For Runners' Lounge Take It and Run Thursday - what is the tough stuff in your running, and how do you overcome it? What is tough for one person may not be tough for another, but as I swiftly approach my next marathon this is a pretty good question.
- Long distance runs are hard. There is no way around it, but I truly believe they help prepare you for the task at hand. A couple of girls in my boot camp class asked how long I ran this weekend. When I replied 3-1/2 hours there was shock and exclamations of "Wow, how do you do that for so long?" Truthfully 3-1/2 hours is a long time and after awhile your body starts to feel the pounding, but it really becomes a mental game. Focus on the positive, enjoy the scenery, say hello to the runners and the bikers on the path with you. If possible, find someone else to run with you. If you can't, then enjoy the time to think through things on your own, or just enjoy zoning out the entire time. Someone please remind me of my own advice when I go for 20 miles next weekend.
- You won't love running right away, and even once you do fall in love, there will be days when you absolutely hate it. I always tell new runners that I hated running. For years. Throughout school I hated that I was always the second to last person to finish the mile in gym class. I hated that my gym teacher told me I should be faster because I had such long legs. Running hurt and I wanted nothing to do with it. As an adult I still hated running and how I managed to stick with it enough to get a few races under my belt still boggles my mind. I'm not sure when I first realized that I actually liked running. But it happened, and I can't imagine not doing it now. I think I will always need something to train for - I like the structure of a training plan telling me what to do - but with so many races on my wish list I can't see that I'll run out of ideas and goals any time soon. Most importantly, I still have my crappy runs. I remember when every run in February and March hurt. But I had to keep striving for when those great runs would return, and it did happen. Just have faith.
- Getting up early sucks. But you have to find a time that works for you for when you are going to fit those runs in. Especially if you are training for something. My mom will be running a full marathon with me in January and at one point I think I might have told her that you can't phone in a marathon. It takes work to get to the starting line, and for me I find that running before 6 am is what I need to make sure that those runs happen. And truthfully, I like how quiet it is that early in the morning. And now that it is the summer, I like how cool it is too.
Ultimately, I think this commercial sums it up for me - I stick with it, because otherwise I'd be like the guy on the bench.