I’m feeling kind of down, and have been for the past week. I miss running. I miss getting up early, lacing up my shoes, and logging in a couple of miles before starting my day. I miss having a good night’s sleep, due to not being able to do any cardio, I can’t burn off excess energy. I’ll be glad when I’m out of the walking boot, and my stress fracture is healed enough to allow me to get back to training. However, I wanted to share with you lovelies the things I’ve learned from running over the past couple of years.
#1 You Have to Step Outside Your Comfort Zone:
If you run at the same speed, elevation, and distance day-after-day you’re going to get really good at running at that particular speed, elevation, and distance.
Granted, there’s nothing wrong with that, as long as you don’t want to improve any further. In running, just like in life, you have to push yourself to get better. You have to run faster, run harder, tackle more challenging terrain, or you won’t become a better runner. In life, you have to face challenges without backing down, hone your craft, and put the work in it, that you want out of it. It’s not easy, but you don’t know what you could achieve unless you try.
#2 Sometimes You’ve Got To Take a Break:
One thing that every runner is continuously told is that you have to take rest days to let your body recover. Sometimes… we don’t always follow this advice – hello, walking boot -, and when we refuse to follow this advice, we end up injured, and wonder why?
Our body needs time to recover, our mind needs time to recover, no matter what for. Exercise. Work. Family issues. Whatever it is, sometimes you just have to take a step back, breath and admit maybe you need a small break.
#3 Running a certain time/distance/pace won’t change you or make you happy.
Goals are, I believe, crucial and healthy to have. When I first started running three years ago, my goal was to run 14min mile, and I reached that goal in my first year of running. I didn’t feel any different for it; I was excited to have reached the goal I had set out to accomplish.
So my second year, my goal was a 12min mile, and I accomplished that, but I had the same reaction as I did the year before reaching my goal.
This year my goal was a 10min mile, and I reached that half-way through my running season. I was happy and excited I achieved that goal, but again it didn’t change anything.
Reaching that certain time/distance/pace won’t make you happy, and it won’t change you. Why? You’ll reach that goal, and want to improve it. You’ll want to do it in faster time, go a further distance, etc. So make sure to celebrate the small victories, instead of accomplishing them, and immediately looking ahead at the next goal.
#4 You’re Truly Stronger Than You Think:
One of my favorite running quotes is:
“When your legs can’t run anymore, run with your heart.”
Because I’m not going to lie. Running… is hard. Every aspect of it is hard. Training. Recovery. The race. It’s all hard. It’s a constant battle between your mind, your body, and your heart. Because your mind will give up first, your body will want to because it’ll get tired, but your heart never stops fighting.
Running is pushing yourself just a little further than you think you can both mentally, and physically. The biggest lesson I’ve learned from running is I need to stop telling myself I can’t. I could do a lot of things if I wanted to.
Anytime you tell yourself I can’t BEFORE you’ve even tried, or started, change that mentality to I can!
Now this isn’t me telling you to ignore signals from the body, or life to slow down, stop or just a break. There are times when you should stop and rest, but usually, it comes after you’ve begun. So remember, don’t tell yourself “no” before you’ve even tried. You just might surprise yourself in how much you can achieve.
What’s something you’ve learned from running or working out?
Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.