Tchotchkes and other questionable motives for running

Hooray for medals and other crap.
Hooray for medals and other crap.

I love Runner’s World, the magazine, probably more than any of the other of the publications we collect like hoarders around here. It’s got great recipes, fun gear reviews and good features.

They usually also have tips and programs with reasonable goals for lazy ordinary people like me. Titles like Train for your first marathon in ten minutes a day tend to attract such people with both feet planted firmly in the short-term commitment universe as myself.

And that esteemed publication is not paying me for this, by the way, although I’m all kinds of amenable to that.

This month I had to check out an article on the habits of highly motivated runners. Not to see what kinds of changes to make to my own routine, mind you, but to pat myself on the back for having mastered many of these without even trying.

I was kind of flabbergasted to find I do not, in fact, possess all of these habits right off the bat. But it’s not my fault.

Stuff like become a morning runner is just unrealistic. I need a good breakfast, about a pot and a half of coffee, some quality bathroom time, and a whole lotta sitting around in my running clothes beforehand. This is my mental prep period.

Most days the only way you’re going to find me running in the morning is if I’m trying to catch some morning person so I can trip him.

Strength Train Regularly. There’s a great Body Pump class I take at the Y every once in a while. Normally, lifting weights is about as interesting as dry toast, but this class is fun. Since I go only irregularly, though, I end up really sore the next day, which makes me feel like I deserve a vacation for a good week. So this strength training thing ends up being counter-productive.

Cross train regularly. I did get a shiny new (to me) bike for my birthday. It looks pretty hanging on the wall in the garage. I struggle to get it own off its pegs though (see my Strength Training thing), so the bike’s garage art for now.

Eat More Vegetables. I know, but it’s so haaaard. If we could just have a salad bar in our kitchen and someone to come in regularly and stock it (an idea from my brilliant MIL), I would eat more vegetables. And there needs to be a bucket of cheese sauce at the end of the line. Curses, you shabby kitchen designers, for not installing my veggie-and-cheese-sauce-bar.

I have the Cook at Home More Often thing down since we’re tightening our belts around here. Now I can say it’s because we’re motivated. Bam.

I know I need to Warm Up Before and Stretch After. But when you put off running until just before you need to dash off, there’s less time for warm ups or stretches. I usually warm up during the run, and do a couple of toe touches while I’m picking up after people. So, we’re at one and a half, now.

Get Enough Sleep. Seriously. That and Win the Lottery are on my to do list.

I always have a Weekly Long Run on the schedule. Doesn’t mean it happens. I’m going to give myself 50 percent on that one.

I have recently become the world’s biggest fan of Wearing Sunscreen. Not soon enough to save the left side of my nose, but that’s another story.

Eat Breakfast. See the thing about morning running. I rock breakfast.

Sit less. I rock this one, too. In fact, if I sit for longer than 30 seconds, I’m likely to nod off. See, so if I got enough sleep, I might actually be encouraged to sit more.

What do you want from me Runner’s World?

There was more to this article, but my mind wandered. And I’d already racked up five points on this list, so I figure that makes me preee-teee motivated.

So I started thinking about my own profile in Runner’s World. Kind of a Q and A with a Highly Motivated Runner who is otherwise just an ordinary schmo. They do those.

In fact, they could call any minute now, so I have to prepare my answers:

Things that motivate me to run:

Cool duds, or er … high quality running gear. Running wear is expensive, but I can’t just slap on a pair of cotton gym socks and some baggy t-shirt and hit the road looking like Napoleon Dynamite in gym class, I’d spend too much time jumping behind shrubbery every time someone passes by. I like to dress like I’m fast. Then when people see me actually not being very fast, I can just pant a lot, wave and say something about intervals.

Music. I don’t mean good music, necessarily. My taste in music when I’m running is vastly different from my taste in music when I’m supposed to be sitting less. My run playlist has to make me imagine myself performing on stage. Or else I’ll remember I’m running and that I kind of feel like not running.

Beer. And not the Silver Bullet kind, either. Unfortunately, the good stuff packs a hefty calorie punch. I need heavy duty cardio because of my love for microbrew.

Events. I want the t-shirt, the socks, the medals, and all of the things. They didn’t give out medals for just showing up when I was a kid. Now my children have bazillions. I feel inadequate and must catch up.

Arbitrary goals. There’s this half-fanatics website where you can become a member if you meet one of their sets of criteria. I am this close (pinchey sign) to the level that’s next to the bottom. And they have cute t-shirts.

Then there’s the goal Mike came up with some time ago of running 50 half-marathons (or events of a similar length) by the time he’s 50. He’s up to 38 events, and has about four years left. I started racking up the half marathons several years later and have about nine months on him age-wise.

Even so, I will crush him.*

*And by crush him, I mean I will lovingly support him in whatever he attempts, even if it’s with some smack talk and healthy competition. I almost never trip him.

There’s probably more, but I have to scurry to the kitchen to cut up my own vegetables and heat up my own cheese sauce.


Your vote motivates me. Not to run, necessarily, but a click on this banner is much appreciated. Thank you.



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  1. I\’ve been on an exercise strike of sorts for a good month now. I\’ll use any excuse, which my two excuses of the moment include throwing my back out for the first time in my life –I can\’t be expected to exercise after THAT, can I?– and my new found love of moscato wine. Who has time to exercise when I\’m drinking all that wine? Something\’s gotta give. Of course I suppose I should give up the 8 extra pounds I\’ve put on since starting my strike.

    1. Oh throwing your back out is horrible! No, you should definitely take it easy after something like that. And I\’d never advocate for giving up wine. It\’s too good for recovery. Be well!

  2. I laughed so much. I had to come back to this post twice more to read it again because it was so much fun.
    I really, really want a veggie-and-cheese-sauce bar!

    1. I stopped short of the chocolate fondue, thought that might be a little over the top, but yeah, a veggie and cheese sauce bar would rock! I\’m glad you laughed.

  3. I don\’t comment often, but love reading your posts. This one, especially this year, I can totally relate to. Especially the comment above about carrying around 8 extra pounds – and that\’s after I set both growlers down! Desperately seeking motivation …

    1. I know, right? My MIL keeps saying she\’s going to start that business, but here we are, almost 2015 and still no salad bar. Or Chocolate fondue fountain. I\’m getting impatient.