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Runner Lisa Jhung, seen here in her Boulder home in 2016, advises runners to shop at running specialty stores in order to get shoes that correctly fit their needs.
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When I started perusing a copy of “Running That Doesn’t Suck: How to Love Running (Even if you Think You Hate It),” the new book by Boulder’s Lisa Jhung, I thought back to a run we did with the Boulder Trail Runners a couple years back.

While Buzz Burrell and the others flew down Green Mountain, I tip-toed down the Saddle Rock trail with Jhung, 47, also the author of “Dirt: the Lowdown on all Things Trail” and a long-time contributor to Runner’s World and Trail Runner, among other publications.

What I recall was how how enjoyable the run was, picking our way through the woods, taking in the sights and the pleasurable conversation. That, of course is the key, Jhung said, when I called her last week to congratulate her on her second book (we’re tied now) and to find her advice for Camera readers on “How to Love Running.”

Jhung’s book ties in just right with a talk, titled “The Joyful Journey,” former triathlon champ and Women’s Quest founder Colleen Cannon is giving Wednesday at the Museum of Boulder, 2055 Broadway. Like Jhung, Cannon is an exuberant personality, with an unflagging work ethic coupled with a gentleness that makes them both fun to be around, and certainly to run with.  As the oh-too-soon early winter descends on Boulder and the darkness settles in, Cannon’s and Jhung’s stories resonate with lessons for the rest of us on how to keep our training going through the short, cold days ahead.

Cannon took to running as a child growing up in Indiana, running back and forth to stables to work with horses, her first passion. She became a youth swimmer, and when she entered her first triathlon on a whim while swimming for the University of Auburn, she was off on a decade-long career that took her around the world and back. After retiring as a pro triathlete in 1992, Cannon continued spreading her “infectious joy,” as her husband, local attorney Howard Kaushansky, put it.

“Colleen was always viewed as enthusiastic, supportive, approachable and an inspiration to all triathletes,” said Kaushansky. ”I have seen hundreds of Women Questers become more empowered with a renewed spark for life all due to the infectious joy Colleen shares with each person. Colleen has the unique alchemical ability to take her success and joy as an athlete and infuse the rest of the world with that joy to make this place just a little bit better.”

If you want to feel a bit of Colleen Cannon joy that more than 100,000 women have experienced at her retreats, Wednesday’s free talk starts at 6 p.m.

Jhung was just the right person to write “Running That Doesn’t Suck,” because when she started running to train for a timed mile in order to make her college volleyball team, “I hated it,” she said when we chatted on the phone Thursday. “I was a jumper in high school and would hide behind the (jump) pits during the two-lap team warmup.”

Turned out Jhung was better at the mile than volleyball. After that first mile, she never stopped running, and has passed along her joy of running to her sons, Ben and Sam. With Sam, she has run three Bolder Boulders, a mother-son bonding that is “super fun, weaving through crowds.”

Jhung explained many beginners start running to lose weight, or to finish a first 5K by following a strict training plan. While those are valid reasons, “if they’re not enjoying it, then they might stop running once they reach whatever goal they set for themselves, and they might not have a healthy relationship with running.

“But if you truly learn to love it by finding a way that works for you, specifically, you have a great chance to make it a life-long love affair.”

Continued Jhung, “My theory is that the master key to learning to love running is knowing yourself, asking yourself some questions that might seem like common sense, and then applying them to your running to find an approach that works specifically for you.

“Set yourself up for success by playing to your strengths.”

For example, if you not a morning person, don’t force yourself to get out too early. And if you are burnt out, leave your watch behind or run with a new friend. And she emphasized, “There is no shame in walking. If you’re just starting out or returning to running after a hiatus, let yourself walk.”

This will help “your body and mind ease into running so that it doesn’t suck! Your run increments will soon increase and you’ll be more comfortable for the long haul. Everyone, every body type, can run. You just have to make it your own.”

And, I finally asked Jhung, after 30 years, does she still love running?

“I do. I do. I don’t get the ‘runners’ high’ every time, but I do love heading out for a run, especially in the mountains.”

Follow Sandrock on Instagram: @MikeSandrock.

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