Running Vibes

That tired feeling you get when you finish a run, and how your muscles ache and you just want to shower and go to bed...and then how good and alive you feel the next morning.

The multiple pairs of sneakers you now have to own: road shoes, trail shoes, trail shoes for muddy trails, the spare pair in your car in case you forget the pair you actually wanted to wear, the super old favorite pair that you can't seem to throw away, the new pair you need to break in but plan to wait for the next run, because this run you need your comfortable shoes...

Finishing a group run and hanging around afterward comparing times and chatting about how you feel and how that was a good or a bad run and what races everyone is doing next and what goals everyone is training for.

"Good job!" - a phrase the faster runner repeats when passing the slower runner (meant to encourage them)

Those awkward few miles of a run where you are running the same pace as an up-hiller, and you happen to be a you get left behind on every uphill, and then speed past the other runner on every downhill...and repeat for about five miles of hills...

The fun of looking for races to do, and using them as excuses to travel. "Let's do this race at the beach!" "Let's go to this race in SC!" "I've always wanted to go here - let's go to a race there!"

The fun of visiting friends/family and going running with them (for fun, or at races).

Me: *stopping at an aid station halfway through a half-marathon*

Nearby cop, directing traffic off the running course: Doing alright, miss? Need a ride back?

Me: *wipes sweat out of my eyes* Do I look that bad??

Deciding that yes, we needs alllllll the leggings.

Me, running on the road feeling like I'm getting absolutely nowhere. (Also feat. the people in the car trying to make that turn and I'm just trying to get across the crosswalk.)

Wondering where to put all those age award medals, and being jealous of those runners who make cute little displays in their living room or office or whatever.

Faster runner: *passses me* Good job, good job!!

Me: *tries not to look like I'm dying* *sweaty grin*

All the swag!!! The useless swag. The useful swag. The cool swag. Sunglasses, bumper stickers, chapstick, gift cards, coupons...

That one time you felt really good and beat someone who normally finishes ahead of you.

Feeling horrible and still going for the run because no matter how bad you feel, it'll feel worse if you miss a few runs and then try to get back afterward.

Feeling amazing during the entire run and being totally convinced you have a new PR and checking your watch're actually slower than last time (which explains why you feel good, haha).

Me, in the middle of a long run.

Running in the cold and being completely frozen at the beginning and sweating worse than in summer at the end.

Running in the cold and being completely frozen the. entire. time.

Running in the perfect temperature and deciding to go an extra distance because it's absolutely perfect out and you feel amazing.

Running in the heat and sweating the entire time and people are looking at you like you're crazy, but melting tomatoes can't be crazy, right??

Faster Runner: *passes me again* Good job!

Me: *suddenly realizes why runners turn up was the slower runner getting sick and tired of the chipper, faster people passing them over and over*

Realizing that running opens up so many more places to you: you're always looking for new parks, new trails, new routes to run; vacation spots and activities now take you to scenic overlooks and little bunny trails where hardly anyone else ever goes.

Getting to a creek and hop-scotching your way across on the rocks only to turn around and see a barefoot runner (or sandeled runner)(or hardcore runner) legit just run right through the water and zoom past you with this obvious "you sissy" look on their face.

Getting to a creek and hop-scotching your way across on the rocks and then watch a first-time-trail-runner look at you in awe right before they slip on a stone and fall into the water.

Me after navigating a creek crossing without getting wet.

Passing walkers and hikers and wheezing "on your left" and being disappointed when no one catches your reference.

Seeing a friend waiting for you at the finish while you were convinced they were behind you the whole time.

 Finding random food and runner fuel lying on the ground and just picking it up and eating it because you might as well.

The cross-fitters who came wildly unprepared for the distance run.

The starbucks barista dude that you can't quite keep up with.

The heavy, old guy who finishes before you.

The dude in blue jeans and boots who finishes before you.

The pregnant lady who finishes before you.

The dude in the Chick-Fil-A cow suit who finishes before you.

The ten-year-old who finishes before you.

Being the only one in your age group so you get the first place medal even though you were legit the last person to cross the finish line in the entire race.

Being still out on the course and hearing the announcer call your name in the age awards.


Me, passing someone slower than me: Good job, good job!!!

Audiobooks - Yay or Nay?

I think it's safe to say that most of us keep track of how many books we read every year. Some of us do the Goodreads Challenge, others simply list off and maybe review these books in monthly or yearly wrap-up blog posts. Maybe we share how many books we've read with others, or maybe we keep it to ourselves.

But in any case, I'd like to pose this question: do audiobooks count to your book-reading goals?

I personally think listening to a few audiobooks is certainly fine, and can certainly be counted towards your Goodreads Challenge or other reading goals. I only end up listening to three or four throughout the year, usually while driving to and from work (I only have about a 10 minute drive).

As long as you are paying attention to the audiobook and actually listening, I think counting a lot of audiobooks is still fine. I know there are some folks who either don't have lots of sit-down time or else struggle to concentrate for more than five minutes on a print book but can stay focused while listening and doing some hands-on task (like cleaning or drawing).

If your main method for consuming literature is audiobooks while driving to work or cooking dinner, that's perfectly fine. Just make sure the audiobook doesn't become background noise and you zone out for three chapters. Just like my whole "if you speed-read the whole book and skipped whole pages and remember almost nothing about the plot afterwards, did you really read it" thing (cuz I can be soooo guilty of this). Use discernment here, y'all.

If you read audiobooks and turn the reading speed up fairly high...I have mixed emotions. At first I might be inclined to say that that's cheating, but then again, some folks can read or listen at fast speeds and still comprehend the whole thing. If you're one of those superfolks, more power to ya.

Ultimately, you do what works for you. Listen or read or do a mix of both. But if you're listening to audiobooks at twice the speed and not even actually listening half the time...maybe it's best you don't count that book. Same as if you speed-read a book and skip pages at a time...maybe don't count that one, either. Use common sense. And maybe be sure to tell people "I listened to audiobooks at double speed this year while driving to work" so they aren't in shock that you consumed over 200 books...

What do y'all think? Yay or nay to counting audiobooks? Pet peeves about reading challenges? Time to rant in the comments!

Also, what kind of reading challenges have you set for yourselves this year? I'd love to know!