Real Life Runners with Angie and Kevin Brown

333: Running is Not a Solitary Sport: Building Your Support System

November 16, 2023 Angie Brown
333: Running is Not a Solitary Sport: Building Your Support System
Real Life Runners with Angie and Kevin Brown
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Real Life Runners with Angie and Kevin Brown
333: Running is Not a Solitary Sport: Building Your Support System
Nov 16, 2023
Angie Brown

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How often have you laced up your running shoes and set off alone, believing that running is a solitary sport? Prepare to have your perspective shifted as we uncover the multitude of support systems that surround every runner and how they fuel our motivation and consistency. Whether it's a running buddy who matches your pace or a virtual connection that forms a deep bond, every runner benefits from a network that understands the unique intricacies and sheer effort of the sport.

Join us as we navigate through the myriad of support systems and coaching options available within the running community. We shed light on the significant contributions of friends, family, mentors, and coaches to your running journey. We'll also discuss the importance of discerning the source of advice and differentiating between what works for some and what works universally.

As we conclude, we invite you to consider the diverse forms of support within your circle of influence. Discover how even those who may not grasp the details of running, or even an adorable pet, can offer encouragement and understanding. We'll also share tips on how to find running support, connect with running clubs, and how to leverage virtual tools to keep you motivated, encouraged, and accountable. So tie up those laces, hit the pavement, and remember, you're not alone in this run. Let's connect and cultivate a running support system together on the Real Life Runners podcast.

Support Kevin's 100 mile race by clicking here.

To join the Academy waitlist, click here.


Thanks for Listening!!

Be sure to hit FOLLOW on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast player

Leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Your ratings and reviews really help and we read each one!



Grab your free Strength Guide for Runners here.

Interested in our coaching program? Check out our coaching options here.

Grab your free copy of the Running Snapshot by clicking here.

Come find us on Instagram and say hi!





Don't forget: The information on this website is not intended to treat or diagnose any medical condition or to provide medical advice. It is intended for general education in the areas of health and wellness. All information contained in this site is intended to be educational in nature. Nothing should be considered medical advice for your specific situation.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

How often have you laced up your running shoes and set off alone, believing that running is a solitary sport? Prepare to have your perspective shifted as we uncover the multitude of support systems that surround every runner and how they fuel our motivation and consistency. Whether it's a running buddy who matches your pace or a virtual connection that forms a deep bond, every runner benefits from a network that understands the unique intricacies and sheer effort of the sport.

Join us as we navigate through the myriad of support systems and coaching options available within the running community. We shed light on the significant contributions of friends, family, mentors, and coaches to your running journey. We'll also discuss the importance of discerning the source of advice and differentiating between what works for some and what works universally.

As we conclude, we invite you to consider the diverse forms of support within your circle of influence. Discover how even those who may not grasp the details of running, or even an adorable pet, can offer encouragement and understanding. We'll also share tips on how to find running support, connect with running clubs, and how to leverage virtual tools to keep you motivated, encouraged, and accountable. So tie up those laces, hit the pavement, and remember, you're not alone in this run. Let's connect and cultivate a running support system together on the Real Life Runners podcast.

Support Kevin's 100 mile race by clicking here.

To join the Academy waitlist, click here.


Thanks for Listening!!

Be sure to hit FOLLOW on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast player

Leave a review on Apple Podcasts. Your ratings and reviews really help and we read each one!



Grab your free Strength Guide for Runners here.

Interested in our coaching program? Check out our coaching options here.

Grab your free copy of the Running Snapshot by clicking here.

Come find us on Instagram and say hi!





Don't forget: The information on this website is not intended to treat or diagnose any medical condition or to provide medical advice. It is intended for general education in the areas of health and wellness. All information contained in this site is intended to be educational in nature. Nothing should be considered medical advice for your specific situation.

Speaker 1:

This is the real life runners podcast, episode number three hundred and thirty three your running support system. If you're looking for ways to bring more joy into your running and you want to be a physically and mentally stronger runner, you're in the right place.

Speaker 2:

This is the real life runners podcast, and we're your hosts, kevin and Angie Brown. Thanks for spending some time with us today. Now let's get running.

