I started running (again) in August. 2-3 miles per day mostly out around some local trails and a few beach runs. I say “again,” because running is something I’ve always enjoyed doing. It’s just, I haven’t been able to do it. See, I’ve been nursing a back injury for a while. So I put on weight, wasn’t eating healthy, and well, I just didn’t feel good.
These days, a lot of that has changed.
Sunday morning, I got up early to run the Malibu half-marathon. I’ve never run a half-marathon before, so I was both nervous and excited. I wouldn’t say I trained for it either, so that had me a little worried.
I’ve never more than 4.5 miles on my trail runs. My longest distance was 7.5 miles. And for the month of October, I was nursing some back pain so I did very little running to prepare. Still, I had been swimming and I felt I could do it.
I finished at around 2:38. I’m not too happy about my pace, but I’m happy I finished. This being my first of hopefully many more half-marathons, I would say I learned a few things:
- I need to learn to pace myself better. I started fast and ran my first 2-3 miles at about 8 – 9 minute pace. I often do that on my trail runs, but I’m only running 3-4 miles, not 13.1. Duh. Anyway, I need to pace myself so I burn less energy throughout the run. And, if I don’t burn all that energy early, I’m sure I can trim quite a bit of time off my average pace per mile and finish faster.
- If I really want to do this consistently (and I do), I need to train my body to handle the longer distances. My foot was killing me at mile 9. My back and knee held together, but man my foot was killing me.
- I managed to stay properly hydrated and I felt good like I had enough energy, but I started cramping at mile 11 – not good. Maybe I just wasn’t used to the long distance? I don’t know, but I need to figure that one out.
- Running makes me feel good. Mentally, and physically. There’s a sense of accomplishment that you get after finishing a good run. There’s a point where your brain keeps telling you to stop, or slow down and walk. Telling you “you can’t do it” and “you should stop.” But out there, I win every time. I don’t listen, and I keep going. I feel like running is giving me confidence not just out there, when I’m running, but in other areas of my life too.
Find Whatever It Is That Motivates You
These days, I’ve been drinking less, eating healthy, and exercising. Why? Because it makes me feel good. It gives me energy. It’s giving me confidence. And it’s making me disciplined even in other areas of my life.
It gives me the energy and motivation to work.
So my advice to you if you feel like you’re stuck in a rut, throw a pair of running shoes on and figure it out. Or find whatever it is that motivates you, and add more of that to your life.
And w00t! I finished my first half-marathon!