Starting to run? Stop thinking about it as an “all-or-nothing” activity. I used to, and I think this is why I shyed away from it for so long. I thought that I either had to run 5 miles nonstop or not run at all. I mean, what was the point?
Once I stepped out of that mindset, it gave me a whole new outlook and I was able to enjoy running much more. I recently realized that my runs always fall into one of the following categories:
- Angry Run – This is usually a short, fast run accompanied by Anti-Flag and Bad Religion in the headphones. When I’m in a rotten mood, I know I just need a quick angry run (like the one above – although I had Tenacious D in the headphones this time).
- Race Run – This is a race tempo run. Normally I don’t stop and my pace is pretty consistent.
- Reggae Run – This is a no-pressure run. I can run as fast or slow as I want, I can walk, I can stop and take pictures, it’s more about getting outside and moving around than pushing myself.
As I mentioned in my “How I Started Running” post, I’m not a natural runner. To this day even a 5k is challenging for me – no joke! I constantly have to remind myself that each run does not have to be all-or-nothing. Granted, you’ll never progress if you don’t push yourself so it’s important that you do (which is why having a running buddy is a great motivator), however don’t push yourself EVERY TIME. If you’re not having a great day and you’re just not feeling it, stop and walk for a few minutes! It’s your run, it’s your body, and it’s your time. Running is about YOU.
If you’re scared to start running because you think you’ll be “bad” at it, stop thinking of it that way. If you head out and can only run for 10 seconds without walking, THAT’S OKAY. Run for those 10 seconds, walk until you feel like you can run another 10 seconds and keep alternating. Do what you can and don’t worry about what you think you “should” be able to do. If you run even 5 steps, you’re a runner.
To us, an epic runner ISN’T necessarily the fastest.
It ISN’T necessarily the person with the biggest calf muscles or negative splits.
It ISN’T necessarily the person who has been running 7 minute miles since middle school.
It IS the person who shows up to a race with costumes in their trunk.
It IS the person who drops part of their costume along the course and goes back to get it without worrying about their time, because they know that the costume makes the runner.
It IS the person who was last in P.E. and just ran their first 5k (i.e. me).
And most importantly, it IS the person who can laugh while they run because hey, life just isn’t that serious.
What makes you an epic runner?