. . . people yell, "Run, Forest, Run."
. . . or people just yell. . .  or stare.
. . . you head out in the dark, freezing cold morning when most people aren't human yet just because you love to run. . . then you go again at night when everyone's at home being a couch potato.
. . . it's pouring rain outside and you run by bars and see everyone drinking and smoking and you don't envy them.
. . . you wear blue and pink and green skin tight clothing in public on foot going at high speeds through the streets in the freezing cold, dark night and you think you look perfectly normal.
. . . you wear running shoes to most occasions--formal and informal.
. . . you are furious when a new running record has been set and it doesn't even hit the sports pages. . . but instead is in the "Lifestyle" section of the newspaper.
. . . you're disappointed that it's snowing hard outside--not because you can't get to work, school, or the hospital--but because footing is bad for your long run.
. . . you yell at cars who cut you off. . . then get into an argument with the driver. . . then take a secret way home because the driver is after you.
. . . someone whistles at you from a car. . . and it's a person of the same sex. . . but you feel good about it anyway.
. . . everyone at work thinks you're an outcast because you dress in tights or very short shorts to run at noon or home from work.
. . . people who don't run who find out that you run marathons say, "I couldn't even drive that far."
. . . you're in heaven running through mud, leaves, sticks, and rocks in a remote forest.
. . . no one else really understands the term "chafing."
. . . you can laugh at drivers stuck in rush-hour traffic as you run by. . slowly.
. . . you're at a boring meeting at work and you dream of running in the woods. . . then you leave that same meeting before it's over to run in the woods.
. . . you run an extra block or an extra two minutes at the end of your run just to meet your weekly mileage goals.
. . . you can eat and drink double what everyone else does and not feel guilty. . . well, not too guilty.
. . . you gristle at all the running metaphors for political campaigns.
. . . you've just run your fastest time ever in a race where you placed 8,000th out of 30,000 runners and you feel invincible!

As many of the Pine Belt Pacers are so devoted to engage in training religiously and so hard, I know you will appreciate the following information on a Christmas gift a "very active" friend of mine received last December. Here is his exercise diary....
For Christmas last year my wife purchased me a week of private lessons at the local YMCA health club. Though still in great shape from when I was on the varsity chess team in high school, I decided it was a good idea to go ahead and try it. I called and made reservations with someone named Christy, who said she is a 26-year-old aerobics instructor and athletic clothing model. My wife seemed very pleased with how enthusiastic I was to get started.

Day 1

They suggest I keep this "exercise diary" to chart my progress this week. Started the morning at 6:00 a.m. Tough to get up, but worth it when I arrived at the YMCA and Christy was waiting for me. She's something of a goddess, with blond hair and a dazzling white smile. She showed me the machines and took my pulse after five minutes on the treadmill. She seemed a little alarmed that it was so high, but I think just standing next to her in that outfit of hers added about ten points. Enjoyed watching the aerobics class. Christy was very encouraging as I did my sit ups, though my gut was already aching a little from holding it in the whole time I was talking to her. This is going to be GREAT!

Day 2

Took a whole pot of coffee to get me out the door, but I made it. Christy had me lie on my back and push this heavy iron bar up into the air. Then she put weights on it, for heaven's sake! Legs were a little wobbly on the treadmill, but I made it the full mile. Her smile made it all worth it. Muscles all feel GREAT!

Day 3

The only way I can brush my teeth is by laying the tooth brush on the counter and moving my mouth back and forth over it. I am certain that I have developed a hernia in both pectorals. Driving was okay as long as I didn't try to steer. I parked on top of a Volkswagen. Christy was a little impatient with me and said my screaming was bothering the other club members. The treadmill hurt my chest so I did the stair monster. Why would anyone invent a machine to simulate an activity rendered obsolete by the invention of elevators? Christy told me regular exercise would make me live longer. I can't imagine anything worse.

Day 4 

Christy was waiting for me with her vampire teeth in a full snarl. I can't help it if I was half an hour late, it took me that long just to tie my shoes. She wanted me to lift dumbbells. Not a chance, Christy. The word "dumb" must be in there for a reason. I hid in the men's room until she sent Andy looking for me. As punishment she made me try the rowing machine. It sank.

