What I've Learned....
I am writing this post largely for me. I have learned a lot about running, but a lot about myself. Running is more mental than physical. Yes, there are physical elements that definitely need to be there, but your mindset is so important.
1) If you are going to run a long event, training is #1 PRIORITY. You can't just slack on it. If you really want to go after a long race, you have to put in the training! No one wants to get out there and do horrible on race day. Remember to put in the training! You will get out of it, what you put into it!!
2) Chafing- EW. It happens.. The length of your race will determine the degree of chafing.. Using Body Glide or vasoline will keep your skin from rubbing against itself. Make sure you load it on .. I have chaffed every single long run.. My first long race, I HAD no IDEA about body glide... Now, I can't run without it... I usually chaf horrible in my thighs..
3) Prep your clothing and gear the NIGHT before. Depending on the race, it may require you get up earlier than your usual day. Having your gear ready the night before will ease anxiety in the morning. Plus, you won't forget that all important GU or Jelly Beans..
If you run with an IPOD, make sure it's charged and working properly before race day..
4) Get fitted for SHOES! If you know nothing about the way your foot strikes the ground, or about running shoes, go to your local running store and get FITTED.. You don't have to buy the $150 pair they try to sell you. You can always get fitted and purchase online. Sometimes I look for an older model of the shoe. Generally, when you get fitted you have a couple of options on the best shoes for you.. Don't buy an expensive pair of shoes without knowing why you're paying so much $$$$.. Get INFORMED! Also, when you buy a new pair of shoes, break them in before you run in them. NEVER RUN ON A NEW PAIR OF SHOES RACE DAY!
5) Always add an emergency contact on your race bib. On the back side of your Bib if a place isn't provided, write down an emergency contact, any prescription drugs you presently take and allergies. You never want an EMERGENCY to happen, but it is better to be safe.. I always put two contacts down. .In case my husband cannot be reached, my parents number is on there.. You just never know.. Case in point: I have seen several people pulled off the course for injuries both minor and serious.
6) Set goals. Goals are meant to be achieved. They can only be achieved when set. I think people wander through life because they don't set goals. When you set goals, make sure they are timely and realistic. If you set unrealistic goals, you're likely to fail and give up. I always have two goals when running; finish and have fun.
7) Don't COMPARE! Would I love to run a 7 minute mile? Yes, absolutely! Is that realistic for me? Probably not! Am I okay with that? Yes! Do I want to improve? Totally. I become very discouraged when I realize that I am not the fastest runner on the block.. I also realize that my body is completely different. I have 20 more pounds I would like to get rid of. I have a serious medical condition. I am LUCKY to be able to RUN! Do I get discouraged? All the time. But comparing makes running not fun.. I want it to be fun!
8) FOCUS ON ONE MILE AT A TIME! Running takes a mental toughness that is far beyond any other sport. You have to let your mind wander and you have to keep it focused. You have to be in the game and have to be in the moment. Focusing on the miles in front of you, will not allow you to celebrate what you have done behind you.. I always tell people running is in your HEAD.. You got to build mental STAMINA!
9) Be around people who will motivate and support you! Who wants to be around people who aren't pushing you further??? All of you in the blog world are so motivating! I am very thankful for you! You push me!
10) Figure out why you run....
I started running to lose weight....
I continue to run for health & weight loss but my purpose is to support the purple! I run for those who can't! Fight EPILEPSY!
Why do you run?