First thing, sorry for being absent the last week or so, some things seemed to get busy plus the terrible thing called writer’s block. Anyways, here is the first post in my running chronicles!
I ran cross-county for my first two years of High School. I had planned to do it for the third year, at least, but because of my dislike for the new coach, I decided the leave the team.
I mostly don’t really regret that decision, but there is a part of me that wishes I didn’t quit, for the sole reason that if I stayed on the team, I probably would have continued running into college. But I’ve learned that you can only really learn from the past – dwelling on what was or what could have been will only result in an unnecessary headache, possibly heartache too.
Since I’ve started this awesome journey of health & fitness, I realized that I was far from being healthy in college. I admit I hardly ever went to the gym – I tried a few times – and I tried to be as conscious as possible about what I was eating.
But let’s face it – I wasn’t exactly a healthy person during my college years.
During the first year living at home (I can’t believe that was 2013!) I tried to eat healthier, which I think I did well, for the most part. I tried running last summer, but because I wasn’t in running shape at the time, I felt like I was dying and ended up a little discouraged. But I was determined to become healthier, which soon led me to my personal trainer last fall (2014), immediately setting me on the right path.
That path, finally, has led me here, where I am finally a runner again. And HAPPY about it! Now, after that semi-short tangent, the following is what running and being a runner has taught me:
- Mind over Matter is Definitely a Thing
I initially started running again this past January because my mom asked me to run a half marathon with her. My trainer told me to just start with a mile and then go from there. Well, I ran roughly 2 miles at the gym to start. The following weekend I was only going to 3 miles while my mom ran 6, but while we were running, I felt really good and all I thought about was how my sister told me Mind over Matter; thinking positively and how you can do make it, really helps!
- Discipline Can Sometimes Be a Good Thing
Similar to the above lesson, running has taught me discipline, especially during the last few months where I stuck to a training schedule for the half-marathon. Without discipline, who knows where I would be running-wise.
- Running Can Be an Amazing Stress Releaser
There is nothing quite like focusing on all your energies on running – on making sure that you put one foot down in front of the other, that your foot strikes at the right place, that you don’t trip over something, and that you endure the whole run and still finish strong; there is nothing quite like that focus where your stress melts away with the miles.
- Running is a Perfect Time To Just Be
I don’t think while I run. At least, I am not aware if I do or not. What I like about running is that there isn’t a lot of room for overthinking. In the words of Nike, you simply just do it. Sure, there is some form of strategy, which I see mostly centered around what you eat before and after, what stretches you do before and after, how far you go on what days, and what other forms of ‘training’ you do to round out your exercise routine. All of that is important and affects your running in some way. But to get better at running, to go longer, or even to go faster, you simply continue running, slowly increasing the mileage and pace.
Being able to just run allows for myself to be peaceful – sure my burning lungs and muscles may argue against that statement, but overall, there is nothing like the feeling of only you and the trail existing.
- I Am Strong
This is probably one of the most important things I learned. I think I always believed myself to be strong, although mostly in every way but physically. While there is a sprinting component to running, I mostly envision running as an endurance sport.
I believe it takes more than just your muscles and ability to run long distances; it takes heart and mind. Running has made me stronger in all those aspects. Plus just being able to run the distance that I have been is a great feeling!
Now that I’ve found the courage to start running again and persevere through those first few miles and the sucky, I’m totally out of shape feeling, now I need to continue finding the courage, strength, and want to stay this running path.
Stay tuned for my next post about one of the unfortunate sides of running: injuries!
Have your own journey, stories, tips, etc? Let me know!! Comment or message, I love reading about others’ awesome journeys :)
Also one of my wonderful and awesome friends – who is also a blogger – started her own running journey. I highly recommend reading her post, I Guess I Can Say I’m a Runner Now (and her blog!).
Like usual, I found most of these great quotes and pictures through Pinterest.
The first picture quote links to Thirty Handmade Days.
The second links to Runner’s World (one of my new favorite sites).
The third links to Back on Pointe.