Why do you run? Have you ever asked yourself that question?
How is it that even sore feet, screaming quads, lost toenails, chaffed nipples, hot blisters, aching knees and splintered shins can’t keep you off the road?
I know for me, it’s because enduring (and then pushing past) physical pain helps me to cope with emotional wounds. When I’m running, if a negative thought tries to buddy up with me, I focus on the sounds of a bird, the rippling water or twigs snapping nearby.
I often listen to my playlist which might jump from System of a Down to Bette Midler.
I sometimes run angry, and then I ease back to a soft recovery. I leave insecurities, disappointments, and traumas in my dust.
I spit on the ground at the finish, telling all that clingy darkness “Yeah, that’s what, Bitch!”
Once you figure out why you run, you really need to find great places and races to stay motivated. Whether you’re a resident or on vacation, if you’re ever fortunate enough to run on Oahu, here’s what I’d recommend.
Need Shoes Or Motivation?
If you’re just getting started or you’re replacing worn treads, head to Runners Route. There are lots of shoes to suit any pronation and surface preference.
You can even join their running club that meets every Tuesday at 5:30. While running solo does have its own benefits, having a running crew can help you stay motivated.
Who needs online dating? Maybe your “soul” mate is actually your “sole” mate!
Looking for a 5k, 10k a marathon (or something in between)? What’s your pleasure? What’s your pain? Pick your race, and then get out and train!
For me, it’s all about the tee (shirt, that is). A cool tee shirt, and some kickass post-race foods are always worth the admission price. Always check and see if any local restaurants and businesses are race sponsors, because you’re sure to end up with some fabulous fare and some tasty swag. Check for your next race here.
This site is awesome for finding races anywhere, including in Hawaii. Seems to me like a pretty good idea to combine a vacation and a race?
Want to log your distance without having to clock it yourself? Who has the time and energy before or after a run? You’re preoccupied icing your knees and pondering how many times the human toenail can grow back. Measurements have already been made here for you! You just concentrate on carb loading and your post run triage.
If you want scenic routes, but not creepy seclusion, here are some excellent and saf
er loops to try. Here you’ll find lots of other active folks, while surrounded by the beauty of the waterfront or the gorgeous greens of a golf course.
My favorite is Ala Moana park, because I don’t get to run near the ocean at home, plus I can jump in and cool off after my run.
Say “Aloha” to any early morning surfers, and don’t forget to duck if a golfer yells “Fore!”
Looking for a trail with a little bit more character? This fun trail has nearly three miles of gorgeous beaches. It winds among paths lined with twisted banyan trees.
*Fun Fact about Banyon Trees: Roots grow down from its branches above and, when they touch the ground, they get thicker. These newer roots plant into the soil to form new trunks. (Impress your friends with that one!)
The new twist in running races takes PR’s and throws them in the dirt. Literally. The idea is to run with your craziest friends, getting down and dirty and having a filthy good time.
Plan accordingly: wear running shoes that you never plan on seeing again. You’ll see a mountain of discarded shoes after you finish, because they’re toast. Obviously, don’t make the mistake of throwing your custom orthotics up on to the sneaker scrap pile (in fact, leave those at home).
You might be able to salvage your muddy clothes, but don’t wear your best shorts and shirts. Now, are you ready to ditch that squeaky clean image?
Think You’re as Bad as a Bad-Ass Marine? Well, Prove It
If you’ve never run a race on a military base or among military personnel, you just have to experience it. They will kick your ass, you just have to know that in advance. But, then they’ll wait for you at the finish, and cadence-cheer you to victory. Not even a “soldier for a day” gets left behind. Practice your “Ooh Rah!” and channel your own inner badass.
After you graduate from your 10k’s, you think you’re ready for a half marathon? Well, that’s because you are! Take that well-earned confidence, and plan your next challenge.
Go on and admit it, aren’t you already planning where your 13.1 sticker will be displayed on your car? Damn straight! If you run thirteen miles, you better be telling any and all who’ll listen. Rock that Half, and the sticker too!
Wanna HURT? (Hawaiian Ultra Running Team)
Now, before you decide that you want to HURT, you must decide if you’re crazy enough to belong. HURT stands for Hawaiian Ultra Running Team. They have an amusing history and, before you decide that you want to join this team, you’ve really got to read about it. Then, you can fully choose if you are HURT-minded (i.e., bat shit crazy).
I guess you read the HURT story, and have decided that you have what it takes to continue? There’s a beautiful movie link about this 100 mile race. Watch the movie, join the HURT. Then, take your badasses and your halfwits and proceed to the next level of insanity.
Whatever your motivation is to run, never give up. You will get injured, guaranteed. You will beat yourself up, both physically and mentally. But, the beautiful thing about running is that it’s a lot like life.
Every chance to run (just like each day is new) is a chance to do it over, and to do it better. It’s a chance to run through your pain, not away from it. It’s a chance to release any dead weight that’s been holding you back.
So, just get out of bed, and start to engage with the world, and above all else: make peace with yourself. Leave all those “you can’ts” “you’ll nevers” and “just quits” in your dust. Leave more than your sweat, blood, and tears out on the trails.
When you’ve finished a hard run, and you’re stretching and you’re dripping sweat, look behind you. Now, shout at yourself (or all your naysayers): “You wanted me to quit, to stop, to give up, you told me I wasn’t good enough, fast enough, thin enough, pretty enough, and smart enough.
Well, guess what? I finished. I like me. I love me. And, I freakin’ rock!” Aloha.
Add a comment about your favorite run or race.