Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Running realizations for life

When I'm running a lot of thoughts go through my head (as you might remember from this post).  The other day, I was thinking about how far I've come in my running progress.  I started this whole thing just a few years ago, thinking there was no way I'd ever even be able to finish a 5K.  Once I did that, I thought there was no way I'd keep running, get faster, or run any further.  And now I'm training for a half-marathon. I realized there are a lot of life lessons in the challenge of running.  I thought I'd share a few of them here.

The first step is always the hardest, but it gets easier after that.
Getting out of the house is sometimes the biggest challenge. Likewise, in life, getting out of my comfort zone can be very scary. But after I get past that initial hump, I'm fine.

A bad run doesn't mean you're bad at running.  Just wait a little while and try again.
I have at least one bad run a month. I ache, I feel slow, and I'm just really glad when it's over.  I wonder how I can call myself a runner.  A few days later, I hit the trails again and I forget about my doubt. In the past two years, I've been let go from two communications jobs, which made me wonder how I can call myself a writer. Then someone sends me a nice comment about something I've written (here or one of my books), and I realize I'm still a writer.

You have to be your own cheerleader because no matter how much support you have, the loudest voice should be your own. 
There will always be people who don't care or don't want you to succeed, but as long as you believe, that's all you need.  Running is a very solitary sport and life is a solo journey.  The opinion that matters the most is your own.

Closed trails and road blocks just mean find another route. You can still get where you're going.
Parts of my usual trail were closed over the summer for construction and now another part is closed for the winter.  It's very frustrating because it makes me change up the route I had in my head.  Sometimes it means residential running, which I despise.  But I haven't let it make me quit yet.  I just get my run in -- one way or another.  When you're set on doing something or getting somewhere, you'll always find a way.

Sometimes a change of scenery is all you need to get out of a rut.
I suppose this kind of goes with the one above.  When my route has to change at the last minute, it's frustrating.  But there have been a few times when it actually made my run better and more enjoyable. I didn't even realize I was in a running rut until I had to make a change.  I've seen that in other areas of life too -- work, friendships, dating. 

P.S. I had this post written and scheduled more than a week ago, and then The Daily Runner posted this yesterday.  There are some more great insights over there. 

Do you have any to add?


  1. all of these are so true. I have so many bad runs, but then I have that one good run and it's like, phew. And the one about you being your own cheerleader is right on the nose- no one cares that I ran 3 miles without stopping, or that I didn't want to run but did. No one except me.

  2. I love this. Mountain biking is much the same and I can't wait to get back in the saddle. I guess the only thing I would add is don't be afraid to stumble because you learn, even from the bumps and bruises and it makes you stronger.

  3. Great lessons! Your running journey is seriously inspiring. You're absolutely right-- the hardest part about running/working out for me is just getting out the door to do it.


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