Thursday, April 19, 2012

Running and Learning

May 18, 2011.

The day I took my brand new, fresh out of the box Brooks Adrenaline 11s out for my very first serious run since high school.

I had no idea running would change my life. I had no idea I would learn so much. No idea I'd run so many races. No idea I'd be setting myself up for a half-marathon. Just no idea.

It's crazy how life works.

So today I'm going to share how much I've learned from running, serious and not-so-serious learning experiences.

  • Shoes are the most import piece in your running gear. They protect your feet. Get. Some. Good. Shoes. I've had three pairs of Brooks Adrenaline...and I don't plan on trying anything new. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. 
My first Brooks...Now retired. That was a sad day.
Took Reds place. 
Pink are in rotation with Blue in my preparation for St. Jude
  • Figuring out what to wear for a winter run is harder than it looks. I want to put on all the clothes in my closet, but don't do that. Always put on less than you think you need, otherwise your body will fell like an inferno. Not kidding. 
  • Don't run when you have bronchitis...basically don't run when you are legitimately ill. Give your body time to heal. You won't lose what you've worked for.
  • Don't make up bogus excuse to let yourself not run. I've done this, and I lost most of my mileage from being a lazy ass. 
  • Set goals. Always be working toward something. I know myself well enough to say this: If I'm not training for something, I'm not running. End of story. 
  • Run with friends. It's always better. Always.
  • Save your race bibs. They make you remember good runs or how you overcame bad runs. Plus they make you feel like a bad ass... (This would also go with race medals...I don't have one yet so I can't really say that.)
  • If you see another runner struggling, acknowledge them. Shout some encouraging words. Remind them of the feeling of having run. When the favor is repaid on a day you have a bad run, there is nothing really quite like it. 
  • Watch out for bikers. They think the own the roads/trails because they have two wheels, use hand signals and get to yell "On your left." Stand your ground. Running is just as important as biking. 
  • Watch out for lollygaggers. And by that I mean people who use the trails in the parks to walk around like they've never been outside a day in their lives. This group also includes: love birds, out-of-towners, nature enthusiasts, creepy bystanders, etc. They have a right to be there, just be aware that they are completely unaware of their surroundings and the fact that you even exist.
  • A new pair of Nike running shorts can make your day. 
  • Sweat can and will accumulate in weird, un-thought of places. Just keep that in mind. I won't go into detail.
  • Treadmill running and outside running are ABSOLUTELY AND COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. People who say it's the same lied to you...and they probably have never ran outside. Don't listen to's complete BS.
  • Running is a major mind game, especially in the beginning. A mile seems so far. It's all in your mind. Don't let it get you down. I use to think I'd never be able to run 3 miles at one time. But I did it. I use to think a 10K was ridiculous. But I did that, too. I use to think people who trained for half-marathons where insane. But I'm doing it. It's all in your mind. Attitude is everything. 
  • Your body will change in a good way. I use to only have skin on my calves. Now I have some pretty defined muscles. (And it makes me feel like a bad ass...I shouldn't say that...but it's true.) The most definite changes I saw were in my leg muscles. I've gained a few pounds, but it's all muscle. And I know that by the way my clothes fit. All the same clothes, different fit. 
  • Couch to 5K is a completely legit way to start running. I used it, and it totally works. The key is to keep running when the program is done. Get the app or print the plan and go do it. 
  • Always remember why you started running. Sometimes you let yourself forget. Don't do that. Remember why you started running, and reflect on it. If your reason has changed, that's ok. Own it. It just means you, as a person, are changing. Run with it...literally. 
Thanks for coming on this journey with me. I'm sure I'll have a lovey-dovey post about running on my Running Anniversary...MAY 18...for those of you who didn't clue in at the beginning of this. 
Hooray for running! Be lovin' you.

Do you have anything you've learned from running or exercising that needs to be added to the list? Let me hear about it in the comments. :)

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