Speaker 1:

What's up, runners, welcome to the podcast. Today we are talking all about your running support system and helping you to build a running support system that works for you, because there's a lot of people out there that think that running is a solo sport, and If you think that way, it can often lead to feeling lonely, feeling disconnected, feeling unsatisfied or Unfulfilled in some way. There are some people that will argue with me about this, and that's totally cool. I'm all up for a friendly discussion, but you know, to a lot of people, running is a solo sport and running is something that they do on their own. It's their alone time, it's their meditation, all these things. But even for those of you that might be thinking that way, I would like to. Well, we would like to show you today that you're running support system matters and you have one, whether or not you realize it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean, even when I probably had like the least Support system, the least clear support system around me, if I really look back at it through, like the perspective that we're gonna put out here for this, this episode, there was a pretty solid support system around me.

Speaker 1:

I'm curious what is your the time in that you think you had the least?

Speaker 2:

Living in Miami obvious support system.

Speaker 1:

Why do you say that?

Speaker 2:

So I went from having like a team in high school to a team in college. Then there was like a brief time post college that I was still in college but wasn't running on the team but my roommate was running with me or I ran in her murals, so like there was. There was a group that I always kind of like loosely felt connected to someone else that we were directly training for Like the same thing. And then post college I kind of went into this part where I I wasn't really sure what I was running for, what I was training for I don't. Maybe when I lived in California, post college was my least connected to a thing, but I was still working at a running shoe store, so it's tough to say that I didn't have a running support system right and you were also coaching the high school track team right, so there was my team aspect of it right.

Speaker 1:

So it you know. I think that it will be good for us to kind of talk about our Experiences with who we think our running support system is and how that maybe has changed throughout the years as well. But what we want to start off with is this idea of running is a solo sport, and we would like to Say that it's not. Running is not actually a solo sport because you have a support system right now, even if you don't realize it, and some people in that support system might be more obvious than others, but you still have one regardless. So if you are someone that's thinking you know I don't really have a support system right now, I would like to you do listen to this episode with a very open mind so you can start to see some of the support system that is actually there and then also Help kind of see where there might be some gaps that you might want to fill in and we can kind of help you build that support system.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, 100%, and you know that that whole idea of running is a solo sport. There's a bunch of sports in the Olympics that are quote-unquote solo sports. You have some good examples here of diving and skiing and archery, and there's a bunch of sports that Seem very much a solo activity.

Speaker 1:

I wonder if there are more solo sports or more team sports in the Olympics. What would you say? Because, like just thinking about it right now, I think there's a lot of solo sports in general. There are some team sports right, there's basketball and volleyball, and softball and baseball are now coming back in the latest or in the the next upcoming Olympics, which is very exciting, but a lot of the sports in the Olympics are solo sports.

Speaker 2:

I mean especially when you go back to, like some of the older, like you go to some of the origins of sports. Track and field is one of the like foundational principles of sports and everything in it seems remarkably solo outside of like direct relays right, but it's actually a team.

Speaker 1:

It is but it isn't. So it's very interesting kind of way to look at things.

Speaker 2:

But when you look at archery or Diving or Gymnastics, like there is the team competition in gymnastics but then there are the solo competitions as well true, and I mean watch the, the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, maybe fast forward as you're watching it because it is a long ceremony, but you watch the, the part where all the nations walk in and there is a definite overall team atmosphere, regardless of what the athletes are doing. Like two people doing Complete different sports that do not even at all understand the other person's sport, they still Grasp the, the time and work that it went into getting to that point.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and I think that that's really brings us to who is your current support system? That's a one of the groups that we Think about when we think about your current support system are the people that get it, the people that understand. So in the example you just gave, it's a great illustration of people that Don't necessarily understand the details of your sport, but they understand what you've gone through to get there. So everyone in the Olympics, everyone that's made it to that level, understands what kind of effort and sacrifice and Work and all the things that have gone into you getting there and your journey. You know, one person's journey might look different from another person's journey, but there was definitely a level of effort that it took to get to that level of sports and so I think that they can all Support each other on that same playing field, that level playing field almost because now they're all Olympic athletes.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, 100%. I mean, when I was in college I lived with a collegiate swimmer. Very different sports, both kind of cardio, both a lot in your head, like with swimming You're not having a whole lot of conversation with other people in the middle of practice, but both of us understood like the work going involved. You did a lot of team sports throughout your you know sport journey.

