Monday, August 6, 2012


There is an older man (he is 76 years old) that goes to church with us who I just love. He is as busy, hard-working, and active as anyone you know, he has a great sense of humor (and tells awesome stories), and he still runs regularly. Last year he even ran our local half marathon, wearing a shirt that said, "Stupid", with his two daughters, who each wore shirts that said, "I am with Stupid".  :)

This year he did not run the half, as he said he was too busy working to train. But he was out on the course, and was my FAVORITE cheerleader. I saw him at about mile 8 or so, and he went crazy yelling and cheering for me, and then started hollering at the guys up ahead of me, "Look out boys! There is a tiger coming up behind you!"

He makes me smile.

He loves to talk about running with me, and whenever I see him he asks about my running and training, and sometimes tells me about an article he read related to running (the last one had to do with how your mitochondria has a big part in determining how good of a runner you are). He thinks I have great mitochondria. :)

A couple of weeks ago we were having one of our little chats, and he put his hand on my shoulder and said, "I want to ask you to do me a favor." Of course I agreed right away.

Then he said, "People always say to me that they don't believe that people can love running because when they see people out on the road running they never look like they are enjoying themselves. So do me a favor, and make sure you smile when you are out there running."

I promised I would, and his words have stayed with me.

The truth is, I DO love running, and I AM enjoying myself when I am running.  I thought about it when I was fighting out the last few miles of my 18 miler on Friday, and I thought about it during the 5k on Saturday, and I have thought about it on most of my training runs since our conversation. And whenever I think about it, I smile.

And it feels really good.

Of course during much of my running I am working hard, focusing, concentrating, and in a groove, but I have found that a big smile once and while not only is relaxing, but helps me feel good, reminds me how much I love running (even when it's hard!), and helps me think positive thoughts. Try it!

Like Brooks says, Run Happy!

Here are a couple of smiling pics I found of myself running.

I was just about to high five Goofy in this picture :)
This is from Ragnar 2011, and I had to finish one of my leg's with a sombrero. :)
Do you smile when you run?


Kristin Miller said...

I LOVE THIS POST!!! I'm going to link up to it for my "Glad Game Monday" post; it takes the Pollyana approach to life on the proverbial stinky day of Monday. Thanks for reminding me to smile! I'm trying to bring the "good morning" between runners back in NYC...earphones are seriously hampering this!

Meredith said...

Almost always :) When I ran the Eugene marathon this year, I discovered that the very reason I run is BECAUSE it makes me smile, it fills my cup, it gives me quiet time with God. Even when I'm working hard, I smile when I think about the gift of being able to run.

Teamarcia said...

Excellent! I love your running smile. I think I love that quivering quad even more haha!

Suz and Allan said...

That is great advice from that sweet man. A smile can make a world of difference!

Adrienne said...

Funny you mention it- Some of my best performances I've smiled through them-but many of the pics don't catch it! Oh, well, I guess you can smile on the inside. Helps manage the pain;)

Jill said...

Awww, this is so touching! I always have such intense looking race pictures. One time my then-trainer told me to smile more at the photographer. I did that for my next marathon in Dallas and I love those pictures. I need to remember to do that more often, I'm sure I don't do it as much anymore because it's just really hard work lately.

jayloh said...

I do try to, especially on more difficult runs. If nothing else, it can trick your body into think you're having fun. ;)

Thanks for the reminder. Love to see your happy pics, too!

Anonymous said...

Go get them smiling tiger :) Carol- WV

{lifeasa}RunningMom said...

Thanks for this post. I think I am going to give that smile thing I try. I do love to run but I have been very focused and training hard. Thinking, working, pushing....I am still having fun but I think the smile will bring that flow of joy into the run!

Annie Crow said...

I've been working on breathing through my nose when I run, and a side benefit of it is that I can smile more!

I love to smile when I run b/c I do love it so much, and I want people to see what it is a joyous activity.

Samantha said...

I always smile when I run, and my friends will comment on my blog, "Who smiles when they run?" But I do - it's just that fun! :)

lindsay said...

i am going to do this too! i truly love to run so why not show it :)