It is Thursday, peeps, and you know what that means: the Runners’ Lounge is at it again. Getting us to write about our most favorite subject again: the joyous aspects of running. Today we are being asked to elaborate on the aspects of our sport that no one ever told us about before we became die hard runners.
I said it before and I say it again: I was a recreational runner for over a decade before I ventured into the world of competitiveness, racing, and true long distance runs, and because of my past I naturally thought I knew it all. And even though I definitely had some experience putting one foot in front of the other for a few fast miles and how totally addictive this motion can be, once I started training for my first marathon I quickly realized that I had entered a whole new playing field.
I did not know…
…about the joys of group runs! For all those recreational years I never once ran with another person. Never! Not once! Then I joined Team In Training and not only did I have to run with one other person, I started running with a whole group of people. I loved it right from the beginning and could not believe how much I had missed out running by my lonely self for all those years. I still like solitude on runs, but I also seek out group runs whenever I can. Over the years, running with a group of runners, especially runners faster than me, has helped my stamina and made me a faster runner.
…how much I can talk about running! Seriously, put me in a room with like minded people and I will never get bored talking about every aspect of running in fullest details. Finish times, splits, running routes, food, races, other runners (those we know personally and those we admire from afar), nothing is off limits.
…how little I care about answering nature’s call in public! Going in public is considered a rite of passage amongst runners. And once I started taking running seriously I became extremely creative in finding hidden spots along my training routes that serve as quick stops. I am usually very good at taking care of business at home but every so often nature calls in the middle of a run, especially a long run, and there is nothing worse than trying to hold it.
…just how long a marathon is! It’s long. 26.2 miles long. Drive that distance consciously in a car sometime.
…how important it is to eat! I talked about it before: I don’t like to eat. Never have. But I have also come to realize just how important it is to fuel properly before long runs and races. I learned a hard way!
…how much I could embrace the Rest Day! In addition to never running with another person during my years as a recreational jogger I also never took a day off, unless I was sick. Then I became more serious and even though the first rest day of the new training season never gets easier, I have come to embrace the day off from running wholeheartedly over the last few years.
…that jogging and running are not the same! I have gotten some flack for this in the past but I actually agree with the Pearl Izumi ads! I also believe that anyone who walks a marathon is not a marathoner. If you have ever trained and run a marathon before you understand just how much effort it takes. Walking just does not cut it. The last marathon I ran there were walkers who actually went into a McDonald’s to eat a sundae. Yes, that’s right! I am sorry, but that is not marathoning and anyone who does such a thing is not a marathoner, even if you do cross the finish line in the end!!!
Today’s Running Tip: Take advice from those with more experience than you!
No matter if you are a beginner or have some years of running under your belt, it is always wise to listen to those who have more experience than you.