Speaker 1:

My life.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so that's got like a different feel than it does in something that is a quote-unquote solo activity like Running might be yeah, and I think that when I was a member of those teams, I definitely looked at running as a solo sport.

Speaker 1:

I looked at it as something that all eyes are on you and you're the the highlight. And now that I've been in the running world and I actually consider myself a runner, I understand what. While there is some of that, there is definitely this team Aspect to it, and I think that that Applies whether or not you are actually on a team, like the girls on our cross-country team, versus Someone that's out there running local 5ks. Even if that is you, if you're the, the recreational runner that's out running 5ks or half marathons or marathons, and maybe you're the only one that you Like you don't know anyone else there Maybe when you show up on the starting line Chances are, if you keep showing up you're going to start to know and start to recognize some of those familiar faces that are always at that local 5k.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean, when I lived in Miami I would show up at various races. I started to recognize these people and then I would gradually start figuring out some of these people's names. One I was again still working at a running shoe store because I just bounced from one in California to one in Miami. But you know, you start to recognize these people from race after race after race and then you don't have to know their name, but you recognize that you've seen them a couple of weeks ago and maybe a month before that and it just it opens up. This idea of this is not really going to be an intimidating thing to go up and say hi, and I am intimidated in most situations to walk up to strangers and go high, but there's something about being at the starting line and the overall feeling of this weird combination of excitement and nerves and waiting in line at the bathroom that it's just. It's really open to more conversations.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and if you are one of those people like Speedoman that always showed up at the race, people are going to notice you.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Or if you bleach your head, blonde people are going to notice you.

Speaker 1:

Kevin is now sitting here with bleach blonde hair. So those of you that are not yet following us on Instagram, you definitely need should be. Go follow us at Real Life Runners on Instagram and make sure that you check out our stories, because that's really where I post more about our own personal running journeys and our own personal running stories. The the Instagram feed is filled filled with a lot of helpful running tips and mindset things and those kinds of things. I think we should probably start posting a little bit more about our own personal stuff in the feed, but I definitely post more, and definitely since you've dyed this hair blonde this past week. But, yeah, go check us out over at Real Life Runners on Instagram if you want to kind of check Kevin's new look.

Speaker 1:

But yeah, I think that when we think about recreational runners there and we think about what where is our current support system or who is currently a part of our support system, and there's kind of three main groups that I think about there's the people that get it, there's people that don't get it and then there's people that love you, no matter what, and so let's talk about the people that get it first. So the first obvious one are your running buddies and these can be live Like maybe you are a member of a local running group and you have people that you go and physically run with every week. That's a very obvious example of someone that gets it and someone that supports you in your running because they show up and they put in the miles with you.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, when you have a running date at 5, 5.30 in the morning, you're going to show up because that other person is going to show up and you know they're waking up. And so when you wake up and it's still dark outside and you're like I don't want to get out of bed, You're like, well, they're getting out of bed.

Speaker 1:

Yep, so and so is waiting for me.

Speaker 1:

I can't let them down, right? So that's definitely a big part, and I know there's a lot of people out there that really depend on that accountability and they have this idea and they think that they need that accountability in order to be consistent, and I think that that is more true for some people than others, depending on your personality type and your, your style. But I think that it does definitely make it a lot easier to get yourself out of bed on the days that you don't want to. I know for me it is, and I am someone that prides myself on consistency. I think that I'm a very consistent person. I don't think that I need other people to make me consistent, but I will definitely admit that there are days that I wake up and I don't want to go run, and just knowing that someone else is going to be there waiting for me is enough to just like, okay, let's go. Then I don't have to maybe dig deeper into some other mindset tricks that I have to get myself out the door.

Speaker 2:

It lowers the hurdle you have to clear to push the covers off.

Speaker 1:

Right, Like I could talk myself into it. But when I just remember that it's like, oh, okay, that's it.

Speaker 2:

In case I go yeah exactly. So that's a good one of in-person running buddies, but there's also virtual running buddies and there's all sorts of ways that you can connect with people Like Strava is an interesting way to stay in touch with people you can.

