So now we will get back to my 2 part series. If you didn't read the first part "Why you shouldn't be a runner" there ya go. Today I'll be discussing the MANY wonderful reasons as to why you SHOULD be a runner! So let's get this party started!
Reasons you SHOULD be a runner
1. The most obvious reason... YOUR HEALTH, SILLY READER!
Who doesn't like taking care of their bodies?! Running is a great cardio activity. Need I say more, I think if I need to explain the health benefits of running then you probably should come out of your cave.
2. ENDORPHINS! -
Endorphins are wonderful things aren't they? Wikipedia defines endorphins as, "produced by the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus in vertebrates during exercise, excitement, pain, consumption of spicy food, love and orgasm, and they resemble the opiates in their abilities to produce analgesia and a feeling of well-being. You have just struggled through a terrible run, you are tired, sweaty, thirsty, but almost immediately you get these happy, relieved, awesome feelings flowing through your body. You think, well heck, I could go run some more (even though really you hated the run the entire time). And that is why I run. The Endorphins. The end.
3. An excuse to carbo-load-
In today's society of dieting, carbs are a major no-no but if you're a runner it is imperative to carb load before a big race or run. Carbs give you that energy you need to BURN during your run. This is a great thing due to my love for anything bready, pasta-y, carb-y, etc. So if you need an excuse to stuff your face with spaghetti, bagels, etc. start running!
4. Runner Body-
Ok, so yes I realize, all runners do not look like this BUT we have the ability to make changes to our body through running! Running definitely helps tone your legs and glutes (all those hills!), tighten up your core, and even helps your arms (all that swinging back and forth does do something for them!). Personally, after a break from running, I gain a pound or two because of the muscle mass that I gain once I make running a part of my routine again.
5. Bragging rights-
I am SURE you've seen the cars around town with 26.2 on them or 13.1. These people are allowed to show off these stickers, you know why, because they worked their butts off to brag about their accomplishment! Yes, it may be slightly annoying, but these bragging rights are a pretty fun thing to have. How many people do you know that have completed a full marathon? or a half marathon? It is definitely a conversation starter and something that not everyone can do. I mean, as soon as Becca and I got back from our marathon we both went out and purchased 26.2 stickers for our cars. We were so proud of ourselves, we wanted others to be aware and proud of our accomplishment too. So even though bragging is normally frowned upon, in the running world this kind of bragging is something to look up to not something to look down upon!
6. Community -
What do I mean by community?! Well there is a HUGE running community base available to any runner anywhere in the world. Runners understand other runners, we congregate and run together in groups, we blog about our running trials and tribulations, there are tons of running magazines, there are running stores, and many other opportunities for runners to get connected in the running community. So if you're running low on friends, start running! I have met so many great people that I love because of running. People like Anne from Boston, Ben from Berea, and Uncle Ray from Iowa, and many many more. These people I can look to for advice and inspiration when I need it the most. They are the people that always "like" my facebook statuses about running. They are the people that make me feel bad when I haven't ran in a while when I see their facebook statuses about running. The community I have found in running is something I hold dear to me. You know how motorcyclists do the side wave thing to each other when they drive past each other?! Well that mutual understanding exists between runners and that's something wonderful. I love it!
7. Tanning -
You don't need to go to the tanning bed every day like the Jersey Shore cast if you are a runner. Let that natural sunshine shine all over you as you run outdoors and that naturally occurring tan will show up without you even trying! Ok, yes there may be some awkward sock tanlines, your feet may look awkwardly white in flip flops, but at least you got a free tan on your face, arms, and legs right?!
8. Making use of that HUGE iTunes Library you have-
You have thousands of songs in your iTunes?! When in the world will you listen to all of that music?! Well if you are a runner who runs with your iPod, this will not be an issue. The frequent use of the shuffle option will allow you to fully explore the depths of your music library. I, for one, do not frequently run with an iPod because the arm bands won't stay up on my arms and I don't like carrying it, BUT if I were to run on a treadmill I will listen to my iPod. And that's the time I discover those songs that I've been yearning to hear for a while and it's wonderful.
9. Directionally challenged?! Well running will help you with this! -
I for one can tell you that I know a lot more about Lexington streets due to my running. When you need to add variety to your run, you are willing to add in a new street here and a new street there. And now I am more able to get around Lexington on my own without a map. Oftentimes I know the streets and their locations better than Michael (he has lived in Lex his whole life) because I have spent so much time running them. If you aren't good at changing your run up try using www.mapmyrun.com to map new runs or even use this feature when you are on vacation or working in a different city.
10. Better math skills!? -
Heck yes. When you are a runner you deal with 5k races, 10k races, etc. and then you have that whole pace calculation thing. Running gets your brain working with those numbers. Ok, this one may be a stretch, but I do find myself constantly calculating, "well if I run this in XX minutes then it will be a 8:20 pace, but I want an 8:15 pace, so I should run this in XX minutes".
11. Appreciation to all things helpful like porta-potties, water fountains, and sprinkler systems -
this is a VERY common sight before and after a race. Hey, it's not gross, we are runners, our whole digestive system is working very well because of that, don't hate. All I am saying is that if you are a runner you will develop an appreciation for things that you never thought you would appreciate in that kind of way. There's nothing like a porta-potty during a long run. Or a sprinkler system running in the middle of summer when you have that nasty cotton mouth workin'. Last summer Becca and I stopped in multiple strangers yards to soak our bodies and fill our mouths with sprinkler water, the shear desperation for fluids erases any embarrassment that should ensue from drinking from someone's yard equipment, especially as they stare at your through their house windows.
12. Running is convenient -
Hey, in order to play soccer you need your friends, a goal, and a soccer ball and equipment like shin guards, etc. To run, well heck all you need is a pair of tennis shoes and your body. Please don't tell me you can't run today because you forgot your body?! Oh AND you can run basically anywhere? You can run in the city, you can run in the country, you can run on trails, you can run in the snow, you can run on vacation, HECK yes you can. Yeah, no excuses, it's always right there with you, so get out there and run run run!
13.Stress Relief -
This lady is so stressed that she thinks her laptop is food! I know after a bad day sometimes all I need to cure it is a good ol' jog. Running also permits plenty of time to think and have that personal time that everyone needs. This one is related to endorphins, but I thought it deserved it's on spot in my list.
14. As gross as it sounds - your digestive tract and bowels will appreciate it!
Need I explain?! I just know that if you're a runner you don't need to buy that Activia stuff or consume nasty gross amount sof fiber. Running provides this to you, FO FREE!
15. Your showers feel THAT much better afterward -
After a long run, you are tired and sweaty and the best reward is a long HOT shower. These showers are the best after a run when you have developed that salt on your skin, kind of that crunchy, gritty feeling. You will appreciate those warm showers as your muscles drink in the warmth!
16. Environmentally friendly (as long as you don't fart too much)
17. you can look cool in your running gear
Ok so maybe your running clothes don't look like this. I mean, wouldn't this give you a wedgie?! But new running gear is always fun to get and you always feel like a kid with a new outfit on the first day of school when you get a new running top, shorts, or whatever.
Now readers...don't you see...there are many reasons why you should be a runner and this is in NO way all of them. So will you reconsider running?! I think you should!! Let me hear those comments!!