Day 5

I hate Christy more than any human being has ever hated any other human being in the history of the world. If there was any part of my body not in extreme pain I would hit her with it. She thought it would be a good idea to work on my triceps. Well, I have news for you Christy, I don't have triceps. And if you don't want dents in the floor don't hand me any barbells. I refuse to accept responsibility for the damage, you went to sadist school, you are to blame. The treadmill flung me back into a science teacher, which hurt like crazy. Why couldn't it have been someone softer, like a music teacher, or social studies?

Day 6

Got Christy's message on my answering machine, wondering where I am. I lacked the strength to use the TV remote so I watched eleven straight hours of the Weather Channel.

Day 7

Well, that's the week. Thank goodness that's over. Maybe next time my wife will give me something a little more fun, like free teeth drilling at the dentist's or a free upper-colon exam.
Health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.
Bathroom Scale Tricks 

Some Pine Belt Pacers worry too much about exercising and weight loss!! Don't worry so much about what the scale may show every day.  Here are some quick tricks for you to feel better if you haven't put in enough miles and slacked off on your training too much.  They work great!
1. Weigh yourself fully clothed after dinner and again the next morning without clothes and before breakfast, because it's nice to see how much weight you've lost overnight.
2. Never weigh yourself with wet hair.
3. When weighing, remove everything, including eyeglasses. In this case, blurred vision is an asset. Don't forget to remove jewelry, as it could weigh as much as a pound!
4. Buy only cheap scales, never the medical kind. Accuracy is the enemy and high quality scales are very accurate.
5. Always go to the bathroom first.
6. Weigh yourself after a haircut; this is good for up to half a pound of hair (hopefully).
7. Exhale with all your might before stepping onto the scale. (Air has weight, right?)
8. Start out with just one foot on the scale, then holding onto a towel rod slowly edge your other foot onto the scale while slowly releasing the towel rod. Admittedly, this takes time, but it's worth it. You will weigh at least two pounds less than if you'd stepped onto the scale normally.


More of....You Might Be a Runner If...                                
  • you are not embarrassed to show someone where your hamstring "really" hurts.
  • you can remember a time from a race 4 years ago, but you can't remember your friend's birthdays.
  • you can use endorphins in a sentence.
  • you check out the running stores for the new styles.
  • you could watch a whole marathon and not be bored.
  • you get excited when you hear that there is a new Gatorade flavor.
  • you get up earlier to run on the weekends than you do for school/work.
  • you have more T-shirts than a souvenir shop.
  • you install hooks in your shower for wet running clothes.
  • you know splits are something that not only cheerleaders care about.
  • you not only know how you did in a race, but you know exactly how every other runner finished.
  • you spend at least 25% of your income on running stuff.
  • you think of distances in terms of mile repeats.
  • you wear your running shorts underneath your work clothes so that you can quickly get running after work.
  • you won't drive by any running store without a quick look inside.
  • your friends know to never call you after 8:30 at night.
  • you've seen Chariots of Fire at least 5 times.
  • hearing the soundtrack to "Rocky" gives you goose bumps.
  • you wear a black, plastic sports watch with your dress clothes. 
  • you know your resting heart rate, maximum heart rate, and exactly what
  • your heart rate is at all parts of your run.  
  • you love shoes...running shoes. 
  • you know exactly how far a kilometer is. 
  • you have more old dirty shoes piled by the door than a farmer.  
  • you read each month's issue of Runner's World cover to cover within 24 hours.
  • you drive by a golf course and think what a nice place it would be to run. 
  • you think that the inventor of Powerbar should have his likeness engraved on Mount Rushmore. 
  • you have hundreds of safety pins scattered around your house.   
  • you would stand in line for Bill Rodgers autograph. 
  • you can't wait for your next birthday so you move into a new age group.  
  • you know that cotton is not the best fabric for running! 
  • someone asks you how your run was, you go into a 10 minutes description of every factor of it.   
  • you enjoy running in the rain