Speaker 1:

Interesting is the right word, that's why I went with that one.

Speaker 2:

But there's there's ways that you can connect with other people through that. There's other various social media accounts Like you might post your running stuff all the time and, even if you don't necessarily know the people that are doing it, you post what you run and somebody likes it and you're like I feel like I've got this online accountability to people, knowing that I'm out there and going for it Right, and I think that this is very important for us to to note that it doesn't have to be someone that physically runs with you to be one of your running buddies.

Speaker 1:

And one of the things that we started doing inside the academy, which is our coaching membership program, is we have these virtual runner chats that are very casual there's no coaching involved, like we have our weekly coaching calls where we come in and we do our coaching when anybody's having any sort of an issue that we can help guide them through that. But we also now have started these casual runner chats where people can just jump on Zoom, no matter where they are in the country or in the world, and just talk about running or talk about life or talk about whatever you want to talk about with other runners, because you already know that you're connected on some level. So it doesn't matter how old you are or where in the world you are. When you know that you're a runner and they're a runner, you, I think, already feel this level of connection with that person.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean, I think that's why I'm able to actually go up to random people at races and talk to them, because I feel like I already know what we have in common. Like, if it's a complete random stranger, I'm not sure what we have in common. If you're at a race, I already know what we have in common, whether it's an in-person or it's online. If, if we're already inside the world, the bubble of running, that's the connection and usually that's runners like to talk about. Running Like this is not a shock.

Speaker 1:

Well and I also think that running attracts people with similar types of personalities on some levels.

Speaker 2:

On some level.

Speaker 1:

yeah, there's also.

Speaker 1:

There's a lot of differences between runners, of course, but again, we understand the commitment that it takes to get out of bed when it's dark and go out for a five mile run or to do speed work or to do all these things that we as runners do to keep ourselves healthy or to challenge ourselves.

Speaker 1:

And when you connect with other runners, they are also that kind of a person in some way. And so when you have that meaningful connection, just to start with, like for me, some of my running buddies that started out as casual running buddies are now some of my best friends, because you go out and you run and we always used to joke that like there are absolutely no walls after the six mile mark. After six miles, you talk about everything. You talk about bodily functions, you talk about intimate moments, like you talk about all sorts of things when you're out on the run, and what happens on the run stays on the run too, right. And so there's a lot of connections that you can make just on a personal level with other runners, regardless of, you know, if it's live or if it's virtual.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean you've always had that of. You know, all the walls come down after six miles. All the walls come down after about three or four mile repeats on the track. Also.

Speaker 1:

That too, or you?

Speaker 2:

start racking up quarter repeats on a track and a whole lot of walls come down. It forms a bond that sticks for a while, right?

Speaker 1:

And so how does that, how do you mimic that with virtual? Then?

Speaker 2:

I mean if and you could literally be doing the same workout on close to the same day and just coming together and discussing it afterwards and discussing how much, how sore that was, how much it you had to dig in order to get through things, like there is a connection. It's a little bit tougher in a virtual world if you know you're not directly seeing the other person in the same like fight that you are, yeah, but there you can recap.

Speaker 1:

Well, not only can you recap those, like you understand what hard feels like.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

And so, regardless of what workout you did, if that was maybe 12 speed quarters for you and for somebody else it was tempo mile repeats or whatever that actual workout was, you both understand what hard is and you can connect to that. It doesn't have to be the actual specifics of the workout.

Speaker 2:

Well, and it also doesn't have to be the exact pace which helps the virtual aspect, cause you and I have both, I think. Last week we were both hitting speed. On Tuesday Our workouts were very different, but we completely appreciate what the other person was doing and how hard that workout was. They were different workouts but both of us were pushing quite quite a bit, right.

Speaker 1:

And you and I can never run together, especially in a speed workout, because there's no way I could keep up with you, and that's totally okay. But you and I can definitely connect afterwards and talk about how it went. Yeah, 100%, and you can do that in person or virtually.

Speaker 2:

Right, which, which is great I like the virtual really opens up a broader list, because then people don't have to keep up.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, exactly, exactly.

