The training plan for my first marathon started just a mere 9 days ago and I’m already loving everything about it. Granted, I’m just starting to rebuild a solid conditioning base but I’m really enjoying all the training runs thus far. Due to my class schedule and the heat (at least this week with temperatures averaging in the high-80s), I’ve been running very early in the morning before the sun has even crested over the moutanintops. This morning I was out the door by 6 AM to run an easy 5 miles. Since I’m back at school, the majority of my runs include rolling hills. This makes maintaining a consistent pace rather challenging. I am braking on the steep downhills and merely chugging along on the long uphills. If I decide to run in town, the entire first mile is completely downhill; therefore, the entire last mile is completely uphill. This makes warming-up my muscles and cooling down to bring my heart rate down a struggle, but I’m adapting. Training here is actually extremely beneficial because transitioning to flat makes running seem a thousand times easier. I trained for the Broad St 10 miler on these hills and my finishing time (a HUGE 7-minute PR) was the result of training on such challenging “terrain”. As much as I enjoy running on flat, I know that my training is augmented ten-fold because of the hills. I couldn’t ask for better training conditions. I know that the marathon will be a challenge in a whole different way so a little hill challenge throughout the training months is just mentally and physically preparing me for race day.
I now think of every run as a blessing because I get to wake up on a brand new day, start it with the one consistent thing in my life that I can depend on, and reflect on the training with my dad and other running friends. I am grateful for the support of family members and other friends who are also training for their 1st marathon. The running community is an extensive network of people who understand the ups and downs of running and I couldn’t be more grateful to be a part of it.
Tomorrow morning will be my second workout day of my training schedule (a quick and easy 3 mile tempo with a mile warm-up and mile cool-down). Cheers to many more training runs and more blog posts about it leading up to race! Happy running, my friends!
Happy National Running Day, everyone! I hope everyone gets to celebrate no matter where you live while reading this blog! If you already ran today, I hope that you enjoyed your run no matter how fast or slow or hilly or flat or hot or cold or rainy it was. You ran which means that you celebrated National Running Day! If you HAVEN’T ran yet, stop reading this post right now. Turn off your computer or (gently) toss your phone across the room so you can’t look at it for the next 30 minutes (minimum!). Change into some running clothes. Lace up your shoes. Find your GPS signal. And start running. Don’t continue reading this blog post until you run at least 3 miles. It’s probably no more than 30 minutes out of your day – I think you have time to squeeze a run in to celebrate today.
So for those of you who have already celebrated in typical runner’s fashion, I would like to share with you some reasons I love running. People often ask me “why do you run? Don’t you get bored?”….BORED?! I’m the farthest thing from bored when I go for a run. If you’re bored while you’re running you’re probably doing it wrong…. so here’s some of my reasons I love to run:
- Running is my stress-reliever. After a run I feel rejuvenated and ready to conquer the day. On the days I don’t run, I oftentimes feel more stressed and uptight. No matter the speed, running always makes me happier!
- Running has provided me with countless friendships. The running community is my irreplaceable network of runner friends who all share a common love – a love for running. I have met so many people through running and my life would be completely different without them. Some runner friends I have known for years (thanks to long runs and xc/track meets we know A LOT about each other – after all, long runs are meant for rants and gossip!). Other runner friends I met a few months ago. But we all share a common interest so it’s easy to make new friends and expand each others’ network. Runners understand each other so we’re not grossed out by sweaty hugs or handshakes and we can encourage each other to become the best runners we can be.
- Running in earth’s elements makes me a stronger person. Rain, snow, wind, summer storms, and scorching temperatures? Bring. It. On. When you let the things you can’t control control your life, you are setting yourself up for disappointment and maybe even failure. For instance, say that it’s downpouring on race day and for the past few months of your training every time it rained you opted to run on the treadmill instead. Are you prepared for running in this weather? Probably not. Are you going to do decently in your race? Probably not. I’m a stronger person because of my determination to succeed in running and in life. I’m not going to let something I can’t control stand in my way of my goals. So next time an obstacle gets in your way, don’t back down. Be in control.
- Running keeps me healthy. I’m always entertained when I go to the doctor’s office and the nurse has to take my blood pressure twice because she thinks she did something wrong. She didn’t do it wrong. She just doesn’t realize that I am a runner – I’m healthier than her average patient. I’m not trying to brag or sound stuck up but running has a way of making people healthier. Exercise is medicine. It’s just going to take our country longer than it should to realize it.
- Running showed me things I never thought I’d see. I’ve ran on too many trails to count. I’ve ran on vacations we’ve taken – mountains, islands, small towns. I’ve seen sunrises on runs. I’ve seen sunsets on runs. I’ve ran in the dark. I’ve ran up access roads on ski mountains. I’ve ran hills that have been named (hills with names are bad news!). I’ve seen animals cross my path on runs. I’ve ran in blizzards and came back with ice covering my eyelashes. I’ve be splashed with a puddle by a passing car. And there’s far too many other times to list.
- Running has brought me happiness and sadness. I would be lying if I said running never made me cry. I would also be lying if I said running never made me happy. I am proud to talk about the good and the bad runs. Bad running experiences made me a stronger and more determined runner; therefore, they were life lessons. Good runs made me appreciate the power of running and how important running is in my life. Running puts things into perspective. Without the good and the bad in the running or non-running world, how would we be determined to make things better or to try harder to succeed? As long as there’s a balance between happiness and sadness (with preferably more happiness), you’re doing it right.
- Running has inspired me to work hard. My dad always says that good things come to those who work for it. I couldn’t agree more. I’m not a naturally talented runner and never will be. I work hard to be the best runner I can be. In life, I work hard to be the best person, friend, daughter, sister, worker, and student I can be. I can’t just sit around and wait for good things to happen. I don’t want other people to hand me a job or money or success. I want to earn all the good things my life has to offer. I want to be the best person I can be by working hard and achieving my goals.
And so I leave you today, on National Running Day, with those words. I hope you have celebrated with a run. Get outside and enjoy what the world has to offer to you today. And here’s one last quote (one of my personal favorites) to inspire you on this beautiful day: “Run often and run long. Just never outrun your joy of running”