Runners live a fast-paced life. Pun intended there, but truth be told, the busiest folks I know are runners. Many of us couldn't cram more into a day if it was 36 hours long and we had a shoehorn the size of Texas. We are constantly on the run, conquering any number of tasks. With such a hectic, crazy life, we bounce around more than Tigger on a sugar rush. Thanksgiving, however, is a time to rest, relax, and drop into a tryptophan coma. This is the perfect time to step back and look at what we have, not what we want or what we're missing or what our next goal is. Here's a quick list of things we can be thankful for in our running this year:
Family - If it weren't for their love and support, our running row would be much tougher to hoe. It would be nearly impossible to tackle so much each and everyday without a family support structure in place. Our families tolerate our idiosyncrasies and insane training schedules just to get the opportunity to stand out in the freezing cold for a couple of hours to cheer for us for a minute of our two-hour half marathon. They deserve some major props and gratitude.
Health - If you've been running for a while, you know that we all get injured at some point. Dealing with aches and pains and injuries allows us to appreciate the times when we feel great and are full of run. Be thankful for your health. And if you are dealing with an injury, realize it offers you the opportunity to grow stronger and enjoy even better health further down the line.
Trails - They offer a change of pace, scenery, and terrain. Trails allow us to get back to our roots and back to nature. They make it easy to get lost in our thoughts. If you want to give trails a try, join the FLEET FEET Trail Running program. Coach Kozi (aka, Andy Koziatek) spends so much time on trails that we think he may be feral. Let him guide you through some awesome local trail running.
Inspiration - If you can't find inspiration through running, then you aren't looking. There is inspiration everywhere. In the people: beating cancer, losing over 100 pounds, taking up running at 70, chasing a Boston qualifier. In the scenery: dawn on a fall morning as the sun crests through fog, along the beach with a warm salty breeze as the waves crash in, in the forest hearing only the crunch of your feet through fresh snow. Everywhere is the inspiration to help remind us that no matter how bad a day or a run may seem, there are always people facing and overcoming much greater challenges each and every day.
Training Partners - We tend to call them our "running friends", but truth be told, they often become our nearest and dearest friends. We share so much during those hours, days, weeks and months that we almost become like family...and co-therapists. If you haven't found a group to train with yet, you are missing a BIG part of running. That social aspect can take your running to the next level in terms of performance, enjoyability, and quality. Want to find some amazing training partners? Try any of the FLEET FEET Training Programs. There is not a better group of people out there.
The Open Road - We don't have to wait for the gym to open up when we want to run. We don't have to pay a membership fee to hit the roads. We don't have to wait our turn to use them. The roads are always open and always free. All you've got to do is lace up and go.
Not for Public Consumption - Snot rockets. Wind briefs. The red 11. Chafing. Black (or missing) toenails. Runners trots. These are just some of the things about us that the rest of the population will never get...and that makes us special.
Races - Thanksgiving is the best time to be thankful for races, too. More people race on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year. Races remind us of just how many others there are like us out there. It's like a weekly reunion. I can't wait for the Chesterfield Turkey Trot. There will be well over 4000 people there there. Talk about one big, fun, party in motion.
FLEET FEET - There are running shoes for sale everywhere. Having competed and coached all over the US, I have had the good fortune of visiting countless places to purchase running shoes. Obviously, I'm a bit bias, but no one takes care of runners the way that FLEET FEET does. Taking care of runners is at the center of everything we do. Our guests are served by educated, trained professionals with a passion for running and helping runners. We're not a big box store. We've been locally-owned and operated for more than twenty years and we only deal in running and its brother, walking. We don't sell auto parts, basketball equipment, and bedding along with some running stuff. FLEET FEET fits you, trains you, times you, and supports you.
There are countless other things runners can be thankful for: downhills, sunny 55-degree days, PR's, etc. Just remember to slow down (after your Turkey Trot of course) and appreciate all that you have to be thankful for as runner. You may be amazed how much better you have it than you may have initially thought.