Running is not like other sports. Ever seen one of those shirts that says “my sport is your sport’s punishment?” Ha. It takes a certain kind of person, I think to learn to enjoy running. There’s no ball. There aren’t rules. There aren’t goals, or points. . . it’s just people, moving their bodies forward quickly. The purity of this either bores you to tears, or makes your heart sing. I, unsurprisingly, find the latter.
It’s also a sport that you can do as long as your body cooperates, whether or not you’re “good”. Outside of the elite racers in the world, runners, even in timed races, are pretty much competing against themselves. Most folks would probably tell you that a big PR is a bigger deal than an age-group award. But still, as we get older, those “major” accomplishments seem harder to bag. We get slower. We just do. But that’s where the fun starts— racing, as we know it, is NOT the be-all-end-all of running! It’s fun, while it’s fun. But what about when it doesn’t sound fun?
This is where adventure comes in! Running is a means of locomotion, after all. So what to runners who might not be chasing the fastest times of their lives do for fun?
- Run trails! Scenery, mud, new challenges. Like hiking on steroids!
- Relays and other team challenges— Ragnar. Hood to Coast (stay tuned, this is happening VERY SOON). Basically mobile running all-nite parties!
- …ultras? If you can’t go fast, go far! Go high! Go crazy! I have not dipped even a pinky toe into this world but something about it. . .
- Happy hour hobbles, bRUNch, social groups. Because everything tastes good after a run.
- Commuting: offset some of the pain of sitting around inside at work all day. Just figure out a shower arrangement, trust me.
- Travel— either go on a trip to run, or run as part of exploring a place. Always spices up a trip!
- Use some of that running fitness to enjoy other sports— SUP, swimming, mountain climbing. . . whatever’s good.
Are you a runner seeking out new adventures? What’s your jam these days?