I’ve been thinking about this post for a long time. Months, even. I keep thinking that a lot of the lessons I learned seem kind of cliche. But whatever. I’m writing about them anyway because nobody reads this blog but me.
So here are the lessons I learned from running:
1. I am a runner because I run. Dumb right? Obvious. It was weird to have the realization that I’d become a runner. At first, I wouldn’t have called myself that. I could only run for about a minute before I felt like I was going to fall over. But I was still running. I was a runner before I was a good runner.
2. You have to work up to your goal. If you could already do it, there would be no point in setting the goal in the first place. And it is good to stretch your abilities. It is okay to do just what you can do comfortably plus a little extra. When I first started training, I embraced the concept of intervals. I would run for 1 minute and then walk for 1 minute. As I developed some endurance, I went to running for 2 minutes and walking for 1. Then I progressed to 3:1. Now I can run for 40 minutes if I want to. For long distances, I usually stick to a 4:1 ratio because it feels like my sweet spot. I could go for days on that interval. And, now that I feel reasonably sure that I can attain my goal of running 13.1 miles in one stint, I’ve come up with other goals that I want to go for.
3. Sometimes you have to do things that you don’t wanna do. For example, if you are training for a half marathon, you have to actually practice running long distances. And if you happen to be training for a half marathon in the heat of summer, sometimes you have to get up super early so that you can run for 2 hours before the sun burns your ginger skin. Really, once you get past the rolling out of bed at 6 am thing, the run actually feels pretty good.
4. In the large scheme of the training plan, it is okay to miss a few runs. It doesn’t mean that you’re a failure. It just means that you missed a few. It’s not like you’re quitting, you just had something else to do. Don’t beat yourself up, just do your next run and forget about it.
5. Community is important. Training with my husband has been a huge help. It is nice to have somebody to keep you company because, let’s face it, running alone gets boring fast. In addition to that, several of my co-workers are also training for the half. I feel supported by the group, which is new for me (I usually avoid group activities). We can all talk about the woes of running and the joys. Plus, I know somebody is going to ask me on Monday how my weekend running went, so I’m less likely to skip. It’s great. And if I’m being totally honest, this brings out my competitive nature a little. I want to do well and I don’t want to be left in the dust.
So, I hope you’ve enjoyed this blast of cliche! Have a great weekend, everyone!