Let’s face it. Running is hard. It’s really f*cking hard. Early on, I learned that you get out of it what you put into it. It took weeks (okay…months) of consistency, dedication and a lot of patience to begin seeing progress in my running journey. Anything worth while is going to be tough, so it’s incredibly easy to get discouraged. My first outdoor run was nothing short of a disaster. My running journey started on a treadmill, so I had a very rude awakening when I ran outside in warm weather on hilly terrain for the first time. I recall vlogging about it on my original blog, all while panting and sweating in places I never knew existed. I was frustrated, but I wasn’t mad. I just used this run as a learning experience, which in turn, helped me with future runs.
Signing up for a goal race keeps me motivated – especially when I have not-so-good runs. Running is a crazy, messy and wonderful sport. I’m here to help you see the bright side of the runs that make you want to crawl into bed and hide for a while.
It helps you tune into your body: Sometimes, there are very concrete reasons why a run may go awry. If a run starts to go south, I do a mental head-to-toe assessment – maybe I readjust my form or try to control my breathing better. Sometimes, it’s a quick reset that can help get my run back on track, but other times, it could be a warning sign that something is wrong. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re injured and need to stop running. It could just mean that you need to take a step back, whether it’s cutting back mileage, incorporating more strength/cross training or taking a few days off.
It helps you tune into your mind: Mental health is just as important as your physical health. I’ve suffered from depression and anxiety for years, so occasionally, my mind just isn’t into it. I still get out there, even if one mile ends up feeling like 100 miles. It’s running that helps me cope and remain connected to myself so I don’t lose sight of my mental well-being. But more often than not, even if my mind isn’t into it, I still come out on the other side of a run feeling much happier and better about myself. I quickly learned that the hardest part of any run is getting yourself out of the door, and when I do, I don’t regret it.