In a long distance race, a little humor goes a long way. One of the best memories (and surprises) from my first marathon were the numerous funny shirts and signs throughout the race. Below are my top ten favorites that made me chuckle:
1. Hurry up, my arms are getting tired. (a sign near the end of the marathon)
2. Run like you stole something!
3. Run like a Kenyan.
4. Fast girls have better times.
5. If running was easy, they would call it football.
6. Run, Forrest, Run
7. You paid to do this?
8. Hurry, someone’s chasing you!
9. If you can read this, I’m not in last place (on the back of a t-shirt)
10. Only 26 miles left (near the beginning of the race)
Running can often evoke different emotions and feelings. Even those these feelings can oppose each other, it’s part of what makes running so challenging. This juxtaposition can also keep running interesting. Here’s my ten favorite, but opposing feelings from running:
- The solitude of running alone — the ability to clear your mind and simply run.
- The friendship of running with others — it’s difficult to beat the memories shared with others during runs.
- The consistency of sticking to your training plan.
- The flexibility of knowing when your training plan is not working and making the necessary changes without worrying about the consequences.
- The nerves just seconds before a race starts.
- The elation of crossing the finish line.
- The sense of accomplishment after a slow but long run.
- The challenge of holding a fast pace longer than you anticipated.
- The quiet serenity of trail running.
- The bustling nature of running in a metropolitan area.
Here’s my favorites for running gear:
- Garmin 405 GPS enabled watch
- Road ID bracelet
- Ultimate Direction trail running water bottle with carb fluid
- Coleman Max hydration pack with water and carb/electrolytes gel
- Water wicking clothing such as DriFit
- Shoes (currently wearing Mizuno Wave Alchemy 10 but try to rotate between a couple of pairs)
- iPod Nano — especially if needed for motivation
- Gel or other snacks for long runs
- Running log or notebook to jot down quick notes about the run
- Extra shirt and towel if driving home from the run
Here’s my favorite running books:
- Marathon, Hal Higdon
- Born to Run, Christopher McDougall
- Once a Runner, John L. Parker Jr.
- Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand
- Quest for Gold, Jim Ryun
- Performance Nutrition for Runners, Matt Fitzgerald
- The Runner’s Rule Book, Mark Remy
- The Berlin Games, Guy Walters
- Run Your First Marathon, Grete Waitz
- Daniels’ Running Formula, Jack Daniels
The next two running books on my reading list: The Runner’s Guide to the Meaning of Life by Amby Burfoot and Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of an All-Night Runner by Dean Karnazes.
Here’s my top favorite running movies:
1. Spirit of the Marathon
2. Chariots of Fire
3. Ultra Marathon Man
4. Running Brave
5. Run for Your Life
6. Running the Sahara
7. Saint Ralph
8. Without Limits
9. The Dipsea Demon
10. Four Minutes
As time passes, I will share my top 10 favorites for various categories. I thought I would make the first installment easy: the current songs that really help me get through difficult workouts.
- Blackout, Breathe Carolina
- I Like it Like That, Hot Chelle Rae
- Ocean Avenue, Yellowcard
- Young Forever, The Ready Set
- Moment 4 Life, Nicki Minaj
- You Make Me Feel, Cobra Starship
- Smile, Avril Lavigne
- Lose Yourself, Eminem
- Magic, B.o.B.
- Chimes, Kory and the Fireflies