I don’t know about you, but over the past year, I’ve learned a thing or two about running and, let me just say, not all of the lessons were good! I mean, yes of course, just mustering up the energy to get out there and run is a whole category of its own- it’s fantastic and cleansing, and a fabulous way to feel your body tuned into a constant state of movement, but are there lessons to be learned?
YES, THERE ARE!
I’d like to think I’ve schooled running a bit, ya know, hit the pavement hard, and given it a good run for its money, showing myself, in fact, that I have what it takes to be a great runner.
BUT all of the long runs, short runs, hard runs, milder runs… WHAT HAVE THEY TAUGHT ME?
1] RUNNING TAKES PATIENCE:
There is only so much your body can do…WAIT…WHAT? Well, during runs, although your body takes the brunt of the punishment (fatigue of muscles, joints, etc.), your mind can be punished, too! Not living in the moment, so-to-speak, can really render your mental state, meaning, thinking too far ahead or too far behind, can make you a little crazy; therefore, causing your body to tense up and become less able to perform. It’s best for me to stay in the mile (be where I am) and think positive, encouraging thoughts!
2] KNOW YOUR LIMITS:
I am a very schedule oriented person, meaning, I respond best when one, I have a schedule and when two, I stay on it. Now, a running schedule is especially important for me because it gives me insight into both my progress and my readiness for an upcoming race. I’ve found, though, that I HAVE TO KNOW MY LIMITS, I have to know when enough is enough! Fatigue is one thing, but injury is a whole other factor! Often times, I defined my day by how my run went (or swim went); therefore, was extremely upset when the mileage wasn’t completed. This made me miserable, so now, I listen to my body and take the proper precautions needed to keep my body healthy. If I can’t complete a run or I need to switch one run with another, that’s okay!
3] YOGA IS A MUST:
More so than running, my body has taught me that I must do yoga (at least) a few times a week! There are no exceptions to this rule! Yoga is what keeps my body long and lean, and most importantly, injury free! It’s also a nice stress reliever! At times, my right IT Band gives me some trouble, but yoga really helps to alleviate the tension (even more than the foam roller and the stick roller combined).
4] TURN BACK NOW OR ELSE:
On a lighter note, I’ve learned that it’s not always best for me, especially on longer runs, to run half of my proposed miles out and the second half of my run back (the way I came) because one, I have a terrible sense of direction (and usually get lost) and two, I always end up having to wrap my winter layers (shirts, gloves, jackets, etc.) around my waist which in turn, makes me extremely uncomfortable and claustrophobic for the remainder of my run. It’s best for me to circle back around to my car, at least once, so I can ditch what I don’t need!
5] I LOVE MY RUNNING PARTNER:
I used to be very fidgety when it came to even thinking about running with another person, let alone actually doing it! I don’t know, I felt like running next to someone would destroy that “inner chi” that I’ve worked so hard to establish. I WAS WRONG! My husband is my running partner and I absolutely LOVE running with him! We have tons of fun on our runs (laughing, talking, and joking) and consistently push each other to new and exciting levels: He pushes me, I push him back, and…it just works! We are always in sync with one another! Just last night, on the way home from our run, my husband felt rejuvenated! When we first embarked on mile 1 of 6, he felt tired and sluggish, but responded well to my energy and speed, so then pushed me the last 3 miles! Team work! It feels great to know and hear, too, that I’m pushing him as hard as he’s pushing me (being that he’s an 18 minute 5ker and a 3:10 marathoner). He tells me all the time that I’m a natural runner, have an incredible amount of speed, and will continue to run incredible PRs! In conclusion, I love the mindset we put each other in…POSITIVE!
WHAT HAS RUNNING TAUGHT YOU?
HAVE A GREAT DAY EVERYONE!! STAY TUNED FOR PART 2!