Things I've Learned While Running

Hello!  Oh wait, you don't remember me, let me introduce myself.  Leanna here, the author of this blog.  You know the one you last read two months ago.  There's really no sense in apologizing.  Or even trying to explain my absence here.  Please know I intend to catch up on life the last few months.  Eventually.  I know I've said it before but I really will there's just no telling when.  January and February's photos may be posted in October.  Spring break at Christmas time.  No rhyme or reason.  This morning though, I felt the pull to write and put something up here.  And considering the length of time that has passed since we shared space I thought it worthy of a reintroduction.  

For those of you that don't know after my almost two year hiatus from the running scene training has commenced once again.  For the last ten weeks or so the miles have been logged.  That means long weekend runs where I have had time to solve the world's problems, write blogs in my head and recall a million little items for my to do list.  Lately the mileage has increased significantly and I'd be lying if I said it was easy.  Truth is it challenges and tests me in the most unpredictable ways.  Mentally significantly more than physically.  I know all the professionals and their literature say so and until about mile three on any length of run I don't feel like I win that battle.  It takes me just about that long to get over myself, the labored breathing, concentrating on my form, is my shirt sitting right, the iPod rubbing against my skin, my headband is falling, etc.  You get me?  Or maybe not, I am just a tad particular and when I'm running is really no exception.  On my last two longer-ish runs I thought about all that I've learned.  All those aha moments, mostly related to running, training and all that encompasses.  So to ease myself back into the blogosphere it seemed only natural to share my revelations with you all.  Here goes.

* You can do it, even when your body tells you to STOP, you probably have at least another couple miles in you

* Getting started really is the hardest, unless you are running up hill into the wind at around mile 9.5, then that's pretty difficult too.  Just sayin.  

* There is no such thing as instant results.  Really. It takes time, miles logged and a certain amount of crazy.  (at least for me)

* If you run, regardless of the length of your run, the time of your run, how often you run, I consider   you a runner.  That title is not reserved for the elite, the professional or long distance people.  Anytime you lace up those shoes, or leave them off and hit the pavement, trails, mountains, dirt roads you are a runner.  I kind of feel like it might be necessary to pause here for dramatic effect and insert a "I am runner hear me roar", anyone else feeling that?  No, ok.  I'll move on.

* I absolutely love the informal runners community.  No dues or fees.  If you're running and you pass another runner smile.  Wave.  Throw the peace sign.  It is encouraging.  And if they're out there too chances are they get it.  

* I am totally and completely motivated when passersby cheer me on.  I mean the race adrenaline I thought was given.  That gets me too.  All the people with their hands held out for high fives, the signs, the cowbell.  The other day though I was just starting out on my run and was having the mental talk I have with myself every single time at the beginning of a long run.  When I looked ahead this kind man in a big ol' pick up truck waved and smiled.  I think I ran my fastest mile after that.  The kindness of strangers.  

* Finishing a race, 5K or half marathon, the distance does not matter, always brings me to tears.  Watching other racers finish causes me to cry too.  There is something innately moving about crossing a finish line.  And so metaphorical on a vastly larger scale.  

* Shoes really do matter.  And all the runners said "Amen".  

* At the completion of your run you will not regret it.  Ever.  Even when I've injured myself I have never thought that I shouldn't have ran.  

* Our bodies are amazing.  Truly.  I am fascinated with the way my muscles work together, how form can affect my speed, my gait, the pain I feel after.  The way my brain sends the message to my body parts to move in such a specific manner.  Think about it for a moment.  

*  Proper fueling is key both pre-run and after.  Hydration.  Healthy food.  Protein.  Carbs.  You get the idea.

* Talking to those that have gone before you and are more experienced is priceless.  They've made the newby mistakes.  Dealt with injuries.  Battled the mental aspects of training.  In other words they have wisdom.  

* Don't over think it.  As they say, "it's not rocket science".  And it certainly isn't.  Don't misunderstand me there is a fair amount of "thinking" that is necessary.  What I'm saying is let's not go to the extreme.  Maybe another saying would be, "keep it simple stupid".  Yes and yes.  

* Running for me is a release, when I allow it to be.  When my mind wanders or I get lost in the music streaming through my head phones I return from the miles lighter.  

For the finale, let me say that I think most of the above bullet points could be metaphors for life.  Just maybe?  Preparation, learning from those that have gone before you, proper fueling (this one on so many levels), mental battles.  Catch my drift?  I am by no means a running aficionado.  I am, however, one who runs, and apparently has thoughts related to said activity.  Some of which are applicable to life everyday.  Or maybe not.  Either way, this was my re-entry post.  Take it for what it's worth.  Let's not complicate matters.