Hitting Your Stride

Image from womenshealthmag.com

Just a little bit ago,  I was running on my street. It is a country road that has it’s ups and downs and quite frankly, can be very unforgiving. Every day that I run, I try to go further. I chant in my head “I can do it” and all other sorts of positive reenforcement to motivate me along the way.

My goal today was to run to the end of the road without stopping. Bound and determined, I focused on the ground in front of me and not the distance in the foreground. Being so close, I could feel it, but instead I stopped. Emotion rushed through me and tears filled up my eyes. I continued by walking to my goal, then turned around and started to run back. This time, I was going downhill and tried to slow my pace. I got as far as I could go, but once again stopped even though I was almost to the house. So to make it worth my while, I walked backwards up the way to our yard. Boy did it hurt!

Nonetheless, I ran today and tried my best. As I was running though, I thought to myself that there must be a better way of doing this and maybe I am doing it wrong? So I googled some advice from a website called completerunning.com and here is their list of 100 Beginner Running Tips.

Here are a few (or a lot) that personally struck a chord with me and made me feel better about my progress:

#4. Buy running clothes you look good in and that will motivate you to run.

#7. Volunteer at a local race—meet runners support runners and connect with your Community.

(Which I did!)

#11. Don’t carry loose change. It will annoy those who are running with you.

(Keys too!)

#13.  Sign up for a race as soon as you feel up to it.

#15. Remember that you will have plateaus in your progress and tough days along the way.

#16. It gets easier.

#17. Accept and appreciate the fact that not every single run can be a good one.

#18. Be prepared to remove the words “can’t” and “never” from your vocabulary.

#19. Do not compare yourself to others. Run within yourself and for yourself first.

(Worst offender of this)

#29. Hydrate. Make it a habit to drink water throughout the day.

(Need to drink more water!)

#33. Avoid eating spicy foods before running and the night before your long runs.

(So that Frito Pie was a bad idea…)

#34. To aid recovery the most crucial time to eat and drink is in the hour immediately after you run.

#36. Do not increase your mileage more than 10 percent per week.

#40. Do not run two hard days back-to-back.

#41. Ice aches and pains immediately.

#42. Pay attention to your form. Try to run lightly to minimize impact that could lead to injury.

#46. Make sure you cut your toenails short enough so they don’t jam into your Shoes!

(Yucky, but true for everyone!)

#49. Don’t stretch before a run. Warm up by walking briskly or jogging slowly for several minutes.

(Well whataya know!)

#53. Race day is not the day to try new shoes, eat new foods, or wear brand new clothing.

#54. Do not try a marathon as your first race.

#55. For races longer than 5k start out slower than you think you should.

(Note to self next weekend)

#56. If you conserve your energy during the first half of a race, you can finish strong.

#60. Run facing traffic.

#63. Always carry I.D. because you just never know.

#65. Doubleknot your shoe laces so they will not come undone when you run.

#65. Buy yourself some actual running shoes from an actual running store because running in junk “sneakers” will destroy your feet and your legs.

(Just bought me some Saucony running shoes)

#69. At first keep your runs short and slow to avoid injury and soreness so you do not quit.

#70. If you are breathing too hard slow down or walk a bit until you feel comfortable again.

(Oh what a relief)

#71. Pick your route close to home (out your front door)—the more convenient it is the better chance you will have sticking with it.

#73. Set realistic short term and long term goals.

#75. Soreness one to two days after a run is normal aka delayed onset muscle soreness.

#77. There’s no shame in walking.

(Yeah – Thank you for this!)

#81. It’s okay to take walk breaks – run 1 minute walk 1 minute then progress to run 10 minutes walk 1 minute etc..

#84. Push through rough spots by focusing on the sounds of your breath and feet touching the ground.

#86. Practice running harder in the last half of your runs.

#91. Forgive yourself. Over-ambitious goals usually lead to frustration and giving up on your fitness plan. If you miss a goal or milestone let it go and focus on the next opportunity to get it.

(Okie -dokie)

#93. Dress as if it is 10 degrees warmer than the temperature on the thermometer.

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