Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Quality Lessons Learned


I have been thinking a lot about the Quality vs. Quantity thing, especially with regards to my running.

It's no secret I'm an advocate for Quality, but there is also a need for Quantity (within reason). I know myself (probably better than most anyone), and I know I tend to get a little "soap-box-preachy" if I'm prompted. So, that being said, I decided to explore the Quality side of the argument....and here are some lessons learned thus far:

1. Neon green is a quality color...it's bright and has a bit of a funky edge. However, it looks like you're not wearing anything in the dark. I have a favorite pair of neon green shorts, and I wear them often in the warmer months, but it's usually during day light hours. I wore them for my Ultra last summer, which was an overnight race. All appeared fine until I made that first lap on the back side of the lake, where the lighting was pretty minimal...and it looked like I was running in the buff from the waist-down. Yep.

There they are...the shorts that magically "disappeared" without going anywhere
2. It is possible to travel to a faraway state (for example, to attend a bowl game), and run into (figuratively and otherwise) several other quality people (loyal fans) from your home state at a race.

A bunch of Iowa Hawkeye fans showed up at a race in Huntington Beach...and I was one of them

3. Running is truly a quality experience, much like childbirth. There are races (and, frequently, training runs) that are so excruciating, you wonder why you chose to do them and swear you'll never do them again......then, you cross the finish line, re-hydrate, and realize it wasn't so bad. And (almost) immediately, you want to do it all over again.

The thrill of another race bib....
4. In the early years of distance running, I found it thrilling to be doing what I was doing and felt the incessant need to tell everyone within ear shot about it. I still find it thrilling to be spending quality time in my running shoes, but I no longer have that need to recap my latest running adventure(s) to (almost) everyone. Most people know I'm a runner, and they know I run long distances. If they want details, I now wait for them to ask.

I don't voluntarily chat about my aches or pains either....most of the time
5. I used to be "just a runner." In other words, running was the only form of  quality exercise my body would consider doing. Once I started doing (and enjoying) other stuff (strength training, stair running, and yoga....to name a few), my entire world transformed. Running, most definitely, is my main go-to, and my legs look like those of a runner.... but it's nice to have defined muscles elsewhere on my body, too. Of course, with more distance running, my injuries have increased...but I'm much better equipped to deal with them, I recover much quicker, and I have other things to occupy my time if I'm side-lined from my running shoes.

Yoga is one of my cross-training options
6. As much as I enjoy conquering new goals (that were once outside of my comfort zone), I get even more satisfaction in watching others do the same. Even if their goals surpass mine, it's thrilling to witness quality achievements and dole out the high-5's as they happen.

7. It is possible to have a "qualilty race" by focusing on your pace, stride, cadence and splits, but it's possible to have an even better race by just running it for fun, chatting with other runners, and enjoying the crowd along the course. I'm not an elite, nor will I ever be an Olympian.....there's nothing for me to gain by trying to pose as one.

It's OK to smile and act goofy on the race course
8. Kinesiology tape is like a top-quality wonder drug. It not only can be used to keep your aching muscles supported and intact, but in a pinch it can also substitute for a compression sleeve or a "bandage." For example, while on vacation recently, the dry skin on one of my heels "cracked" open. #HolyOuchBatman With no bandages in my travel bag, I cut a small piece of Tape and stuck it to the sore spot....Presto! All was better with the world again!

Who needs a compression sleeve when there's pink tape available?
9. If I can't smile while I'm running or racing, then maybe I shouldn't be lacing up in the first place. Yes, there are times when I'm in pain, or I'm tired, or my head is pounding harder than my feet on the pavement. There are times when I'm just not "feeling" the run.... that's normal and is to be expected. But if I can't find something to smile about while out there, then my attitude needs a time-out. I believe there's something good to come out of every bad experience, otherwise most of us would never reach any of our goals or cross any of those finish lines. If there's something to be learned, then it's quality time well spent.


10. There is no such thing as too many runner friends. Just when I think my running circle is complete...a new quality friend enters the scene, and it's usually someone I couldn't imagine not ever knowing.
Absolutely!
Are there any lessons you have learned in our running journey? Are you a quality or quantity kind of person?

I'm linking up with Deb from Deb Runs for the Wednesday Word...which, in case you haven't surmised, is Quality. Head over and checkout her blog, as well as all the other linked blogs.


17 comments:

  1. I also like the neon green. It's a safe color and my wife can easily identify what's mine. She also runs and doesn't like the neon green. Stay warm and run happy!

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    1. Neon green is my current favorite color of the moment. And, it's easy for people to spot you in a crowd, and for you to spot yourself in crowded race pics!

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  2. Great post. Love #10 especially virtual ones.

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    1. Yes, the virtual friends are every bit as genuine as the ones we meet face-to-face ;-)

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  3. Great take on quality and running. Running has brought so much quality into my life. And some awesome friends! <3

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    1. I love all of my runner friends! (Some of them have even showed up with donuts at the finish line!)

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  4. I like how you also took quality and applied so many aspects of it. No such thing as too many runner friends!

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    1. Runner Friends are the greatest...even the ones we have never met face-to-face ;-)

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  5. I never knew that about neon, LOL LOL I have worn a neon shirt in the evenings many times to run through the years:) Glad to know I must have given many a double take, haha!
    I've had to learn too through the years not to talk running all the time to everyone:) I think the blog helps with that, I can talk about it all I want online and save my friends ears.. well save their ears maybe half the time:)

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    1. ha ha , I agree about the non-stop running chatter. That was the main reason I started my running page on Facebook...I wanted a place to talk running, but also to (hopefully) inspire others to get off the couch and move. The neon color thing came as a shock to me (out in the middle of the race course), but it does make sense.....the neon colors are a close "brightness" to my skin tone (in low light), so that's why the shorts kind of blended in with my legs and "disappeared." (But I still wear them LOL)

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  6. I love this :)
    I love strength training and I am relying in it right now to keep me sane while I am on a break from running. I have been cycling as well, but I admit, I do not love it as much.

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    1. I agree with you on cycling. I have not done much of it. I think I could learn to love it...though I am not a fan of the padded shorts (#ugly #unflattering)

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  7. I am a quality over quantity person, especially when running. Quantity burns me out and leads me to injury.

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    1. absolutely! Quantity is tough to embrace, for me as well. It feeds my ego, but usually at a price

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  8. Great post. I love neon green too, even though I don't look good in it. Oh, well. #3 and #9 are my favorites! Spot on!

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    1. Neon green is currently my fave color...and I know it's definitely not my best "flattering" color either. I used to do color analysis (many moons ago), so I know if an item is something I must have, I make sure that it's more of a "cool lime" green as opposed to a warm "light olive" green. I do what I gotta do LOL

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  9. Lots of spot on quality points you've listed about runners/running! How funny about your neon green shorts - reminded me of the lady I saw wearing a peach colored bikini at the beach. Her skin and bikini were the exact same color, and you can imagine what she looked like from a distance. ;-)

    Thanks for linking up!

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