How People Add Meaning to the Miles
Issue 26: Running as a social sport
Last week, I had the opportunity to talk to two pretty badass female runners, Bev Ramos and Molly Seidel. We chatted about their love for their sport, the struggles they’ve experienced over years of chasing miles and medals, and what their workouts look like during a training cycle. What I loved about my conversations with both marathoners was not only their deep passion for running and their drive to push through tough stretches (of a run and life) but also the joy that running brings them when doing it with other people—whether it’s those hitting a stride right beside them or people cheering them on from the sidelines.
Seidel in particular talked about how running with her sister or meeting up with friends on the move makes her miles more fulfilling. Her advice for runners, especially those new to the game, was to find a run group or just one buddy to help make each mile more fun and to help create a deeper relationship not only with your workout pal but also with running. She spoke with such passion about the subject that it made me think about how much I also love sharing physical feats with other people and how I need more of it in my life.
I love finding people to train with for races or setting run dates as a means of catching up with loved ones. And one of the biggest draws to races for me is all the people involved in the process. Of course, I love conquering a new race goal, be it a certain finish time or distance, but the cheers along the course, the texts leading up to the big day, and all the celebrations with strangers and friends and family afterward are what make the event so memorable and meaningful.
Running can be a super solitary sport—and I enjoy time on the road to think through difficult situations or form story ideas—but it can also be super social. Ramos and Seidel have inspired me to put some more races on my calendar for fall and plan more runs with friends and fam in prep for those, as well as to reconsider my weird fear of joining a run group (it’s the speed factor that intimidates me). Perhaps 2021 is a year of new social experiments, with one for me being joining that run group and just owning my pace. But if anyone else out there is thinking about starting a run routine or race plan and wants a buddy to keep the miles light on intensity and heavy on fun—you know who to call.
A few other people’s words about wellness I’ve read (and loved) recently:
The profile on Benji, Adriene Mishler’s dog (that’s the Adriene of “Yoga with Adriene” on YouTube), for Texas Monthly, “Benji is One Down Dog,” is truly amazing. Writer Madeleine Aggeler describes the dog—and his demeanor and looks and relationship with Adriene—in such detail (very human-like detail) that nearly every word makes me smile.
“The Long Run” by Monica Prelle for Outside chronicles the writer’s relationship with her father and running (and running with her father), before, during, and after his battle with Alzheimer’s disease. It’s a heartbreaking tale of how the miles helped her realize her grief and run with it.
I just loved the story on Women’s Running, “I Have a Million and One Reasons to be Grateful to Jenny Simpson,” for its heart-warming effects. Elle Purrier St. Pierre and Cory McGee (both heading to Tokyo for the 1,500-meter track and field event) talk about their adoration for Simpson, the first U.S. woman to medal in the event in 2016.
The latest updates on the fitness industry:
Athleta just released their newest collection with Allyson Felix, the most decorated U.S. runner in history (who also just scored a spot in Tokyo for her FIFTH Olympic Games). The collection features eight pieces, including tanks, shorts, leggings, and a bodysuit too.
In other Allyson Felix news, two years after leaving Nike, she’s also dropping her own footwear line and lifestyle brand for women, Saysh. Read all about it in Time.
Fitness studio and franchise, F45, just filed to go public. Read about it on Fitt Insider.
The women’s soccer Olympic team was just announced this week, with stars like Alex Morgan, Carli Lloyd, and Megan Rapinoe re-joining the squad. Check the full team roster here.
As mentioned last week, the Olympic trials for track and field took place in Eugene, OR, recently and now you can check out the list of athletes heading to the Games on NBC Sports. For a full list of U.S. athletes going to the 2021 Olympics (so far), check out this list.
Because I know you can’t get enough Peloton Tread news, now the brand seems to have disabled the “Just Run” feature, unless users pay for the $39/month membership (that’s on top of the cost of the treadmill). People are not happy, according to Business Insider.
Here’s one form cue that always resonates with clients…
These words tend to work for individuals I train as an ah-ha moment for feeling stronger in a move or activating the right muscles. In a bear hold or crawl exercise, you want to think of your upper body just like a plank. Keep the shoulders over the wrists and press the floor away with the hands to create more space in the back. To do these exercises, you start in an all-fours position, wrists under shoulders (I say again), knees under hips. Lift the knees off the ground just an inch or two. Hold here, taking deep inhales and exhales. For the crawl, step one foot and opposite hand forward, then the other. Continue alternating. Do the same thing back—which is always more of a coordination challenge, so keep those steps small.
One move to add to your exercise routine…
90/90 flow. Looking for a little hip mobility? Same. Always. I love doing this move to loosen up after long bouts of sitting. To do it, sit on the floor in a 90-90 position, which means you place one shin on the floor in front of you, knee bent 90 degrees, and the other shin goes on the floor to the side of you, knee bent 90 degrees. Without using your hands, lift the knees off the floor and rotate your knees across your body, lowering your legs back down so the other leg is in front and the opposite leg on the side. Pause, then go back to the original side. You’re basically switching from one 90/90 position to the other. Continue alternating for 30-60 seconds.
For a full workout, try…
Sydney Cummings’ workouts on YouTube (my second shout to her!), because she always serves up amazing strength routines. I needed some inspiration for an upper-body routine, so I turned to her 40-minute upper body sculpt workout. Check it out for a free and fierce workout for your shoulders, chest, back, biceps, and triceps, which will all feel it!
The gear I’m loving to get me out the door…
It’s hot and humid and that makes running outside extra difficult, which is where some solid gear comes into play to make the heat more bearable! Check out my story for Insider.com about all the best brands to shop for hot weather running gear. Naturally, as I’ve written about several times, Athleta gets a top spot, but there’s also a bunch of brands you might not know about yet, like rnnr hats, Balega socks, or Nathan hydration!
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