Speaker 1:

The next people or group of people that might get it or should that, I shouldn't say might get it, that do get it I definitely get it Our coaches and mentors and when we say coaches and mentors, these can be people that you pay and that you hire to actually be your coaches, or they can be lots of coaches and mentors that you don't pay and that don't even know you exist. I know that I have plenty of those in my life in lots of different areas. I have them for my health and fitness, I have them for my running, I have them for my business. I have them for lots of different areas and maybe we are that for you. Maybe you listening to this podcast every week. We you consider us or think of us as part of your coaching team or your mentors that you look up to, that you take advice from that. You value the information that we're giving you every week and using that to help improve your health, your running and your life in various ways.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think a lot of people, if they're not paying a coach and I mean that's a whole other issue is there's some people that don't think that they should be paying a coach. They're not fast enough to pay a coach.

Speaker 1:

Not true.

Speaker 2:

Totally not true, and it's hard to get all that fast without having some coaching advice involved in there. Um, but people that suggest well, I don't have a coach because I'm not shelling out money towards a coach in all likelihood have some coaching influence from somewhere. It could be their running buddy, who just has more experience. They're using them as a coach. It could be various podcasts, it could be us right now, as Angie pointed out, but you're probably finding some coaching advice from somewhere you read please don't let it be an online running group though.

Speaker 1:

Oh my gosh, the on the advice that I see given out in these online running groups from people that have been running and this is what worked for me and then other people take that and it is just terrible running advice. Please don't get your watch where you get your sources from.

Speaker 2:

Well, I mean, have some idea of what the source is Like, is it? This is exactly what worked for me and therefore it has to work for everybody else in the world, because that's not going to happen. Is it somebody who's coached a variety of different athletes Like if you're getting it from a coach who's pretty sure that they have the system, that will change your life, it's not going to work. But if you're getting it from a coach who has an overall idea of these things should work for most people. That's a good coaching advice because most coaches should be able to paint with very broad brushes is general things that will improve you as a runner.

Speaker 1:

And then also be able to start painting with more fine tip brushes for you if you do actually invest in their coaching.

Speaker 2:

Well, yeah, that's where the investment comes in is, then coaches should be able to make whatever it is that they do. Their general guidelines specifically work for you and not try and cram you into a system that does not necessarily work for you, right, like?

Speaker 1:

no square pegs and round holes here.

Speaker 2:

No one needs that.

Speaker 1:

Not a good idea. So there's lots of different coaching and mentor types of influences that you can have in your life. Another group of people that might get it would be your parents. So people that come to mind for me are maybe you have parents that are former athletes in some form. Maybe they weren't runners, but they can understand the athletic drive that you have and they can understand why it's so important to you and they can support you in that way. Maybe it's your spouse, maybe it's friends. That can all fall into that category as well.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, no, my parents fall into this category. My dad's pretty sure I'm nuts with the races that I'm signing up for, but he does. Especially with your 100 milers yeah but he does get it, like they had a neighbor who used to try and run these super, super long distances. And so, as my training goes up, as different races are coming up, he does think I'm nuts but at the same time understands and supports, which is a nice combination.

Speaker 1:

Well, and he also is a big golfer, yes, and he understands the commitment and he understands putting in the hours and going and practicing your craft and wanting to get better. And he's still doing that. Even into his 70s, he's still going out and trying to improve his golf game. So, even if he can't understand your desire to run 100 miles, he can understand your desire to continuously try to improve yourself.

Speaker 2:

Right. So that's the connection of that's kind of like a gray area of people that get it versus people that don't You've moved into. Like athletes, get the requirement of athletes. There was a girl at our school who just finished, I think, sixth in the state in diving. I can't dive, I'm not even that strong of a swimmer despite living in California and Florida, but I get the work ethic that needs to go into being able to be one of the best divers in Florida. Like I feel like that's going to be a whole heck of a lot of work that goes in. So when I saw her and congratulated her on that, I think that that meant something because it's like I get how much work that's going to be. Even though there's no way that I could at all aid or understand what it is that she's doing, I do get how hard it is.

