather when outside and know what to wear and not to wear. Surprisingly, because I am outside more often I believe my body has become better able to handle extreme cold and hot weather…. Either that or I don’t care as much anymore.

3. Distance. Having run the majority of the roads in my town and the towns around my town has made me more aware of distances. Actually it gets a little scary. When asked by a lady how far a doctors’ office was I told her “about 6.5 miles… Maybe 6.7” – I think that was a little too specific. I also have a better understanding of how to get from one place to another in town… An almost internal GPS. It is fun, unless someone else is driving and going all over the place when you know the back roads and the shortcuts.

4. Elevators. I never take them anymore. I take the stairs. I now work in a few larger cities (Annapolis and Wilmington) and have a lot of offices in large building with elevators. I avoid them, always. Next time you are in a building with elevators take the stairs…. Going up and down four a five stories a day can be a nice little cross training during the day.

5. Water. I hardly ever drank just water three or four years ago. Everything I drank was soda. Now I hydrate with water the entire day. Soda has been pretty much been faded out of my life (not all together since I like a nice cold coke with a football game) and my go to drink is water. This is huge, especially when in a restaurant when waiting for a meal. Just think of how much soda you drink in the twenty or thirty minutes you are waiting for your meal. I keep water in my car and it keeps me from drinking and eating too many calories.

Six Things I Never Do…

I run often. I run over a hundred miles a month and have been doing so for the past three years. So as a runner you would expect a number of things from me… And many of things you expect are true. I wake up early. I drink a lot of water. I buy quite a few shoes during the year. I sign up for races and follow running plans. However there are six running habits I do not follow. 

1. Stretch. I don’t stretch. When I start running, I just start running. I don’t jump up and down or stretch my muscles. I just lace up my shoes and go. Now over the year I have begun to implement slow warmup miles and slow cool down miles, but I have not used any time before or after a run to stretch. Okay… I am at times a social stretcher. I remember before a marathon all my friends were stretching so I faked stretched to fit in. 

2. Rotate shoes. I have used the same shoes Asics GT 2000s since I began running in December of 2011. Well to be fair the 2000s were upgraded about two years ago and replaced an older model of the same shoe. I don’t use different shoes for different runs. I use the same pair for streets, trails, sand, and track. I have not bought a different brand or style in over four thousand miles of running. Spoiler alert…. I am buying some Brooks Cascadias in a few months for my Dublin Marathon (Because they come in green in my size) – stay with what works, unless you are going to Ireland. 

3. Foam Roller. This is similar to stretching I suppose, but I wouldn’t know. I have never used a foam roller after a race. If my muscles are sore I normally just do a recovery run or throw in a rest day. I can’t see Kenyans using rollers, but they may. I’d love to have a foam roller fight. I do want the “This is How I Roll” shirt with a big foam roller on the front. 

4. Music. This probably surprises most people. Out of my five hundred plus runs I have listened to music three times. Many times I am running with other people, but there are hundreds of runs I have run solo with no music. I do like music and maybe because I drive for hours on end day after day for work I feel no need for music on my runs. The real reason though is I enjoy listening to the outdoors. I enjoy hearing the sounds of nature and the sounds of the city. I also enjoy focusing on my breathing and my pace. I bought some Yurbuds, but they seem to just sit in my car unused. The voices in my head keep my entertained. 

5. Naps. Naps and long runs seem to go hand in hand for many distance runners. I get up early to run (usually 5am), but I never nap in the afternoon after a long run. There are two reasons for this. First… a run in the morning actually fires me up for the rest of the day and I actually have more energy. Second… If I tried to sleep my wife and/or my three young kids would wake me up. Our Saturdays are usually full of activities, birthday parties, get togethers, and running errands. Now that is not to say I don’t fall asleep at times while watching a show or sitting down, but no napping. 

6. Ice Baths. The last thing I want to do after a long run is get in freezing water…. Unless it is a polar bear dip in the ocean. I ran the Tough Mudder and jumped in the Artic Enema obstacle and I was fine with that since it was part of the event… But I am not addin one post run. Get me a hot tub.