|First marathon completed.|
Who knew I'd be back for more!
Coupled with the running has been a good amount of writing (just over 60 posts to date) on running; again, another thing I'd never imagine writing so much about (unless it's was like Bart Simpson on the chalkboard, "I hate running" five bajillion times). And from that has been many an email, message, and note from people thanking me for helping them, encouraging them, or giving them food for thought as they begin or continue on their running journey. The Bull and The Cheetah, 10 Ways Running Reminds Me of Learning, The Two Demons I Run With, and "I ran 15 miles, I got assalted, my face hurts, and it's your fault!" are by far my favorite posts that I've written about running as they highlight so much of my inner world while running and thinking about running.
As I said, I'm currently recovering from an injury--my IT band has decided it's not happy and so I'm giving it a bit of rest and seeing if that helps before slowly rebuilding myself back up or needing to see any kind of specialist. Thus, it's been weird to hit my 5-years of running mark and not be able to talk much about the runs I've been doing of late. Yet I know that I am not done with running. This past year has shown me that I can take running farther (pun intended) than I have previously.
While I have seen myself as a long-distance runner, enjoying half-marathons in particular but also the occasional marathon, I also have begun to make significant progress on speed. My first half-marathon had me come in at 2:25 and yet, the marathon I ran two months ago, had me at 1:51. Now, that's not necessarily fast for the serious and competitive runners--but for a 36-year-old guy who ranks in the Clydesdale (over 210 weight) and runs in the barefoot shoes, it's pretty damn good. All of this is to say that I 'm finally understanding and learning to improve and maintain a good steady pace throughout the longer races and I believe that I have the chance to continue to do better.
|Looking for an entertaining book|
to inspire you to run?
Try this one!
For those flirting with running, trying to start, or standing as far away from it as you can (that is, running away from it), I get it. I've been in all of those spaces over the years. But I encourage you to keep at it if you continue to find yourself wondering if you could run any distance. The switch can flip for many people; it's just a matter of finding the right conditions. The three most important pieces of advice I can tell you are this:
Time-jumpDitch the watch, ditch the distance tracker at the start. Pay no attention to how far or how fast you are going. This is merely noise. Until you feel you are at a point at which you enjoy running, don't bother using a watch. You might want to mark a particular distance that you know is between 3-5 miles (e.g. a bike path, a lake path, etc), but don't track your time until you feel like you can enjoy the running in itself.
Load up the playlistMake a powerlist of music to keep you going. Early on, keep it limited to your 20 most energizing songs--the kind of songs that you can't help but move every time you hear. Rather than using a clock, you can use songs to measure distance initially. Try to run for at least 3-4 songs and expand from there. Let the music channel through you and get you moving.
Go slowI can't say this enough. One major reason running never worked for me was because I couldn't figure out my pace. When I got the Vibrams, it meant that I really had to slow down because my feet couldn't take the pain since the soles were so slim. This slowing down was super-helpful because it meant my breathing wasn't being overly stressed. It doesn't matter if you could walk faster, they are different movements. Work on slowing your run and finding your rhythm--once you unlock this harmony, speeding up becomes increasingly easier. This is likely to be the hardest piece of advice here, especially if you are listening to your favorite music as it's likely to push you to go faster, but resist it. Go as slow as you need to until your step, lungs, and heart are aligned.
Celebrate every and all wins
|Ripping up the road on the final|
stretch of my recent half-marathon
SmileNo really. Your body affects your mind. If you work to smile while thinking out running, heading out to run, while running, after running, it will affect your overall mood towards running. This will boost your enthusiasm and excitement for running and create a fantastic feedback loop.
So that's all I have for now! It's been a great five years running and I am so grateful for each and everyone one of you who have directly and indirectly cheered me on.
By Any Other Nerd Blog by Lance Eaton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.