What Does "Tack On" Mean?

I realize that I say and hashtag the phrase "Tack On" a great deal.

So I thought I'd do a quick blog post on where that phrase came from (for me).

     In college I was known for always adding on extra mileage to our runs.  I'd run an extra lap around the school or on the track just to get a little bit more mileage.  Or I'd take the group I was running with somewhere they didn't know, not tell them how far/long we'd run, or just take random turns that would add distance.  Or run a little bit farther on my morning runs.  Basically so I could add it to my running log and attempt to run as much possible each week.  Before workouts though I would add mileage to help myself warm up, since my body seems to have a hard time with that.  So much so that my coach began having me do 3 mile shake out runs early in the morning before the actual warm-up for the race to help wake my body up.

     My sophomore year of college I began running twice a day to up my mileage.  Those morning runs were incredibly painful and slow since I was always very sore in the morning (another reason for the pre-race early morning shake-out runs).  Those who have lived with me know walking is an extremely challenging feat in the morning.  That bumped my mileage up into the 90s.  Then my junior year I started hitting 100 mile weeks interspersed with 90 mile weeks.  That was perfect.  I had some of my best times and performances toward the end of that track season.  So then I thought, "More must be better right?"  Thus came 110-120 mile weeks during that summer and winter.  I came into both cross country and track overtrained.  In XC i ran faster times but got sick right before going to NCAA DIII Nationals because my body couldn't handle the stress anymore.  During track I had mostly lackluster performances and only small gains in the 1500m and 5k.  My fastest 10k is still the 2012 NWC 10,000m championship during my junior year.  Which I won (can you tell I'm proud?).  So hopefully I'll learn moderation sometime in the future.

     But yes.  I like to run a ton.  If I could, I would run three times a day (which I have done).  I like to run as much as possible and in exact amounts to make ABSOLUTELY sure I hit a certain number of miles per week.  Why?  Because I am a mileage addict.  It's only gotten worse with a Garmin.  I have the 210 and am interested in trying the 220 when I can afford it someday.  By then it'll be the 240.

     Anyone who has been my teammate knows that I like to add mileage to runs.  If you're not careful and paying attention while running with me, you'll end up going more miles than you planned.  Long runs can be particularly bad.  I've done this so often that my University of Puget Sound track and cross country teammates began referring to what I was doing as "Tacking On" more mileage.  Hence the phase, "Tack On."

    Obviously that phrase has been applied to other areas of my life.  Like when I tell jokes that cross the line.  Which I do a great deal.  And I don't just cross that line.  I run 3-4 miles past it.  Thus, I have tacked on.

So know you know how the phrase "Tack On" made it into my life.

    It's a phrase that reminds me to go the extra mile.  Whether in actual mileage, school and life.  I use it to strive to be a better person, runner and human being.

So go out there and "Tack On."

Thanks for reading.

-Matt Klein, SPT