April 1st is usually known for April Fools Day. I'll always remember it for an unexpected day trip that blossomed into a great idea. This picture of me having lunch outside of a Hillsborough Street Jimmy John's on the NCSU campus in Raleigh is a great reminder of this awesome day. I love this picture for so many reasons.
For one, my shirt speaks to my heart. It's my love of running that has me sitting for this picture about an hour and 20 mins from home. A client ended up having to cancel her mid morning session, so I took advantage of this unusual free time to check out Runologie, a cool independent running store I had heard about in Raleigh.
Second, it was this visit to Runologie that inspired RunTheBoro, a two-month eight-run event through the city of Greensboro.
Third, it shows that ideas can sprout when you least expect them. A little nugget of an idea can blossom into something that can affect hundreds of people in such a positive way. In just 3 months after taking this picture, RunTheBoro brought together over 300 runners, sparking new friendships, rekindling old friendships, all the while sharing history of Greensboro from the Revolutionary War, to the dawn of Civil Rights in the 1960s, to the present day revitalization of once neglected neighborhoods.
Fourth, this picture reminds this Dude to be a sponge, always receptive to new ideas. If this once nonathletic-chubby kid, sitting on the campus of NC State in Raleigh, wearing a Tar Heel 10-Miler T-shirt, after visiting a running store 70 miles from home, can return home with an idea that can affect hundreds of runners in Greensboro in an amazingly positive way, just think what other possibilities lie ahead.
RunTheBoro #2 will begin May 6th at 7:00am at RunnerDude's Fitness. Each Saturday during the months of May and June, runners will traverse over 25 different Greensboro neighborhoods and 4 different greenways. There will 12 different pace groups from 7:30 to Walking. For each run there will be a 5ish-mile route and an 8-10ish mile route. Prior to each run, historic information for the neighborhoods explored will be provided in the RunTheBoro Newsletter. (To receive this free newsletter click here.)
We are also very excited to have some local businesses as sponsors this year-Green Joe's Coffee Company, Omega Sports, Bill Black Chevrolet, Di'lishi Frozen Yogurt, Junction 311 Endurance Sports, and The Cleaning Authority. With their support we'll have RunTheBoro T-shirts for sale at the runs. A portion of the sale from the T-shirts goes to the Greenway Water Fund. This fund helps RunnerDude's Fitness provide bottled water in four coolers along the Atlantic & Yadkin Greenway year-round. We put out around 8,000-10,000 bottles of water each year for Greensboro runners. For more info and/or to make a donation to the Greenway Water Fund click here.
RunTheBoro is a free event. Come out and participate in one or all eight runs! For more information on RunTheBoro click here. To join the RunTheBoro Group Run Facebook page click here.
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Saturday, April 1, 2017
Thursday, March 30, 2017
Just started running and find it a little daunting or have you been running for a while and find yourself in a rut? In either case, setting a running goal might be just the thing. Sometimes that little push of a commitment is all you need to get you going. Personally, I've found that setting a yearly running goals, gives me the motivation I need to keep running year-round. Plus, it gives me something to look forward to and strive for.
When you set a goal for yourself, be it a 5K, 10K, half marathon, full marathon, ultra, or whatever the distance, it gives you something tangible to aim for. Setting a goal, making-a-plan to achieve that goal, and monitoring your progress can help raise your self-confidence as you realize that you have the ability to achieve the goal.
Make sure you set a strong goal. Don't be wishy-washy. Goals like, "I'm going to run more this year" or "I'm going to train harder" really aren't very motivating and you'll quickly lose interest. However, committing to running your first 10K, half or full marathon and announcing it to the world...now that's a goal. Sometimes making your goal something that's a part of something even bigger like a charity fund-raiser can help strengthen your commitment even more.
Make your goal realistic but at the same time make it a little challenging by selecting something that's attainable, but a little beyond your comfort zone. A challenge like this will give you something to work toward as well as build and increase your strength and endurance. Be careful though not to make your goal so challenging that you'll become discouraged and quit.
Making a long-range plan will often help you avoid picking a goal that may be out of reach at-the-moment. For example, if you are a brand-new runner and you'd really like to run a marathon, make the marathon your long-range goal and make running a 5K, 10K, and/or half-marathon your short-term goal(s). This may take a little longer, but it will help ensure that you reach the long-term goal you desire so much. If you're a new runner, achieving these smaller milestones will help build your confidence as you see the progress being made working your way up the ladder.
Post your goal for all to see. Let your family, friends, and coworkers know about your goal. Knowing that others are award of your goal will make you more accountable. This positive pressure will help you get out there for a run on those days that you're not so motivated to do so. Try to recruit a buddy to join you in your challenge. Running with a buddy can be very enjoyable and you can help keep each other motivated.
Reward your efforts! Attach some kind of treat to your successful completion of your goal. You will have worked hard, so celebrate the fruits of your labor and then get to work setting your next goal.
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
|I wanted to be an architect like Mr. Brady.|
This morning I Facebook messaged with a friend who was telling me he was miserable in his current job. I told him to think about what was worse, being safe in his current job but miserable, or (albeit scary) taking a leap of faith and make a change and do what he really wanted to do. It made me reflect on my own past decisions.