Speaker 1:

Exactly Other people that might get it would be your medical team. So physical therapists, doctors, maybe a nutritionist that are there helping you stay strong and healthy. So if you currently have a physical therapist that is helping you to get stronger and keep running in a healthy way, they get it. Now there are physical therapists out there and doctors and other medical team members that might fall into the people that don't get it category that will tell you well, if you just stop running, then your knee pain will go away. That's not who we're talking about here.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, no, that's a different group, that is a separate category. Those are not your favorite doctors. It's nice of you to not put air quotes when you said doctors on that one. I think that was that was nice. They do have a medical degree, they just don't understand running. So they are still a doctor.

Speaker 1:

Right. So the people that will under, and this is why it's so important to let your medical team know that you are a runner, that this is something that is important to you, and it's not something you just want to give up just because you have some aches and pains, because you don't have to. You just have to change the way you're training. You have to change what you're doing. If you're currently having pain, if you're currently not progressing, it's not that you're not made for running, it's not that you don't have a runner's body. It's that you just need to change your training to find a way that works better for you.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and if your doctor happens to have like a marathon medal hanging up in their office, that's probably a good sign, because it's unlikely that they went through their entire marathon training program completely ache and pain free, but they still kept progressing. So they realize that there's pains that you can work with and pains that you can work through Exactly.

Speaker 1:

All right, let's move into people that don't get it, and these are ones that I'm going to relate to running. So there are these people that maybe don't understand you as a runner and we kind of started to touch on this a little bit in the last category but they still support you, they're still part of your support system. So people that often come to mind first would be your partner, your spouse, you know, whoever you're sharing life with, maybe like you know for us, like we luckily have each other and both of us are runners, so we do understand it. But maybe you have a husband or a wife that does not run, and so they don't understand you as a runner per se, but they're still taking care of the kids, they're cooking while you're out running or training, and that doesn't mean they have to be happy about it either. Like, keep that in mind, like they might give you some crap about it, but they're still doing it. So they are still a part of your support system.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, they 100% are supporting you. They don't understand why it's so important to you, but they understand that it is important. Therefore they're supporting, Like that's. That's the twist to it is they don't get why it matters, but they know that it matters and they're going to be there to help in whatever way they can, which is usually just helping provide you some time to put in the training that you need to put in.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and this kind of then trickles down to other people that this might apply to. So people at work that might ask you how your training is going, even though they have no idea what the difference is between a five K and a marathon. Like there are some people out there that'll say how did your five K marathon go this weekend? You know, like, oh, did you win? Like those kinds of questions. At least they're asking, right, like they're. They are still. They're asking and showing some sort of interest and showing some level of support there. Same thing with your kids. You know, maybe your kids are little, maybe they're a little bit older, but if they're there and they're supporting you, maybe they're coming to your races, they're making signs for you, or friends that come to your races and doing the same thing, that are just there to support you, even though they don't really get what you're doing. They don't understand why you're doing it, but they know, again, what you just said. They know it's important to you and they are there to support you in that process.

Speaker 2:

Does that go back to college, when you showed up at my marathon and didn't know why it mattered, but you were there in the cold with a sign.

Speaker 1:

Probably yeah, I, because I would not have considered myself a runner at that point in time. Right, I just knew I loved you.

Speaker 2:

And so you made a big sign for me.

Speaker 1:

I did.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and that was fun and.

Speaker 1:

I knew that and I ran around the city.

Speaker 2:

Do you like there was some way to like get from place to place? There was a bus. Yeah, there was like a shuttle that was taking spectators to different places which is Chicago, was still a huge race at the time, but it was not as big as it is right now.

Speaker 1:

I think there are. I think I took the subway also. I forget, I can't remember.

Speaker 2:

You showed up in so many different places and I knew that you were going to be pretty close to the finish line, so like I couldn't just stop on the side of the road. But friends that come to your races a big one. Maybe. There are friends that are not going to wake up at six in the morning, but they are going to meet you after your race For brunch. They're going to have a celebratory brunch with you and they might hope that you shower beforehand, but they they definitely want to celebrate whatever that accomplishment was, because it's important to you and they're there to support.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. And then there are those people that love you no matter what and some of those people we've already talked about, people that get it, people that don't get it. And then there are people that and the reason I wanted to separate this one of the people, or people or the uh, not just people, but cause I put animals in this category too.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you did.

Speaker 1:

There are the people, the beings, I guess the beans that love and support you, no matter what.

Speaker 2:

They're your supportive beans.

