So, what did training for my half marathon teach me?
1. Positive encouraging self-talk is hands down a better motivator than self-bullying.
2. Some days I ran like I was on fire, limitless. Other days felt more like a drag, a slow choke. To draw a conclusion about how I was doing solely based on either days provides an unrealistic assessment of reality.
Life has it's ups and downs. It is best not do judge all of life on it's highs and lows.
3. If you have a string of bad runs it's a sure signal that it is time to sit down and evaluate what is going on. Consistent bad runs always happen for a reason. To ignore this signal and push on ends in burnout or injury
When life feels 'off', there is a reason and it's a good idea to sit down and ask what needs adjustment. Perhaps it's time to make a change, try something new, slow down, or take a break completely.
4. Following a training plan too strictly inevitably leads to under- or overtraining at points. The training plan is there to serve you, not you it. You do best when you allow for a bit of flexibility. Let your body lead every once in a while, it will surprise you.
"You are you, that is truer than true" (Dr. Seuss) so let go, relax your strict rules and standards every so often and surprise yourself with the unknown.
5. It is good and necessary to push yourself out of your comfort zone sometimes for growth to occur.
6. Allowing yourself to slow down before you hit the point of exhaustion is crucial. Doing so ensures you are able to catch your breath and continue going without it affecting your overall time too greatly.
It is perfectly ok not to do everything humanly possible in all areas of your life all the time.
7. Everything begins to suck when you get so focused on performance evaluation that you miss the joy of running. When you stop marveling at the strength of your body, the beauty of nature, etc and become a hyper focused performance machine, you're on the path to self-destruct.
Life is a great balancing act. Live in this moment. Never stop marvelling at the greatness of life.
8. It is never wise to ignore or neglect your body. Without providing for it's needs, without adequate rest and nourishment, you will simply not perform at your best. Pamper it, be attentive to it, and it will reward you! Your body is not a machine. It is a living, intricate part of you that you need more than you realize.
"The most intensely personal relationship you'll ever have is with your body. It is a lifelong relationship that's well worth investing in and nurturing the same way you would a loved one." -Amy Angelowicz and Winoma Dimeo-Ediger
9. Time is not everything. Yes, improvements in performance are rewarding but the underdog, consistency, will bring you to your goals.
Life is a journey, not a race. We grow along the unglamorous road of making mistakes, getting back up, and keeping on going.
10. Wear a comfortable outfit. You will regret wearing what doesn't fit!
Allow yourself to be you. Trying to fit into a mold that fits someone else makes life painful and harder than necessary.