What You Do Not Know Because You Are Not Me

By Michael Ring

For three Saturday mornings in March, Gil Torres led a workshop for beginner runners. He presented a great smorgasbord of running tips. I sent everyone who participated in the workshops this email. I wanted them to “know what they don’t know because they are not me!”

Hi all!

Michael Ring here. It was fun to join you all for workouts the last three Saturdays. I might have introduced myself. I am not a beginner runner. I have finished 18 marathons (one of them was an ultra (a race greater than 26.2 miles)). I have raced up the stairs of the Empire State Building. I have done training runs that started in Brooklyn and ended in The Bronx, or New Jersey. I have assisted with many races and my eight-year old twins are on a running team. Yet, I learned something from Gil. Thanks again, Gil.

I also sit on the Board of Directors of the Prospect Park Track Club and am Chair of the Membership Committee. I am not sending this email to sell the club. I want to complement the concepts that Gil presented. Not the physiological stuff. That I can't add to. I want to mention the social stuff, the mental stuff. . .

For me, running serves many purposes.

Sometimes it is the one time I can do just one thing. Run. Just run. Life is so full of multi-tasking; it is so good to just do one thing. Never mind all the physical fitness benefits of running. It is really good for the head to just do one thing at a time. "The way I see it, you have to view running time not as extra or wasted time, but as important, productive contemplation time." Fred Lebow

Sometimes I run to meet my friends. We run at a "conversational pace." There was even an Off-Broadway how that had all of the actors running in place for the whole show. It was called Marathon. It was not about running. It was about the relationships that grew among men who ran together. Marathon champion Joan Benoit Samuelson said, ""Years ago, women sat in kitchens drinking coffee and discussing life. Today, they cover the same topics while they run."

Sometimes I run to enjoy Prospect Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, Shore Road under the Verrazano Bridge, The Promenade. Why leave all the beautiful stuff for the tourists?

Sometimes I run because I am training for a specific event. It could be a 5K or a marathon; it is exciting to do your best. There is nothing like that sense of accomplishment of achieving a personal goal. Sometimes I use a special event as an excuse to run. Some might consider me nuts to run 40 miles a week. So I tell them I am training for a marathon.

A lot of people talk about what to eat before a big run. "Carbo loading." I am more content to think about what I get to eat after I run!!! Do you remember the days when a pint of ice cream was a single serving container?

Running can be a great part of a family vacation or a business trip. It can be cool to wake up early and get in a few miles before everybody else has breakfast. Then you already know your way around town. It was a great way to see the monuments in Washington. The next step is planning a family vacation around a race. I used up a lot of "family points" on that one.

Running will help you get in good physical shape. Or you can get in good shape so you can run better. Either way.

As in all things the better you are at it, the more you can enjoy it. So remember; run well and have fun.

If you are interested in more, check out the Prospect Park Track Club at www.pptc.org or our blog at www.pptcblog.blogspot.com or my personal blog, www.ChickenUnderwear.com