Friday, March 1, 2013

Things I Wish I Knew About Running Before I Started Running

...from someone who still probably shouldn't call herself a runner and runs slower than Christmas and is only in the 5K range...
  • Pace matters. You may think the difference between an 11 min/mile and a 10 min/mile is nothing (I told you, we're talking really slow here), but it is something. In order to increase your distance, you're going to have to run slow. Like way slower than you want. Like "Oh hey, is that someone in a walker passing me right there?" slow. 
  • Faster runs are good too. Just don't get frustrated when you end up burning out pretty quickly. It's all part of the process. Fast runs, at least initially, equal short runs.
  • Running is so, so, so, so, so mental. In good ways in bad. Mental in that you have to go on a run when you're stressed and you come back feeling a thousand times lighter and mental in that you don't think you can make it five more feet without your legs falling off or your lungs catching on fire, but you press on. 
  • You are not going to come back from every run happy. Sorry to burst that bubble. It's true I've never regretted a run. My theory is even five minutes of running is better than sitting on the couch. But, I definitely have not come back from every run happy. Bad runs ARE REALLY BAD. Maybe y'all are stronger than me, but as you've read, I tend to have breakdowns in the middle/after a bad run and question what's wrong with me. Hopefully y'all won't do that, but don't expect every run to be amazing. Sorry to be a Debbie Downer here.
  • On the plus side, good runs ARE REALLY GOOD. Runner's high is a real thing.
  • As far as temperatures go, I'm a baby. My minimum is mid-40s. I'm always freezing when I go out there, but as soon as I run one minute I warm up. Also, runs when it is really hot are miserable.
  • Sunset is a really cool time to run. I'm sure sunrise is too, but this girl doesn't see that unless it involves prepping for a tailgate (priorities, people!). Last night, I set out on a run without a real route in mind. I ended up seeing the sunset on the skyline of Raleigh. Really cool and distracted me for a few minutes.
  • Running is never easy. Well, I'm sure it is for some people, but if you're like me, it's not. Even short runs are hard for me. Some are easier than others, but I have never come back from any run of any distance and said, "Wooo, that was a piece of cake, I wish it could have been harder."
  • It's worth it. As hard as it is and as mentally challenging as it can be, it's so worth it. It's also addicting. I run a short run even when I don't want to for fear of losing the little base I've built up. (Maybe that's also my OCD, control everything personality. Not sure.)
Sorry for the random post today, but I feel like so many running posts come from people who run marathons on the reg and who laugh in the face of a 5k. If that's you, you are SO AWESOME and should probably find another blog to read because I don't think that will ever be me and obviously, I should be learning from you, not vice versa. For the rest of you who are just getting into running or don't regularly run a batrillion miles a day, maybe these can be helpful. 

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