The Barkley Marathons
If you haven’t seen it, watch it right now! It’s free on Netflix instant. Here’s the trailer. This documentary about what is likely the world’s hardest and quirkiest endurance event is fascinating even if you’re not a runner. The gist is that runners must complete 100 miles within 60 hours, but it’s so much more than that. The application process is secretive, the start time can be any time within a 12-hour period, and course directions on the unmarked mountain trail are in the form of “If you feel like you’re dying you’re going the right way.” Since the race started in 1986, only 14 runners have finished.
Clothes Can Improve Your Performance
Dress for success is a common phrase, but there’s research to back up the idea that it works. Enclothed cognition is a phenomenon identified in a series of experiments in which clothes you like and feel good in can actually improve your performance. The Runner’s World book The Runner’s Brain devotes a whole chapter to this. It looks at the research done and gives example of the phenomenon in real life. One study found that depressed women were more likely to wear jeans and a baggy top and confident women were more likely to wear “flashier” clothes. The book describes how dressing like a runner can make you run better.
Slipping on a sleek pair of tights does more than just make your butt look shapely. It makes you feel like a runner. Everyone instantly identifies you as a runner—and you identify yourself in that way too….Just by virtue of what you wear, you send messages to your brain that you feel more inclined to go a little farther and push a little harder. The right clothes prime [your brain] to help you believe you are faster and stronger, more like an athlete….You dress the part, you feel the part, you are the part.
What I love about this is that we can bring our personalities to make this work. Some runners feel empowered by wearing race shirts. Others find tutus and tiaras help get them through a race. Some runners feel best in retro-style track suits while others love frilly running skirts. I love that there are so many activewear brands giving us so many different options to look and feel our best, which helps us do our best. How’s that for enabling that activewear purchase you’ve been debating? 😉
We Have the Power
I was walking past an Athleta store and saw this quote from the Wizard of Oz on their sidewalk sign. So true.
Pittsburgh Marathon Is Almost Here
The Pittsburgh marathon and half marathon route goes very close to my house in the Northside, and the marathon route goes right by my office in Oakland. This week the city deposited the barriers that will be going up on race day, and banners are up on the bridges. With the race just over a week away, the excitement in the city is starting to build, even among non-runners. This is the only time of year when my non-running friends and coworkers think to ask me about running. I’m not running but am getting excited for everyone who is!
Also, greyhound Django and I will be at the 5K on Saturday to cheer everyone on. Django loves to
sniff meet people, so if you’re there and see us, please say hi!
And finally, here’s a non-running story. While I have one blue jay who comes to my bird feeder occasionally, a pair of cardinals comes daily (along with starlings and a bunch of little brown birds). After I learned that cardinals mate for life, I started paying attention to them. Sure enough, if I see one cardinal, the mate is usually always around. I have a lot of trees around me for being in the city, so I have a huge bird population. If I’m not on time putting bird seed out in the mornings, seemingly hundreds of birds put up a ruckus to remind me! The cardinals are my favorites though.
Have a great weekend!