You might be a cross country runner if...                   
  • your toenails are black.
  • your shoes have more miles on them than your car does.
  • you need a magnifying glass to see your name in the paper.
  • you have chafing in strange places.
  • people say, "You run three once?"
  • all your socks are either stained or torn.
  • your underwear covers more than your uniform shorts.
  • you run farther in a week than your bus travels for meets.
  • the dogs have to hurry to keep up.
  • the most enjoyable time you've had all month is a day off from practice.
  • your coach won't give you a ride home.
  • the first day of practice you run five miles but your coach says you only ran two.
  • you can spit while running.
  • you go to a golf course to run.
  • your friends go on the elevator and you beat them on the stairs.
  • you finish the race looking like you wrestled a bear and you don't care.
  • your temper is shorter that the distance that you ran.
  • you combine phrases like "10 mile run" and "Easy Run" in the same breath.
  • you can eat your weight in spaghetti.
  • your highest heels are your training shoes.
  • you debate the advantages of anti-perspirent vs. deoderant.
  • the paint from the bathroom walls peels when you leave.
  • you start the race in shorts and finish in a G-string.
  • your spit strings from you chin and you don't even care.
  • a meal involves more than 3 servings!
  • if you schedule dates around meets.
  • your Christmas list includes more than one pair of running shoes.
  • you've been to a golf course in every city but not to play golf.
  • your chest is as flat as your back.
  • you feel lost without your water-bottle.
  • you have running withdrawl if you don't run everyday.
  • you eat spaghetti three times a day.
  • you wake up every morning in pain.
  • gatorade is your drug of choice.
  • you can see your ribs thru your shirt.
  • you have to run around in the shower to get wet.
  • you were asked to be an extra for Schindler's List II.
  • you enjoy running hills.
  • you start to crave Power Bars.
  • your favorite food group is carbohydrates.
  • your women's team has leg hair longer than the grass they ran on.
  • you can strip and change in a bus seat in less than 2 minutes.
  • there are no flies by your gym locker.
  • people think it's a winter sport.
  • you have trouble benching the bar.
  • when you do bad you get to play longer.
  • you find yourself in the middle of a football player's joke.
  • your dessert is brussel sprouts.
  • you foam at the mouth.
  • you are always hungry.
  • your running in your dreams.
  • you have no life besides running
  • your weekends are shot.
  • you wake up with cotton mouth.
  • your are as skinny as a twig and have a stupid knit cap for the head.
  • you can sharpen an axe blade on your calves.
  • the cafeteria ladies look good in the morning.
  • you can maintain a 5:30 pace uphill while throwing up.
  • you think track is for wussies.
  • you try to impress girls by saying you're a fast finisher.
  • you always stretch while waiting in the lunch line.
  • your room smells like Icy-Hot and New-Skin.
  • you are bankrolling your physical therapist's next vacation.
  • your girlfriend can bench more than you.
  • you can count all your ribs.
  • you own spandex in more than 1 color.
  • track is the other "sport"
  • you foam at the mouth everytime you see a big hill.
  • "Chariots of Fire" is actually entertaining to you.
  • a 12 mile run is an easy day.
  • pizza, pasta, pizza, & pasta are your four food groups.
  • your watch is more expensive and complicated than your car.even your dress shoes have spikes.
  • Runner's World provides more pin-ups than Playboy (YEAH SUZY HAMILTON!!!)
  • Steve Prefontaine's Birthday is more important than yours.
  • you aspire to pain.
  • you know as many kinds of pain as eskimos have words for snow.
  • you think spandex is a winter's passion statement.
  • you never look behind you.
  • you don't know what an "off-season" means.
  • you have stress fractures.
  • you find yourself saying, "it's not really a hill..."
  • you hit targets with your snot rocket.
  • your feet are comparable to rawhide.
  • you're running and you don't know why.
  • you see a hill on a putting green.
  • your friends refer to you as "the masochist".
  • your spit hits everything but the ground.
  • you drink more water than Free Willy
  • you can't get the "All you can eat" at spaghetti restaurants
  • you routinely race dogs down the street...and win.
  • dogs follow you everywhere you go
  • you rabbit for the rabbit
  • you have 3% or less body fat
  • you laugh at sprinters while they run
  • theres nothing like intervals to start the week off fresh!!
  • you talk to your coaches more than your parents
  • you'd rather run than watch T.V.
  • watching the New York Marathon on T.V. made you get up and go for a run
  • you can say "I like to run" in over five different languages
  • more than half the people you know don't know what X-C is
  • you haven't had a pop in 6 months
  • your calves are bigger than your biceps
  • your cookie jar is filled with bagels
  • there are more miles on your running shoes than the odeometer of your car
  • a fatman with a gun says alright gentlemen take em off
  • some little kid wants to know why you're running in your underwear
  • you can pronounce those funny Kenyan names
  • you're proud that another team has quadrupled you're score
  • you wear skimpier clothes than Madonna
  • people always ask you what events you are running
  • you can hallucinate and get high at the same time without taking anything
  • you can say more names of your runs than names of your friends
  • you spend more time thinking about the scoring system than you do about scoring with the opposite sex.
  • you always win in your sleep but never in a real race
  • you traded in your Gremlin
  • you wake up in the morning and find that you're already running.
  • the Ritz is your idol, and not a hotel in New York.

