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The 5 Things You Should Never Do in a Race

The 5 Things You Should Never Do in a Race

After 13 half marathons, 1 marathon, and over 100 5k’s, I think I can comfortably say that I am phenomenally mediocre at running.

What I have learned from logging thousands of miles and spending hundreds of hours pounding the asphalt jungle is the importance of humor.

Because whether it’s a 5K, Tough Mudder, ½ marathon, or even the goofy challenge, there’s always a point in which you need to find (desperately) some way to entertain yourself.

Through my personal experiences, encounters on the course, and my own twisted sense of humor, here are some suggestions/thoughts/things to (not) do in your next race that will surely make you and probably everyone around you laugh.

Remember, through all of the pain and training, it’s important to always maintain a sense of humor. After all, you’re paying good money to run as fast as you can away from where you started to return to where you started as fast as you can.

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Seems sensible, right?

You’ve been warned… Here are the 5 things you should (never) do in a race.

1. (Never) wear something ridiculously awesome under your throw away clothes or nothing at all

While you and your closest 5000 friends are standing, waiting in your corals like cattle on a dairy farm, you need to find a way to keep warm for those early starting, brisk and often frozen race day mornings.

Enter throw away clothes.

Until the race begins, no one actually knows what you are wearing under that thrift store exclusive. Next race day, surprise them all when you do your starting line striptease with an Armani suit, dress, bikini, skeleton pajama onesie, banana hammock, hot pants, Ghostbusters outfit, Snuggie, birthday suit or really – whatever your heart desires.

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Whatever you do, rip off those throwaways like a starting forward in the NBA and stand proud while basking in all its glory. And then run like hell!

2. (Never) have a messy public break-up with your shoes

We’ve all been there before. A crappy run, an uncoordinated walk, a sudden trip where you get so pissed off at your shoes you want to throw them off a bridge. Whether you’ve had them for 3 miles or 300, every shoe relationship has its moments.

Try spending 4+ consecutive hours on asphalt with them and you’ll be sure to come across some rocky road. The next time you cross the finish line after hours of burning rubber and feet, stop, take your shoes off, scream at the top of your lungs, “I’m done with you” and throw them into the crowd like a grenade souvenir.

Then simply just walk away.

3. (Never) enjoy a mid-race unconventional snack:

One of the unwritten rules of running is to never eat something new on race day.

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Well, the fact is GU gels go anywhere from delicious to acrylic paint. Clif Shot Blocks and GU Chomps will occasionally hug your teeth, and Sports Beans’ flavors sometimes resemble more of a Willy Wonka creation gone wrong than an actual nutritional aide. However, we all know these things are necessities when it comes to surviving longer races and runs.

But once, just once, don’t you wish you could whip out something a little more delectable at mile 9 or 15?

When I was a personal trainer, I once saw a man eating a sandwich on a treadmill. So I can’t possibly see how pulling out a Twinkie, Bear Claw, Pad Thai, bag of Baked Lays, or a rack of ribs (protein, right?) as mid race snack can possibly go wrong. . .

4.  (Never) high-five! Everyone

You’re exhausted, you’re hallucinating, you’re delusional, you’re excited, you’re energetic, you’re in dire need of support, frankly, and you’re a mess. For me, that pretty much sums up my first marathon experience.

One of the most energizing things that can happen during a race is getting a high-five from a stranger. Several lined up in a row? Practically orgasmic.

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Next time you hit the course try to give high-fives. . . to everyone. The water stop volunteers, the random kids along the race that are confused why their parents dragged them out to cheer on people they don’t know, the police officer blocking the side roads, the guy handing out beer (especially him), or the person holding the sign “Worst.Parade.Ever.” Got it in you? Challenge accepted! High-five!

5.)  (Never) kiss, make up, and celebrate in style

It is tradition at the Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Speedway that the winning driver and crew kiss the bricks around the start/finish line after the race. Nothing says romantic like a big ole smooch with exhaust soot, burnt rubber, and spilled gasoline but by golly they still do it.

Then there is the INDY 500, of course, where the winner drinks/showers in milk on the podium.

I don’t know about you, but I will probably never “win” an actual race. However, that doesn’t mean we all can’t come in 247th place like a champion.

During your next race have a good friend wait for you at the finish line with a bottle of champagne (Andre – only the finest). When you are about to cross the finish line, kneel down, kiss the finish line (or blue and orange Lego block transmitter) and grab that bottle of the $9.99 rack’s finest. Shake, pop, and celebrate. Congratulations, you just made average look phenomenal.

Go get’em!

Featured photo credit: Buzzfeed via buzzfeed.com

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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