Lessons I Learned From Being A Runner
I’ve been a runner only five years now but in that time I have learned more than I could have imagined. Join me today as I chat solo about going from not being able to run down the block to running 10km last year and everything I’ve learned along the way.
My Experience As A Runner
Running isn’t something that ever came naturally to me. In fact, it was a running joke (hahaha) that if I was in a fight I’d have a better chance of standing to fight than I would running away. I couldn’t even make it down the blog without gasping for air.
It wasn’t until I was pregnant with my first daughter that I ever expressed an interest in being a runner. I always have summer pregnancies (learn how to stay cool during that fun) and I was getting so jealous of everyone out and about doing all these fun, physical activities.
I set a goal right then and there that I was going to learn to become a runner and run a 5k after I was pregnant.
My husband laughed. A lot.
You can read more about my running journey and my biggest tips but that 5k did happen. Learning to run was the hardest goal I had ever strived for and I won’t deny that the first time I ran five kilometers without stopping I thought I was going to vomit and die.
But that goal taught me something. It taught me what I could do.
Since then I have run multiple 5k races and last summer I did a 10k obstacle course. I have learned so much about being a runner. But I’ve learned even more about life from running than I thought possible.
Learning To Slow The Eff Down
This was a huge hindrance to me when I started out as a runner because I just went. I thought I was slow but I wasn’t and you can only go balls to the wall for so long.
In order to get anywhere, I had to practice slowing down.
This ended up helping me as a mom too. I am naturally a go-g0-go person. Parenting throws you for a loop and requires you move a bit more slowly and appreciate it while you do.
Even Slow Movement Is Movement
This is actually a mantra I now use when I need it. We get so caught up in the fact that we’re not doing enough. Or we’re not good enough. And sometimes I need to call bullsh*t.
Every step you take is a positive step un running. You. Are. Moving. And that alone makes you a badass.
It’s the same as being a mom. Your efforts may go unnoticed but that doesn’t mean they don’t make a difference. Something I need to remind myself of sometimes 😉
Your Only Competition Is Yourself
Competition can be great. But it can be ugly too. Running was very internal to me and it still is. I don’t care about people’s run times or having better ones. I care about myself.
It reminds me that where I’m at is awesome and that the only thing I want to do is be better than I was yesterday.
Stop competition with the world! We all have our strengths and weaknesses and our own way of doing things. Focus on you. Be selfish.
Breathe It Out
It took me about 2.5 years as a runner to figure out how to breathe. I spent one full winter learning technique and looking like a crazy person! And yet, it not only changed the game for me as a runner but in life too.
Learning to breathe through the hard spot is something we overlook. We naturally tense and clench when things get hard.
Not only did figuring out to breathe properly allow me to get into that “meditative runners mind” but it actually was the single biggest technique that made my second labor practical.
It was what got me through the tough part of natural birth and I had never been so happy that I spent time learning to run with proper breathing. As a runner, proper breathing allows me to calm my mind and zone into myself. It gives me a mental check-in where I can ignore the burning in my legs or the hill. It provides me a sense of calm.
There’s Always More To Give
Racing taught me this. There’s always a moment before the finish line that I’m winded, deathly and don’t think I can do anything… and then I sprint.
Your body will hold out on you. I’ve learned that even in your darkest era you always have just a bit more to give if you need it. If the motivation is there.
It’s Good To Breathe Some Fire Each Day
I heard this quote years back as a runner and it stuck with me. You do feel like you’re breathing fire. It hurts. But it also makes you feel alive. My cousin passed away a few years back and she loved running. When I think of this quote I think of her, of how much she would have loved to be running in her last year.
Discomfort isn’t always a bad thing. Push through. Breathe The Fire. Embrace the fact that you can.
Lessons From A Runner
I’ll never forget my first run. It was brutal. But I did it. And it was that first run that set me up for years of running, of learning and of finding the uncomfortable spots and pushing through them.
Four Sigmatics Latte (use code MAMABEAR to save 10%)