Linda Word column

From the left, Nancy Stephens, Betsy Grewe and Linda Word take a picture at the Capitol overlook on Louisville Road while taking a break from exercising. (Photo submitted)

Here are some random thoughts I've had about fitness, endurance sports and exercise that may or may not be true:

• If you compete enough, or join enough clubs, you get a lot of nice glassware and pottery. Too bad none of it matches.

• Not all motorized vehicle drivers understand the 3-foot law when it comes to cyclists. It is very scary and causes me to say bad words.

• Taking time off to rest is ok.

• Taking time off to pay attention to other things in life is ok too.

• Learning how to eat healthy seems so simple but is really hard in practice.

• Sugar is in just about everything.

• Running friends, cycling friends and swim friends are not necessarily the same people.

• Cyclists like to eat Mexican after a ride.

• Runners love breakfast and donuts.

• Swimmers are just always hungry.

• Going from running in 50 degree weather to 80 degree weather takes a little bit of time to get used to. And you sweat — a lot.

• If you do enough races, you never have to buy another running shirt.

• Bike grease is messy. Carry baby wipes.

• Changing a bike tire is not as easy as some people make it look.

• Always carry a cell phone when you’re riding. I have used Google maps more than once to figure out where I was.

• Put your phone in a ziplock bag. Cyclists sweat — a lot.

• A cyclist shirt and shorts is called a kit. I have no idea why.

• You can get bike shorts that are like spandex overalls. They are called "bibs." They are more comfortable to wear if you have a belly than the shorts are.

• The pockets on the back of bike shirts are really handy

• Spandex kit’s don’t look good on everyone. At least in a swimsuit, you can hide under water.

• Wetsuits are very difficult to get in to. Full sleeve ones make you feel like the kid in "A Christmas Story" that can’t put his arms down.

• Running with music is nice, but it’s good to take a break from it and listen to the birds sing.

• Loose dogs are scary when you’re on a bike or running. Otherwise, I really like them.

• Mowing grass with a non-motorized mower counts as cardio and strength training in my book. It’s hard work!

• Gardening is hard work too and burns a ton of calories. I prefer biking and running.

• Swimming is easy if you’re brave. Swimming well, is much harder to learn.

Being an athlete of any kind is hard work, but it’s all worth it to keep healthy and have fun!

Linda Word is a Road Runners Club of America certified running coach and an American Council on Exercise personal trainer. If you would like help starting your own running lifestyle, you can contact her at or

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