The Joy of Jogging                                                
  • For every mile you jog, you add one minute to your life. This enables you, at the age of 85, to spend an additional five months in a nursing home at $5,000/month.
  • The only reason I took up jogging was to hear heavy breathing again.
  • I joined a health club last year, spending $400 in the process. I haven't lost a pound. Apparently you also have to show up.
  • I have to exercise early in the morning, before my brain figures out what I'm doing.
  • I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.
  • The advantage to exercising every day is that you die healthier.
  • I have flabby thighs but fortunately my stomach covers them.
  • If you are going to take up cross-country skiing, it helps to start with a small country.
  • I don't jog; it makes me spill my milk shake.
  • Actually, I don't exercise at all. If we were meant to touch our toes, we would have them farther up on our body.
A Froggy Story                                                      
A man was out jogging in the forest one day when a frog called out to him and said,
"If you kiss me I'll turn into a beautiful princess."
He bent over, picked up the frog, and put it in his pocket.
The frog spoke up again and said,
"If you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess, I will tell everyone how smart and brave you are and how you are my hero."
The man took the frog out of his pocket, smiled at it, and returned it to his pocket.
The frog spoke up again and said,
"If you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess, I'll stay with you for a year and do ANYTHING you want."
Again the man took the frog out of his pocket, smiled at it, and put it back into his pocket.
Finally the frog asked,
"What's the matter? I've told you I'm a beautiful princess, that I'll stay with you for a year and do anything you want. Why won't you kiss me?"
The man replied, 
"Look, I'm a marathoner. I don't have time for a girlfriend, but a talking frog is cool."

25 things you should have learned by now:

  1. If you're too open-minded, your brains will fall out.
  2. Don't worry about what people think, they don't do it very often.
  3. Going to church doesn't make you a Christian, any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
  4. It ain't the jeans that make your butt look fat.
  5. Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.
  6. My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.
  7. Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.
  8. It is easier to get forgiveness than permission.
  9. For every action, there is an equal and opposite government program.
  10. If you look like your passport picture, you probably need the trip.
  11. Bills travel through the mail at twice the speed of checks.
  12. A conscience is what hurts when all of your other parts feel so good.
  13. Eat well, stay fit, die anyway.
  14. Men are from earth. Women are from earth. Deal with it.
  15. No man has ever been shot while doing the dishes.
  16. A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand.
  17. Middle age is when broadness of the mind and narrowness of the waist change places.
  18. Opportunities always look bigger going than coming.
  19. Junk is something you've kept for years and throw away three weeks before you need it.
  20. There is always one more imbecile than you counted on.
  21. Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.
  22. By the time you can make ends meet, they move the ends.
  23. Thou shalt not weigh more than thy refrigerator.
  24. Someone who thinks logically, provides a nice contrast to the real world.
  25. If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you've never tried before.