Rambling Roads: January Thoughts

By George A. Hancock

Our new 2022 year begins on a Saturday. This is an appropriate time to begin something new. The weekend gives us the chance to work out or remove the bad links. Plus, this fresh new morning is generally quiet due to the holiday.

My weekend morning runs are normally quiet. A few motorists drive by on their way somewhere. I seldom see another runner or walker during the winter season. Even the hunters are sparse along my running routes. Once, especially during deer and turkey season, the hunting crowd was very visible along these routes. But now, those numbers have dwindled. I seldom see or pass by more than two or three hunters. Perhaps, the reason is due to the point that I seldom see fewer deer and turkey on my runs.

Year 2022 is my 49th as a road runner. I maintain the same schedule despite being retired. So, my morning run begins before 6 a.m. every day. I’m running 30 miles a week. I no longer road race and really don’t miss the racing. I do miss running with old road friends from out of my area.

My running pace is based on the road conditions and the daily weather. I live in a hilly region so I gain a decent road workout every day. I feel good about my run. My run makes me happy. Although I’m no longer racing, my daily run provides a psychological boost. My running goals shifted. And, after checking the old calendar, it seems these goals shifted nearly five years ago.

So, as January 2022 begins do I have any running knowledge to pass along? Sure, just keep in mind that every runner is different. Frequently, a running technique or practice works well for one but fails miserably for another. Yet, some running components are universal. These are the points veteran runners can pass along to the next generation.

And, learning what works well for other runners is a sensible plan. Adapting their running ideas to your program is logical common sense. Why reinvent the wheel when it’s been around forever?

One thing every runner should do whether novice or veteran is maintain running records. I use The Complete Runner’s Day-By-Day Log by Marty Jerome to record my daily runs. I started using log books in 1992. I have 29 years worth of daily running records.

Before 1992, I recorded my running data on a wall calendar. Then, at the end of the month, I tabulated the data and entered this information in my running book. I still use that same book. The end result is I have records of all my road races and miles run. I also record any interesting roadside sights. This data is fascinating. Runners can look back recalling past runs.

Running logs are a great practice. These provide valuable feedback. However, there is one current drawback to running logs. At this writing, I have not received my 2022 calendar log book. Mine was ordered and paid for months ago. However, my version is printed in China. It’s possible this shipment is stuck on the West Coast in that nasty cargo-container bottleneck. I’m hoping for the best. If I don’t receive it by January 1, 2022 the plan is to use a wall calendar again.

Another running point to remember is simple and easy to understand. Many runners live in areas that have the four seasons. A properly dressed runner can safely navigate the roads in every season. There’s no need to fear any season. It seems one season some runners skip is the current winter season.

Winter running can be a pleasant experience. Sure, the traction is tricky. Cold snowy winds slap your face. The snow also tends to pile up in some locations. Yet, many regions like mine are experiencing milder winter seasons.

Investing in the right clothing and shoes insures safe running passage through the four seasons. It can be done. Many runners safely run the four seasons. The visual running experience is priceless.

Plus, there is an option for weather-bound runners. Treadmill running has grown in popularity. Runners in severe weather areas can run indoors on a treadmill. Also, the outdoor runners can tailor their daily run to match the weather conditions. Running less miles at a slower pace is wise during weather events. 

Maintaining a sound nutritious diet year-round is wise. Piling on the pounds during a slower “off season” is never wise. Keeping the weight off during the holiday season is difficult. It can be done though. The information and guidelines for a healthy diet are readily available. A simple internet search uncovers healthy information.

Perhaps the best advice is also a simple concept. Enjoy your run. Running is fun. Running should never be tiresome dreary work.  It’s time to change your focus or find another endeavor once running’s joy is gone.

January 2022 is here. We begin anew. Enjoy! Run well! Run smart! Happy New Year everyone!

Categories: Features

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1 reply

  1. Nice thoughts George


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