The Adventure And Foolishness Of Running. By Noel Paine

TORONTO July 28th 2014. Digital Champion Noel Paine is a distance runner with over 26 years of running and racing experience. He has run everything from the 100m hurdles to 100km ultra marathons. In 2013 he ran solo across the Grand Canyon a month before running a 100km trail ultra in Tuscany Italy. Aside from a passion for running, Noel also likes to share the stories of other Canadian runners via his personal blog along with one he writes for Canadian Running magazine. Connect with Noel on Twitter @NoelPaine and on his blog.

Running is not all medals and GPS statistics, soak in the adventure and foolishness. By Noel Paine

“You have to forget your last marathon before you try another. Your mind can’t know what’s coming.” - Frank Shorter, 1972 Olympic marathon gold medalist

Running is often about so much more than 294987_10151503337550370_1617982554_njust the distance from start to finish line. Even if you are a crazy marathon runner, you will only be out wandering the course for a number of hours. This is nothing compared to the hours spent sweating, chafing and cursing during training runs, stretching and doing other often ridiculous looking things to try prepare for a 42.2 kilometre personal battle.

This short blog will allow you to peer into the cobwebbed and cluttered corners of my mind and see what it comes up with for advice on keeping the running adventure alive and enjoying the foolishness.

The adventure

After 27 years of running I find the whole business of training and running an adventure and try and soak in the experiences. Having run everything from the 100m to an 100km ultra-marathon I can say I have taken in a good chunk of what running has to other. This does not make me any better than any other runner. But like a runner with perhaps a few more miles on the ole feet so I am passing along what little running-wisdom I have.

Here are some things to keep in mind when running and training. These are things meant  to keep running fun and adventurous.

  • Choose fast courses once in a while but also go for character, spirit and scenery
  • Enjoy your running and training, choose new places to train and explore
  • Look for new challenges whether it be location, distance, elevation or racing in costume
  • Remember that if you like running, it ought to be fun
  • Go for a run with a friend and explore a new route
  • Remember that if running is not paying the bills, take it easy on yourself mentally and physically
  • Pull the earphones out of the ears, leave the GPS at home, unstrap the fuel belt and just run once in a while. Soak your surroundings, the sounds and be at one with your thoughts whether in a race or on a run.
  • On cold, dark winter evening runs pretend you are a tough ultra runner, plow through snow drifts and revel in your insanity.

The foolishness

10250327_10154055537220370_5410238622864461502_nAlthough you man not appreciate it at the time, try and relax and enjoy the craziness of running, racing and just being a runner. We are a special group. Expect the unexpected, it could make for a great running story later!

Think about some of the foolish things we do:

  • Peeing in the bushes or wherever we can find before a race.
  • Wearing bright colours and short shorts not acceptable anywhere else
  • Lubing up our nipples, armpits and crotches in public.
  • Doing warm-up exercises and stretches that could often be mistaken for strange dances.
  • Strapping enough gear to our hips, arms, backs and heads to sink a ship.

Revel in the weirdness, foolishness and unexpected that can come with running. Over the years I have lost a good hat and t-shirt to mid-run intestinal distress, hammered around the last corner of a 10k course only to find I have made a wrong turn and now face the back of the finish line, showed up the day after a race, left a bleeding nipple somewhere out on a marathon course and arrived at work with icicles hanging from me.

Run on my running friends. Seek adventure, soak in your experiences and revel in your foolishness. See you out on the roads, and if I’m diving for a bush, don’t follow.

This entry was posted in Digital Champions, Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. Bookmark the permalink.