I was in a bit of a reflective mood the other day and started thinking about my early days of running. I was very focused on soccer for most of my childhood, but then I decided to give track and field a try my freshman year of high school. I was only a sprinter though – anything longer than the 400 meter TERRIFIED me. I don’t think my younger self would believe it if somehow I magically time traveled back and told myself that I would eventually run a full marathon. My younger self would be all “yeah, good joke Nora, you can barely run a 5k.”
But IF the technology ever progressed to the point where I was able to time-travel back and talk to my younger self (without permanently damaging the space-time continuum), here are some things I would tell myself about running.
- Some runs will suck, even if you totally love running. I think I had a misconception starting out, that running would be this triumphant, endorphin-y experience ALL the time. It’s not. Sometimes you do get those runs where the weather’s just perfect, all roads seem to be downhill, and you just feel fast and invincible. And then other times, your ponytail seems to give you a mysterious headache with every bounce of your stride, random muscles ache, and you just feel crappy. But that’s ok, because you get through those days.
- Shoes DO matter. And no, it’s best not to pick a pair simply because it’s the most stylish. (although to be fair, color does still play a role in my choice in sneakers. But I try to consider my foot type and comfort as well).
- Running 6.2 miles, 13.1, and even further can be fun. Weird concept, I know. (T-shirts and finisher’s medals do help.)
- Don’t get discouraged about others being faster than you – just work to be faster than you were yesterday. And while that does sound cheesy, there really is no better feeling than a PR.
- Cross-train and stretch (both to make yourself a stronger runner and to stave off boredom.)
- And lastly, it’s going to make jeans a little cozy around the calves.
Have a great day 🙂