When someone asked me as a kid what I wanted to do when I grew up, I'd usually say I wanted to be an architect. I think that was because "Mr. Brady" the dad on my favorite TV show "The Brady Bunch" (this was the 70s) was an architect. I didn't really know what that was, but it sounded cool.
|My early art. Not great, but I really enjoyed drawing, It was|
my escape. Probably haven't drawn anything in 20 years.
Then all of the sudden I'm getting ready to graduate from High School and I'm expected to have a career in mind. I really had no idea. I was accepted into App State, NCSU, and UNC-Chapel Hill. Not exactly sure why, but I chose App State. I was thinking I was going to go into "art" not knowing what that really was or meant. There's one thing about me that has always been and will always be and that is that I might not know what I want, but I definitely know what I don't want.
My first few days at App were not very good. Now keep in mind, I had really only been away from home by myself once. I was a preacher's kid and while I wasn't really sheltered I was a very naive kid. Looking back I'm pretty proud of that naivete because it really let me be a kid. Problem was that at that point in my life that naivete didn't prepare me for the first couple days of college life having drunk kids fall into my room and lots of other not-so-appropriate-things being thrown in my face full force in concentrated form on day one. Scared the heck out of me. I called home and without much detail, I told my parents that ASU just wasn't for me. My Dad, said, "Well, let me come up there tomorrow, we'll talk about it, and then we'll decide what to do." Dad arrived the next day like he promised. But when he got there, I had my room emptied and my car packed. We headed home. LOL! Like I said, I may not know what I want, but I know what I don't want. Still true today.
So coming home, my Dad said I had to have a plan. And so I did. Because school had already started, I couldn't just go to NCSU or UNC even though I had been accepted. I had to reapply. So that semester, I took evening classes at UNC while awaiting my re-acceptance status for the second semester at UNC or NCSU. I heard from NCSU first so, I headed to Raleigh with the idea I'd be a business major. First two semesters were great, then in my third semester, when I took my first "real" business class (some kind of statistics class), I thought "holy crap!" Decided then-and-there that the business route was not for me (kind of ironic since today, I'm a small business owner). I transferred to UNC-Chapel Hill as an Education major.
|A letter from a student in my last 5th grade class.|
Wow! She'd be about 31 now....I feel old.
I was in publishing for 13 years. Loved what I did. Had worked my way from writer/editor, to Senor Editor of Intermediate Books, to Book Development Manager, to Curriculum Manager. I got to travel some and really loved what I was doing. I thought I'd be in publishing until retirement. Then the bottom fell out of the economy in 2009 and 1/3 of the company I worked for was let go. I was a part of that 1/3. Funny how the ones with the most experience and longevity are the first to go during times like that. Insult to injury, the company held me to a non-compete and I was not able to work in my field for 18 months. I could have fought it, but instead I took it as a sign to do what I really loved doing....running and fitness. Leap of faith #2.
So in 2009, back to school I went getting my diploma in fitness training from the National Personal Training Institute in Raleigh, my personal training certification from the American College of Sports Medicine, and coaching certifications from RRCA for marathon training and USA-TF for track and short distance running.
In 2010, I leased a 400 sq ft office space in Greeensboro, NC with (no money and no clients) and opened RunnerDude's Fitness. Leap of Faith #3. Scared to death, but excited beyond belief, I began my journey as RunnerDude. Best decision of my life. In the past seven years, that 400 sq ft has grown to 3000 sq ft and that zero client list has grow to me working with over 600 running and fitness clients. I've helped hundreds of runners reach their running goals from running for the first time to qualifying for Boston. I've crafted RunnerDude's Blog into one of the top rated running blogs in the country, being read in over 90 countries and over 1.5 million page views, giving me the opportunity to interview running greats like Olympians Shalane Flanagan, Kara Goucher, Nick Symmonds, and Jeff Galloway as well as Runner's World's Bart Yasso.
|Evolution of a Dude|
Change is hard, but to grow as an individual, you need change. Your change may not be a huge career change, but whatever change comes your way, embrace it, it may bring amazing things your way. Are you due for a leap of faith?
Monday, March 6, 2017
Sunday, March 5, 2017
"Bad" runs can occur at any time with any runner. The causes can be everything from your head just not being in the game to lack of sleep. But, more often than naught, a bad run is the result of improper hydration and/or fueling. I've compiled a few basic hydration and fueling tips in the video below. Take a look. Hope there are a few good takeaways for you. Give them a try and see you have a better run.
RunnerDude's Hydration and Fueling Tips from Thad McLaurin on Vimeo.
Thursday, February 16, 2017
Over the years, I've been very fortunate in having opportunities to interview Olympic athletes. In 2012, I was able to interview Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher just before they headed to the London Games. Yesterday I had the opportunity to catch up with two-time Olympian, Nick Symmonds.
Nick's first Olympic experience was at the 2008 Games in Beijing, the second taking place at the 2012 Games in London. Unfortunately, Nick was not able to make a third Olympics (Rio) due to an ankle injury just before the Games. In January, Nick announced he'd be retiring from competitive running after the 2017 outdoor season. It's been about 10 years since Nick turned pro and he's had an awesome career as a runner and his legacy will continue with his support of runners (and all endurance athletes) with his new product, Run Gum. Talking with Nick, I got to know a little more about this talented runner and outspoken advocate for athletes' rights.
Take some time to check out the interview below to learn even more about this pretty cool Dude.
Interview with Two-Time Olympian Nick Symmonds