Thursday, July 24, 2008

Take It and Run Thursday: Overcoming the Tough Stuff

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.


merrymishaps said...

I don't think I'll ever make myself run before 6 am ... but I am often up that early to drive to races!

Betsy said...

It's definitely a mental game, one that you'll be conquering on your 20. Good luck to you!

Frayed Laces said...

Great tips! I hear you on the pounding of long runs. Oy--they do kill ya!

Steve Stenzel said...

Yes, that second point is SOOO TRUE I want to barf.

Shilingi-Moja said...

This resonates with me. It took me a full year before I could say that I actually liked running.

Sonia said...

love the commercial! I would totally be that pathetic, heck I was when I got injured.

It is definitely a mental sport and most non-runners do not realise that. It's not all about the physical capacity to do a marathon, your desire and guts is what will get you to that finish line..

Maddy said...

Great tips! I love that commercial! Have you ever been there? Not that you've broken up with running, but when you haven't given it enough attention and you see it flirt with others?

I think it's really cool that your mom is running with you in January!

We have to make plans to meet up this year!

Bob Almighty said...

I agree with the last one, I have slowly become lord of the snooze button.

Wes said...

Thanks for coming by Leana! I can relate to so much on this post. Dee Dee asked me years and years ago to start running and train for marathons, and I was like, no way. Then, one day I told her I was going to do triathlons, and to start out, I needed to run. Like it was my own idea and all :-) But I haven't forgotten!

Running is one of the things where it is socially acceptable to cause ourselves pain. Beats piercing and self-mutilation any day! LOL!! Ewwww :-) We'll just admit we are addicted to the endorphins and move on!!

I am slowly becoming a morning peep, after two years. It takes time (and less alcohol ;-)

Good luck with your training!

Rainmaker said...

Great lessons!

I agree, finding a way to enjoy it by just taking it in and saying hello to people is the best way!