Speaker 1:

Your beans. What is this Jack in the beanstalk? But it's like your kids, your, your animals, your partners, your friends, and the reason I wanted to point this out is that there are ways that you are being supported as a human, not just as a runner. Right, being a runner is one part of your identity, but you need to feel supported as a human. And so maybe there are people in your life. Maybe they get running, maybe they don't get running, but they just love you, no matter what, and they provide that, that love and that support, so that you have, like your cup that side of your cup is full or that that social support cup is full, so that you can go out and do the things you want to do with your athletic accomplishments.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean, I don't know if it exactly falls into people that love you no matter what, but there are probably some friends that you have that have no desire to support you in your running journey. Like they don't care if you ran a race or if you didn't run a race, where you finished in the race. They don't know what a PR is, but they still want to, you know, be there with you. They still want to have this connection with you, even if that connection is kind of like outside of running. You start telling them about your race. Their eyes glaze over, but you start talking about whatever the thing is that you have in common with that person, cause you don't have to have every person in your support system does not need to be running support.

Speaker 2:

You can gain a whole lot of support from somebody that does not know at all about running. Like I had a friend in high school who had nothing to do with running, but I was. I was in a bunch of, like, science and math classes with them, so I'd have a race on a Wednesday. It went well. It didn't go well on Thursday. We never even talked about what that race was, but I still knew that that was going to be my friend on Thursday, regardless of what happened in the race, and that made him almost more supportive of a person, because the race was completely irrelevant to our friendship.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and that's such an interesting thing is right, having those people in your life that it doesn't matter whatever happens in your running, because I think sometimes we can make our running outcomes, or whatever we're training for, mean a lot when it comes to our overall satisfaction and happiness, especially if it's a really big goal race, something that we have to train for for months and months and months.

Speaker 1:

And when we show up and maybe things don't go as well as we want them to, that can crush a lot of people. And when you know that there are people that don't give two cents about I'm going to keep it PG Well, g really don't care at all about that outcome, that can be a helpful thing, right, maybe for some people they are thinking well, if they don't care at all and this is such a huge part of my life right now, then what does that say about the relationship? But, as you just pointed out, sometimes it's really helpful to have that person that doesn't understand it and doesn't care and that you it doesn't even come up in your conversations or your relationship with that person.

Speaker 2:

Right. I mean, if it's a huge race that you've been training for months and months, maybe you don't want to talk to that person in a couple of days after, where you're like emotionally crushed and you want everybody around you to just give you that big warm hug. But next week, when it's time to move on, a couple of days later, when it's time to move on, talk to that person, because they don't even know that you ran a race. They're curious why you're walking awkward, they don't know, because they have a different relationship with you, and that's a great person. When it's time to move on, whether the race went well or the race didn't go well, because at some point, pretty soon after the race, it's time to move on and keep training and keep moving forward. So it's nice to have some people that provide that outfit, that outlet that outlet?

Speaker 1:

Yeah for sure. So now that you kind of have this idea of what your support system entails, I'd love for you to just take your own personal inventory and ask yourselves where are the holes? You don't have to accept what you currently have if there was a gap that you want to fill, and you also don't need to fill all of the gaps. That's the other important thing, right? What is missing from the list that we just mentioned? Thank you left some things out too. Maybe we missed some things. We just kind of gave a general idea of people that we would consider as part of our support systems. But what's missing? Do you need to fill in the gaps somewhere, or are some of those gaps OK to just leave there and leave open?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean I think it's fine to have some of those gaps left open. I think one of the other things when you're taking this inventory is the same person filling so many of these boxes. They're my support system, who's going to love me no matter what, and they're also a running buddy and I kind of lean on them as a coach a little bit. The same person cannot support you in every single area of you. You have to have other people because that's too much for that person, it's not for you, that's a lot to put on that person to say I need your support in all of these different areas of my life. It seems like a lot.

Speaker 1:

It is.

Speaker 2:

I know I put a lot on you. Are you backing up from the microphone Because you're like, come on, buddy, it's all on me.

Speaker 1:

No, it's interesting to hear you say that, because I do feel a lot of those roles for you.

Speaker 2:

You feel a lot of those roles. For me that's why I?

