This is by no means a complete list…but it’s just some things I’ve come to learn about myself and/or about runners in general.
* If I set a goal and make a plan, I can do it!
* 3.1 miles seems a LOT shorter after a long distance – it surprised me after my first half. I can only imagine what it’s going to feel like after my full.
* A little knowledge doesn’t make me an expert. And definitely not an expert on what’s right for everyone. I can become an expert on what’s right for me…but that may well take some trial and error. And it won’t necessarily work for anyone else, so I should present things as “this is what worked/works for me” and not pretend like I’m an expert. (And should pay attention when others are trying to be experts for all and not feel pressured to follow their “advice”.)
* Yes, there will be bumps and injuries along the way. No matter how hard I try to avoid them. While I need to do all I can to avoid the major ones, minor things CAN in fact point out weaknesses in my training and ultimately serve to help me improve! Rather than fearing them, I should look at them as opportunities to gain strength!
* Most runners are very supportive of all who get out there and try. There are some who are not. They seem to be those who like to think they’re elite but really aren’t – and probably ultimately know it so they decide to take out their frustration on those of us who are slower. And I need to not listen to them but simply run my own race.
* Just because one model of shoe works for you, that doesn’t mean the next “update” will work for you. Be prepared to change shoes if necessary.
* As a corollary to that, find the shoes that are right for you regardless of color. I don’t care if you do really want the pink shoes. If they’re not the right shoes for you, they’re not the right shoes for you and you’ll ultimately pay the price.
* It’s really not all about speed. I’d rather enjoy the journey than kill myself to go faster. After all…the tortoise won the race in the end! 🙂
* Bananas at Mile 14 of a marathon are an absolute godsend!!!
* Just because you’ve trained with something all through the program doesn’t mean your stomach won’t rebel the day of the race. You might have to figure it out as you go along. See also: “Bananas at Mile 14 of a marathon are an absolute godsend!!!”.
* If you’re crying out of joy at the end of a marathon, expect to explain that if you go into medical to get ice on your knees. I was swarmed at Disney when I went for ice and was sobbing like a baby. Finally I said “I just ran a marathon!” and the guy working on me started laughing and said “Oh, that’s why the tears! Yes, yes you did!!”
I’m sure there are other things I’ve learned…and there will be other times to post them. 🙂 But those are just some thoughts for Friday!