I promised myself this post was not going to be negative and depressing. To be honest I just can’t guarantee it won’t be. After my experience on Saturday and the resounding result that I have had to quit my goal for this year to run a marathon, I am going through all the stages of grief.
Right now I am angry. I’m angry that I fell in love with running, and I’m angry that now my body has gone against me, and now I can’t run.
But I am really trying to take something positive from this whole experience. I mean there must be a learning or insight that I can pass on to you through this experience? Perhaps my hurt can inspire you to get up and be thankful that today you can go for that run. And this weekend, when I’m stuck on the couch in pain, you can head out and run all the worries out.
Here are a few things you can learn from me if you are just starting to run. These are the things I wish I had known BEFORE I started running:
1. Start Small:
Your big run might only be 1km to start with, and that is totally cool! In fact I recommend learning to run for 1km before you start running 2km etc. Don’t rush in and start entering 10km races, you need to build up to it.
2. Realistic Goals with High Expectations:
If you start small have a big goal in mind but work hard to achieve it. So if your big goal is to run your first 10km, work towards it slowly. Give yourself enough time to train and work towards it.
3. Get a Running Partner:
Joining a running group, find someone who likes to run, or marry a runner (hee hee). Get someone who can hold you accountable and someone you can call and share your experiences. You are going to have times when you have great runs and times when you don’t feel like a run, and you are definitely going to have a few bad runs – having someone who understands this all is so important.
4. Listen to your body:
I’ve said this a million times lately, but I am so serious. Remember to stretch and warm up, and most importantly – listen to your body. If you feel sore, or tender, or something doesn’t feel right – stop and take check. Take your rest days as seriously as your training days. Rest and recovery is part of the process too.
5. Don’t compare:
This is the BIGGEST thing, and if its the only one you take today, let it be this. You cannot compare yourself to other runners. There will always be someone faster than you, fitter than you, running more than you – just like there will always be someone struggling more than you, slower than you etc. Focus on your running journey and don’t compare yourself to others.
Guys you know how much I sometimes complain about those bad runs, those tough ones? I would give anything to having a bad run this week. Don’t take it for granted, go run, and be happy you can.
Let’s get fit, happy, healthy
~ Meg ~
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