Has your social media ever been hijacked by a runner posting about his or her amazing runs? I know I’ve been guilty of this in the past. I wanted the world to know that I had run 3 miles, and then I wanted them to know again the next day that I had run the same 3 miles but done it two seconds faster then the previous day! Then the day after that I told everybody that I had increased my mileage to 3.1 miles, and wasn’t I amazing? This pattern continued for an embarrassingly long time, and during this time I couldn’t figure out why more people weren’t commenting on what I was saying. It wasn’t until a dear friend of mine said, “Dude, you’re being annoying,” that I had my ah-ha moment. While I can still be guilty of flooding my feed with posts about running from time to time, I’ve tried to dial it back.
Recently I’ve been noticing a pattern that after a local race, my news feed becomes overwhelmed with posts about finishing times and how awesome the event was. I can’t help but smile and rejoice with my peers as they celebrate their success and share it with others, but I also can’t help but think, “What is the rest of the city thinking right now as they scroll through their feed?”
Posts about running have become so overwhelming that there are even those out there who wear shirts that say, “Running Sucks” or, “If I’m running then I am being chased.” Could this be a direct reaction to those of us who love running? It takes somebody a lot smarter than me to answer that question, but for the purposes of this limited blog space, I’m going to say yes.
As a runner (and let me say that everybody who runs is a runner, no speed is necessary), I often fail to understand how others don’t find the same joy in running that I do. One of my many jobs is that I help coach a cross country team at a local high school. When the new kids show up for summer practice in the Las Vegas heat, they often complain about how much they hate running. In response, I offer them the two-week challenge. With my limited sample size of high school cross country runners, I have found that the two-week challenge works about 95% of the time.
I’m not sure why somebody who doesn’t enjoy running would be reading this blog, but if you are, then today I offer you the same challenge. It is incredibly easy and it goes something like this: Give me two weeks of running and I’ll give you two things in return. 1) A sport that you will love, and 2) the start of a path towards a happy and healthy life.
Heck, I’ll make the promise even more simple. Give me two weeks, and I’ll show you something that will change your life for the better.
So how does this challenge work? It’s simple! Devote two weeks to running, and try to run at least four days a week during that time. That’s eight runs! Don’t run for distance, run for time! Stop and walk when you have to, and then run again when you’ve caught your breath. Try to get about 30 minutes in if you can, but if you can’t then do what you can. Oh, and obviously talk to a doctor before you do this. You want to make sure you don’t have any underlying conditions.
That’s it! If you want to, try to go a little bit further or faster each day, but it isn’t necessary. Just give it an honest effort and try to hit that 30 minute goal.
Here comes a simple truth, are you ready for it?
Yes, it’s true! When you start the two-week challenge you will feel pain in places you didn’t know could hurt. Your knees might hurt, or your feet, or for some strange reason your shoulder or even your neck might hurt. You’ll wonder why you are putting yourself through this. Remember! You promised to give me two weeks! Stick with it! Don’t quit. Acknowledge the truth that running hurts and accept that truth. Then you can push forward. When you are out on your run try to remember that even the most elite runners in the world experience pain when they run. You are not alone!
Around day 5 of this challenge you might notice that you have tightened your belt an extra notch, or that you are sleeping a little bit better. You might notice that you aren’t snapping at your co-workers quite as much. Around day 8 you’ll realize that you are actually looking forward to your run and that the pain you are experiencing isn’t the end of the world, it’s just your body getting used to what is happening.
At that time the challenge will be over, and you have option of 1) giving up running forever, or 2) going for another run.
In my experience, you’ll lace those shoes up (hopefully bought from Red Rock Running Company, #shamelessplug) and go for another run. And going for another run will absolutely change your life. You will be healthier and happier. There is a boat load of science behind this, but I don’t need to show you that because you will be living it! The endorphins will be flowing and you will be looking forward to your runs more often then not. Heck, you might even post about it on your social media!
Running is honest. It won’t lie to you. It is the perfect remedy for a bad day. Did your girlfriend break up with you? Go for a run, you’ll feel better when you get back. Did your boss yell at you? Go for a run, you’ll feel better when you come back. Did your significant other just propose to you? Go for a run, you’ll be even more happy upon your return! Every run changes us! We go, we grow!
So while you might feel Heart and Brain from the Awkward Yeti, in the end you’ll be Elle Woods from Legally Blonde.
I hope you’ll take me up on the two-week challenge. Heck, even tag us on social media using #rrrc and tell us all about it!
Running is a gift, and before you know it you’ll be sharing it with others as well! Happiness is contagious, let’s spread it everywhere.