Summer is just a rumor here. It was so cold on my morning run along a beautiful network of single-track-track trails, I had to wear a long-sleeve shirt. Needless to say, it’s a marked contrast to what has been one of the wettest springs in the memory of the ATX. After splashing our way on run after run this spring, about the last thing on our collective minds right now is summer. But it’ll be here very soon.
What makes an ordinary, daily run a great one? Certainly, that differs from runner to runner, but even a great run tends to be fleeting, almost ephemeral. A truly great run doesn't happen every day on every run. If it did, there would never be any exceptional, memorable runs—they'd all be the same.
Although I am a political person, I try not to get too political in my weekly musings and updates on the running community. But the recent threats (and suit against the Federal government) by Texas Governor Greg Abbott and henchman-in-chief Dan Patrick over who is allowed to use public facilities is an affront to the Austin running community. Or, at the very least it should be.
My educated guess is if we avoided racing and the type of training that prepares us to race well, we might largely avoid injuries. But, racing and training for those races is one of the things that makes running worth doing in the first place.
Do you ever question why you even bother running races? I certainly do. Running is easy; racing is hard and you put yourself at a very real risk of failure. Especially in a marathon. Sometimes it's great; other times, not so much.
Noted philosopher Yogi Berra, the 20th century’s version of Aristotle, once supposedly said: “Half of baseball is 90 percent mental.” So is running. Actually, sometimes it feels like half of running is 100 percent mental. Especially in the summer.
I don't happen to be one of those runners who continually looks back and laments how running isn't the same as it once was. Nothing is. Although the sport still entails putting one foot in front of the other as fast as possible, running, and especially racing, has changed dramatically over the last 30-40 years.
When I started running as a third grader, the health benefits of running were largely unknown. Even if I had been aware of the blessings running provides, it wouldn't have mattered. I was way too young to care. Nevertheless, for the vast majority of us who start running as adults, the bounty of health benefits have always been cited as the main reason why so many begin to run.
Hopefully, Patriot's Day weather will be cool and with a tail wind this year. As you are running, many thoughts will likely cross your mind during your long journey. And one just might be: Why the heck is Boston and every marathon on the planet precisely 26 miles, 385 yards?
What can make a normal, every day run truly great? Certainly, that differs from runner to runner, but great runs tend to be ephemeral, fleeting. Here today, gone an hour later. Still, great runs don't happen every day on every run. If it did, there would never be any exceptional, memorable runs—they'd all be the same.
As a runner pretty much my entire life, I've always felt a little different. As a kid, I ran back and forth to school when nobody else did and was mocked for doing so. Even in college when everybody was drinking themselves under the table, I ran. And I'm still at it while plenty of my contemporaries have quit years ago.
As the folks at High Five Events contemplate and work on the 2017 Austin Marathon course, there's one aspect of it I hope they pretty much ignore: The scenery. I'm not advocating that the new course—if, in fact, there is a new one—consist of 26 laps around the Travis County Expo Center. I'm simply suggesting that the most overrated aspect of a marathon course is its scenic qualities.
I have never been afraid to run any race, but there's one aspect of road racing that absolutely terrifies me: It's the race photos that appear in my inbox. I dread that inevitable email so much, yet can never quite resist the temptation to open it.
I happen to be one of those runners who loves to race. Always have. And the distance I love to race the most is the half marathon. I’m certainly not alone in my affinity for the half as it is the fastest growing road race distance. In 2014, more than 2 million of us finished a half which is an all-time high and more than triple what it was 10 years ago.
That Boston is the greatest marathon in America (much less the world) is pretty much incontrovertible. It's the oldest marathon, held on the same historic course and played out in front of wildly enthusiastic crowds that absolutely lives for Patriot's Day. Boston is the one race every marathoner dreams of running and I've always felt every marathoner should get that chance once - qualifier or not.