My dad is a seasoned runner. He started running cross country in ninth grade. He's built for it. His running form is effortless. I'm training one day to pass him in a race.
It took a friend who is new to running to teach me about fitness, life and the sport I have loved for years. So, I want to share with you what I learned from a new runner.
1. The basics are everything, and you're never to old, experienced, knowledgeable, etc. to learn or relearn them.
No matter how long you've been doing something, you can always learn something new. I realized I needed to work on my stride after my first long run with my friend, and that's ok.
2. Taking a step backward is sometimes necessary to move forward.
Sometimes going 'back' can teach you a lot. Don't be afraid to reassess where you are and where you want to go. Goal-setting is imperative. Make a goal worth reaching.
3. Celebrate all the victories.
While on a run this past week, I was doing a lot of talking about form, time and training goals. It winded me, and I just couldn't catch my breath. I was frustrated because I fell behind the group I was running with. When I checked my running app at the end, I realized I had shaved a whole minute off my average mile pace. That's huge! So I congratulated myself. My friend shaved 1.5 minutes off her time. We hugged about that, too! If you wait until the 'end' of the journey to celebrate, you'll miss some pretty amazing things along the way.
4. Remember why you started running, exercising, living healthier, etc.
Getting excited about having new friends to run my favorite 15k with, I started scrolling through old photos on Facebook (because no one prints and makes photo albums anymore LOL). I saw a photo from my first 5k 3.5 years ago. I remembered I had to walk most of the way because I was so de-conditioned. My dad was right there with me, encouraging me. I ran my second 5k five months later. I ran the whole way, not stopping. It was a great reminder that I started all of this to just get healthier.
I dedicate this blog post to my new friend, Loretta. Thank you for allowing me to coach you. Your friendship is so special to me. See you on the running route.