Have you been running so long that you’ve forgot how hard it was to start? Have you forgotten your first running steps, shuffling for 100 yards before stopping to pant and wheeze? While you can never regain your lost innocence, you can help a friend lose theirs! Just clip out this article and give it to them along with some old shoes and faded tights. After all, misery loves company and birds of a feather should trot together, so get some scissors and snip this out!


Before starting any new activity, you must buy stuff! this is what keeps America great! Start with shoes.    Pay no attention to high tech claims about medial posts and that kind of garbage, shoes should be chosen entirely on appearance. Pass over any shoes with useless Bells and Whistles. Buy a pair of BRIGHT YELLOW shoes, they are the current rage. Then add a bright blue halter top and shorts and you will not only look sharp but you will be Miss Popular at the Lindsborg, Kansas, 5K run.


You can’t buy too much stuff, right? As the hens are fond of saying, no use going off half cocked. Warm up suits, fancy dark glasses, and a bag with sixteen compartments and eighteen zippers. You will need a nice van to carry all your stuff (and your friends) to training runs and races.


Buy or borrow Arthur Murray’s book on dancing. Inside you will find a set of six footprints that you are supposed to cut out and paste on the floor to learn the basic fox-trot. Make 500 copies of both a left and a right footprint and number them 1 to 1000. Starting at your driveway, glue them to the pavement at 15 inch intervals clear around your block. You must now invest 59 cents in a spiral notebook that will serve as your log. All compulsive runners are required to have a log. In this log you will record how many steps you were able to run each day before having to stop to pant and wheeze.


Now that you can run around the block, it is time to find a group to run with. Running is much more fun if you run with a group like the KC Track Club, Ladies Express, or the Blue Springs Runners. To find a group you must rent a hot-air balloon, or a Zeppelin, or small airplane. Running groups are more easily spotted from the air. On weekdays you will spot them in the evening, but on weekends you must look for them at seven in the morning. Train your binoculars on parks and pathways. If all else fails, call 911.


It is time to set your sights on a race to give you a goal to train for. Resist the temptation to enter the Leadville 100 or the 52 mile Comrades in South Africa. Choose instead the St. Pats 4 Mile or the Brew to Brew Relay. If you want to be an instant winner pick the Louisberg 5K or the Blue Springs Half Marathon, where you will be the only one in your age group. Keep careful track of your birthdays so you remember to move up a group every five years: no more being 39 forever! And sign up for every running club in town and every magazine you hear about. Soon your mail box will be stuffed with news and stories (like this) to keep you motivated.

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