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Wednesday, November 23, 2011
RTE: 10 little reasons to give thanks


This week, Tim Catalano and Adam Goucher think of things to be thankful for ...

As runners our lives can be fast paced (pun intended). We run from here to there, always in a rush to get to the front of the line. It is fun to move quickly and efficiently, but we risk missing some of the little things that make our journeys special.

Thanksgiving (after your race or run) is the perfect time to slow down and take a few moments to be grateful. In running, and in life, it feels good to step back and focus on what we have instead of what we want or what we are missing.  We can reflect on how amazing it feels to have friends and family members who love and care about us. We can be grateful to have a warm place to sleep each night and plenty of food to eat.

We took a few moments and compiled 1o little things we are thankful for in our running this year. Feel free to add to this list as you celebrate this holiday and the good things in your life and running!

1. Sports drinks: It has been said that running was invented to make water taste good. That can be so true after a long run or intense workout when water is the perfect thirst quencher, but what about the rest of the day when we should stay hydrated? This year be thankful for all the different sports drinks that make proper hydration tasty.

2. Men’s fashion: If you are a guy you probably have an opinion about split shorts. Even if you think they look ridiculous, you have to admit that you feel so much faster when you wear them! This year let’s give thanks to the fact that current fashion trends discourage men from wearing split shorts to the mall or anywhere else beyond the paths we run.

3. Coaches: Sometimes we take them for granted but good coaches can give you a push (or shove) when you need one. Coaches motivate and encourage us to be better.  If you have a good coach you have something to be thankful for.

4. Family: Non-running family members might not understand why we think our blistered and calloused feet are cool. They may not know what a shin splint feels like, or think 'fartlek' sounds funny, but they tolerate our obsession and encourage us to follow our dreams. If you are lucky enough to have family members who are also runners give double thanks.

5. Bad Days: It might sound crazy to reflect and be thankful for our worst runs and those days where running is anything but fun, but they help put the good days and good runs into perspective and make us appreciate them even more.

6. Treadmills: We are thankful for treadmills for the same reason we are thankful for bad days and terrible workouts. After an hour run on a treadmill you have a whole new appreciation for the freedom of running on a trail outside through the trees. You can be grateful for undulating hills not measured by numbers and decimals on the control panel.

7. T-shirt slogans: “Our sport is your sport’s punishment!” A good slogan can simultaneously motivate, inspire and entertain us. As runners we get to own more than our fair share of T-shirts. The ones that fit well, look good, and have a great slogan on them are a good reason to give thanks.

8. Comfort runs: Like macaroni and cheese, and grandma’s homemade chocolate chip cookies, there are just some runs that feel like home. Our favorite trails, loops and workouts help us get through slumps and break through plateaus.  They are there when you need them just like grandma’s baking.

9. Our health: Runners get injured. If you have been running long enough you have probably had some minor aches and pains and perhaps even some major injuries requiring surgery.  When we are healthy enough to run we are already way ahead of those who can’t.  We owe it to them to enjoy our health and take advantage of the opportunity to stay fit.

10. Training Partners: We all need kindred spirits. People who share our journey step by step along the roads and trails understand us in a way that cannot be described in words. Our training partners keep us company on the long slow runs, encourage us when we need a push, and like coaches, they are always there with a hug and a smile after we set a new PR.

What are you thankful for in your running this year?