7 Truths of Running
I have been recently tagged by Angela and Art to tell 7 things about me. I did this in November and really don't know if there are 7 more things I could tell you about myself that I would want to admit to ... outloud ... in public. So, I decided to combine that great theme with Basics of Running theme for our first Take it and Run Thursday and share with you 7 truths I have learned about running.
It's taken me almost 13 years to learn these lessons. These lessons are not so much about the nuts and bolts of training runs, or hydration, or hill repeats. They touch on the harder parts of running that derail us from our goals, make it hard to start, impossible to stay with it, or somedays make us wonder if we were really cut out for running.
7 Basic Truths of Running....learned the hard way:
1. There are many right ways to run. Early on, I truly believed that there was a right way to train for a race and run. A perfect pace, the right distance, the right trail or track, even certain clothes. After a few years of reading many books, trying the "right" plans, I found out that many of the plans were right - just at different times and for different people. Play around with them until you find one right for you.
2. Just Try It. Starting is the hardest part. No one wants to fail or come up short. But you really never know if you can do a 5K, 10K or a marathon if you don't try. Andria recently posted this quote that she saw on a group of runners at the Disney Marathon - I think it sums it up perfectly - Dead Last Finish beats Did Not Finish which trumps Did Not Start. What is the worst thing that can happen?
3. Lots of Little Things Turn into Many Big Changes. Especially if you are a later in life new runner - you know the power of evolution. For the first few runs you think you will die or want to die and wonder if it will get easier. And then over weeks and months the distances get longer or faster. You find your eating and sleeping habits changing to match your goals. Over the next few years, you find a hobby has become a lifestyle. It happens gradually but with lasting impacts.
4. Life and Running don't always mix. Expect training plans to be derailed and kicked off course because of work, family, sickness, weather, celebrations, holidays, friends, tragedy, celebration.... heck, just about everything. The key word is "plans". Adjust them, plan something different. Be flexible and adapt.
5. Speed and endurance can be obtained, but rarely at the same time. For us average runners, trying to get faster while running longer is a too much to mix. It can be done - but you need to be in a really good zone. Which can be hard due to #4.
6. Perfection is completely relative. While almost every run is enjoyable, very few are perfect. There have been only a handful of races that have had near perfect conditions. And training runs...well, using the last 10 as a judge - the weather is never perfect. And add to that the complexity of our own physical readiness, mental capability, and challenging schedules - somedays it amazes even me I can finish a run. Don't bank on perfect - bank on reality.
7. Talk to other runners to learn the good stuff. The runner on the trail with you, the runner you work with, the runner you live with....they are all experts in their own rights. I have learned the realities and possibilities of running from ordinary runners. They tell me the really good stuff.