Speaker 2:

thought it was important that I bring that up because I'm sure that I am not the only person out there of I've checked all these boxes. They're all called Angie, and maybe you don't call Angie for all of those boxes, but maybe you have somebody else that you're like yep, it's that box and that box and that box, and it's the same name every time. You might want to make sure that that person is doing OK, because that's a lot of support that you're asking from one person and as a physics teacher, I always like to go with. The stable of stool has three legs to it, not one leg to it. You need more than one support point.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I agree with that, and I think that, ultimately, you have to ask yourself do you feel supported? And if the answer is yes, if you feel like my cup is full, then great, that's a good place to be. When I look at the list that we just made, there are definitely gaps that I have. I do not have a physical therapist, because I am a physical therapist, which is helpful.

Speaker 2:

I checked that box.

Speaker 1:

But it's one of those things that I don't have an orthopedic doctor that I go to when aches and pains pop up and those kinds of things, and those are gaps that I am happy that I have right now in that support system, because that means that I'm doing OK, like I'm not injured. I don't need to seek medical attention right now, and that's a good thing for me.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's true. I mean I have a physical therapist. I try not to seek out attention from that therapist very often. I do my best to not check that box too many times.

Speaker 1:

You're so funny. I mean it's OK if people fill multiple roles for you also, and the people that love you are very happy to fill all those boxes and all those roles, but I do think that it is helpful for you to have other people in the mix as well.

Speaker 2:

Yes, and if we can help provide some of that coaching box, we're here and glad to help with that as much as possible, the coaching box or the social box also. I mean I love these new sort of informal group gathering chats that we have. It's nice to make a little running community because runners are great to hang out with.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and it's nice to get to know people on a different level. It's not just about showing up and getting coached. It's also about connecting with others, and I think that's a huge part of what we are in the running community, and what really makes the running community special is being able to connect with people on that level, and so, if that's something that's interesting to you, that is all part of the Real Life Runners Academy. We offer coaching, mentorship, support, community, these chats, training plans, all the things. So if you are finding some gaps and you want to be supported in a new way, go check out the Real Life Runners Academy. The doors are currently closed, but you can get on the interest list so that when we open back up again, you're the first one to know. Excellent.

Speaker 2:

So just realliferunnerscom, that'll get you there.

Speaker 1:

Realliferunnerscom forward slash academy. There you go, there you go.

Speaker 2:

All right, I knew there was going to be a good website for that one. All right, I can't read this example. You have to give this last example of. I have a different take on it.

Speaker 1:

You do not. You are full of baloney. So what I was going to say? So one of the examples that I wrote down here is like if you truly ask yourself do I feel complete? Are things good? Sometimes the answer is yes, and I would have said that our family was complete a few years ago Me too. We have us, we have our two beautiful girls, but there was something inside that was telling me that I wanted a dog, and so I had pets growing up. I always had pets growing up, and I never had a big connection to my pets, but for some reason, I was having this desire and so we got a dog, and I think that we already were complete as a family before her, but she made it even more complete. She completed it in a different way and has brought so much joy into all of our lives, including Kevin. Even though he claims that he doesn't love the dog, he clearly does.

Speaker 2:

I agree with that statement wholeheartedly. When we had us and our two girls, our family was complete.

Speaker 1:

And then we got a dog. Yep, and then we got a dog.

Speaker 2:

That is all statements that I will agree with. Our family was complete, and then we got a dog.

Speaker 1:

And she added so much joy to our lives.

Speaker 2:

You can provide that statement.

Speaker 1:

All right, you guys. So hopefully we brought some more awareness to this area for you. We'd love to hear about your running support system or who you consider to be a part of your running support system. So one of the best ways you can connect with us is over on Instagram at Real Life Runners. Shoot me a DM, say hello, let me know that you listen to the podcast, because I love to connect to our listeners, and if you found this episode helpful, please feel free to share it with a friend. Hit that Share button, share it to social media, share it via text and if you haven't yet, please leave us a review so that more runners can find the podcast. And, as always, thank you for spending this time with us. This has been the Real Life Runners podcast, episode number 333. Now get out there and run your life.

Building Your Running Support System
The Importance of Running Buddies
Understanding and Connection in Athletics
Building a Support System for Runners
Connecting and Supporting Runners on Instagram