I’m still on Ireland time apparently. I woke up at 3 this morning ready for the day. I’m speaking at the YMCA tonight about “Running Shoes, Apparel and Accessories,” so the extra hours are handy. I have lots to say about all those things, but my thoughts are kind of a jumble and I don’t want the audience to feel like I’m vomiting information on them. I’ve really had a good time thinking about all of it and drawing cute stick figures in running gear. Three hours passed in the blink of an eye. Speech writing Flow.
The audience will be people training for the San Antonio Half Marathon in November. And I think this will be the first half marathon for most of them. It’s been fun to figure out how to cull all the information and balance “hey-you-don’t-need-any-special-gear-to-run” with “well-actually-this-is-pretty-nice-to-have.” It’s also been fun to remember some of the questions I had when I started running. Do you wear underwear under running tights? (Whispered beet red to a friend who worked at a running store in Virginia Beach.) For that matter, should you wear underwear under running shorts? Maybe you all were much more savvy than I was — or less concerned about underwear. I hope I’m gauging the audience well, and that they’re not disappointed by a lack of jargon and specs. I always frame my teaching with the disclaimer that I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed, so I’ll be passing the information along in a way that I would understand if I were in the audience — or in a way that makes it memorable so they can share it with others. That’s always gone a long towards gaining an audience’s goodwill.
I’m excited to do my part to help folks feel less intimidated when they walk into a running specialty store. I still get intimidated by spec spouting young guys — and I get to have my initials attached to a shoe color next year. (How do you feel about turquoise and shiny silver?) I want to say something like, “If you don’t understand what they’re saying, it says more about them than it does about you.” I know someone will ask about barefoot running and I still need to get my thoughts in order about that, so I’ll leave off blogging for now.
Is there anything you all think I should pass on to new runners about choosing shoes, clothing or accessories? Anything you wish someone had told you or something that was a revelation for you? My basic message is: it’s important to get good shoes and socks and most everything else is icing on the cake.
PS. What should I tell the men about the length of their shorts? 😉