As I ran yesterday, I realized there were a few more things I've learned while logging the miles:
1. Your mother was right. You are what you eat. Nutrition, hydration is vital - you might be able to skimp a little for shorter runs but once you are running for more than an hour, your lack of proper food pre and post run and forgetting your water bottle is going to bite you in the ass in the form of extreme, uncomfortable thirst and fatigue. Do not get caught with an empty tank of gas or you'll stall in the middle of the road -- and trust me, it totally sucks.
2. Comfort is key. The right socks, a sun visor, lightweight sunglasses and some sunscreen really make a difference when running outdoors. The more comfortable you are, the less you have to worry about and the more you can focus on the actual run - and what good is being thin and trim if you're getting all wrinkly from improper sun protection.
3. GOALS. Countless hours of therapy, lifetime membership to Weight Watchers and hundred's of pounds lost, regained and lost again and I finally figured it out on this running journey. Goals are key. They are not just a little important, goals are everything. Without goals and something to work at, it's too easy to go easy on yourself in training, become stagnant, grow bored, blow off sessions. Whether it's increasing speed, running a marathon or just being able to run to the end of the street, continually setting new goals will allow you to continue to grow. (PS: I'm learning this lesson can be applied to most areas of life and not just running!)
4. You have to shake it up. If you only run on a treadmill, you're missing out on a whole new world of experiences out there - if you do run outside, go off your beaten path and explore new territory. Running can get tedious enough, it's up to you to keep it fresh. See this post if you're wondering the pros and cons of outside VS treadmill
5. There are no bad running days. Just bad attitudes. If you got out there and ran, even if it was slower than usual, you still did something great for yourself. It's hard but celebrate what you did right instead of beating yourself up for what you think you did wrong.
6. When all else fails, start a blog and find a few friends to support your journey, it's made all the difference for me!! At very least, keep a training log, a diary, or some kind of journal so you can record your progress, express your successes and frustrations and have something to review to see what's worked for you and what's not.
Tomorrow, I was to run 10 miles but I have made an executive training decision to "only" run eight. Nine really was tough and I think that eight will be enough to get me "long running" without risking injury a week before my race. Maybe if I'm feeling good I'll go the "extra mile" but as of now, I'm doing eight.