If you would have talked to me 1 year ago and asked me if I would ever run a half marathon, I would have laughed in your face. Fast forward 1 year and I have 4 under my belt with 2 more scheduled for 2015.
1 year ago on May 4, 2014 I ran my first half marathon. It was the hardest thing I had done since giving birth and just as rewarding! Months of training, days of doubt and fear, pains, cramps and then the overwhelming pride, happiness and tears of joy for a job well done!
Who knew that a year later, I would still be at it and LOVING it so much!!??!!
My girlfriend jokes me all the time at how ‘obsessed’ (her word-not mine-lol!) I have become with ‘this running thing’. She often starts or ends our conversations with ‘you runners-I tell ya’.
Well a year has gone by and I thought I would share a few things that I have learned in this year of running.
1. There is a National Running Day!!!
What!?!? Who knew-of course I know now and of course had to get a run this morning in celebration of being a runner 🙂
2. The running community is SERIOUS!!!!
-It’s like a mafia for sure. I do mean that in the a good way. The running community has your back, picks you up when you are down, supports you, challenges you, loves you, and protects its own!! In what other individual sport would a person think less of their goal, PRs, themselves to help a runner across a finish line. In what other individual sport would a community come together when a runner has been ridiculed, teased, or made to feel bad about their efforts. NO OTHER INDIVIDUAL SPORT SUPPORTS THEIR ATHLETES LIKE RUNNERS!!!
JUST PURE BEAUTY!!!!
3. You don’t have to run alone!
When I first started running, I put on my headphones and headed out the door. After a while, I lost motivation because running by myself got boring and lonely and I had a hard time pushing myself past my comfort zone.
Thankfully, I have found local running groups that help me to stay motivated, encouraged and supported. I don’t know where I would be without my BGR! , MRTT and AMR girls!!! I surely wouldn’t have run 4 half marathons and have a 2016 run schedule already tentatively planned-lol!!! #racepushers
4. Running is NOT a cheap sport
That notion that all you need is a pair of sneakers and some sweats is so 1980!! The cost of running is astounding!!!!
-ipods, music apps
-dri-fit clothes (sport bras, shirts, shorts, skirts, capris, leggings, etc)
-fuel (gu, nuun, tailwind, cocogo, quest bars, larabars, ect.)
AND THIS IS ALL BEFORE YOU SIGN UP FOR A RACE!!! Then add:
The need for a part time job to support my hobby is REAL YA’LL!!!
5. Preparing for a run is important!
Where you will run, when you will run, what type of run you will be doing, what will you wear, what will you need with you. Who knew. What happened to just putting on your shoes and hitting the pavement!!!
6. Running and the Runner’s High is addictive!!!
After running my 1st half last year, I developed ITBS and/or Runner’s Knee. The pain was unbearable…..but it din’t stop my from participating in a 10 miler that I had on the schedule for 5 weeks later. I know crazy right!? I couldn’t let the entry go to waste-right? It actually ended up being a great race that I walked most of and ran a little however, I got to have some wonderful conversations and sights during the entire race.
7. Sign up for races early!
I have found that many races have the next year’s race open the day after a race is over! they also often have great rates at that time too. I was able to sign up for Rock N Roll Brooklyn for and New Orleans for $50 each! I love a sale and of course look for race deals all over the place. #racefeesalestalker
8. There are so many training plans out there!
The amount of training plans out there for running a 5k-Ultra Marathons is massive!!! It has been actually kind of overwhelming. I started using Hal Higdon for my 1st half and have continued to use his training plans this entire year. They have been very helpful for sure. As I am needing to transition to less running due to the arthritis in my right knee, I will spend the summer researching Jeff Galloway’s Run-Walk-Run method for use in my Fall/Winter half marathons.
9. You need to weight train and do abs when training for a race!
I use to be an avid weight lifter until started training for my 1st half marathon. Once I started running, weight training took a back seat.
Big mistake for sure!
Due to my decreasing my weight training my leg muscles have gotten weaker and less defined. This has lead to increased injuries and pains in my knees, calves, hamstrings and quads. I am in a corrective mode and am working on building back the muscles in my legs to help me be most successful and injury free while running. As I middle distance runner, I hope to re-develop me muscles and maintain a inkling of a sprinter’s physique.
10. Running has provided me a space and place for reflection
As a working wife and mom often my time is occupied by taking care of others. When I run, it is a time that is all for me. I have learned that this time is selfless and NOT selfish and the time away from everything and everyone else helps me to be more focused, calmer, happier and overall a better wife, mother and person.
I am sure I can go on and on and on but I think I will stop there.
Will you celebrate National Running Day?
How many years have you been running and what have you learned in your time of running?
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