We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all runners are created equal.
Okay, well, maybe not all created equal, because I know I will never be able to beat my wife in a race (at least without cheating somehow). But we have all been endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, such as life, liberty, and the pursuit of running. And today, we celebrate our Independence Day.
A couple hundred years ago, our forefathers adopted a document that changed the course of history. I doubt they ever dreamed of all the spandex-clad runners who would celebrate this event by lacing up their shoes and taking full advantage of the freedom for which they fought. The Declaration of Independence was their affirmation that they were breaking free from the bounds of restraint. What group of people better exemplifies this freedom than runners? Heck, just about every day you can find a new article or blog extolling the five best ways to break your PR. We are hardwired to break free and run. We are in a never-ending battle against the status quo and being held back.
Don't believe me?
Have you ever seen the look in a runner's eyes when the doctor says, "You need to take some time off from running"? Runners don’t handle restrictions well. We are the spiritual descendants of that Colonial Congress. What better way to celebrate the Fourth of July and honor their rebellious spirit than by heading out for a run?
In honor of the day, I have a few suggestions to add a little fun and patriotism to your miles.
Line up and race.
It's the perfect way to join up with a similar group of souls and enjoy a great kickoff to the 4th of July weekend.
Make your own Independence Day version of a Pub Crawl. Get a group of friends together and make each house a stop. BBQ at Bob's, eat potato salad at Pat's, head to Bill's for the beer. (Last stop better be Alka-Seltzer. Just sayin’.)
I used to love plotting out fireworks displays and setting up running routes that allowed me enjoy as many of them as I could. Plan a route that is a little higher up and doesn’t have much tree or building interference. You'll be surprised by how many shows you can catch during a 45-minute jaunt.
Play a game.
Enjoy a great game with family and friends that doubles as a workout. Some of my best workouts were games like Ultimate Frisbee, capture the flag, scavenger hunts, etc. Plus, it’s a sneaky way to get those non-runners to join you.
Red, White, and Blue.
Runners tend to be a rather garish lot, so live it up. Dress up in your best red, white, and blue. Heck, dress like a fireworks display… or as your favorite Founding Father. (By the way, if you do dress as your favorite forefather, send me a photo, and I'll put it in next week's newsletter.)
While you're having a blast this weekend, remember those who penned that famous document as a statement of freedom. Generation upon generation has fought to keep that dream alive. Make sure to thank our veterans while you're out there exercising that freedom. Their sacrifices allow us to pursue our dreams. Let’s run a little extra for them.
Good Luck and Happy Racing!
Tim Cary is FLEET FEET's Assistant Training Manager, coach of the FLEET FEET-sponsored Runnababez Elite team, and manager of the FLEET FEET Racing Team. Over his 20 years of coaching, Tim has coached athletes to three national team championships, five national individual championships, two national records, and numerous All-American and All-State honors. Click here to receive Tim's weekly article via email.