1. It’s hard. Running is hard to get into. The first few months I was just jogging around before I started a 5k training plan. In my experience, running is very much a love-hate-hate relationship. Everyone loves the benefits of running: the feeling of euphoria, the emotional/social/mental/physical aspects etc. Most people (especially when just starting out) dread the workouts – the actual running part and the ‘I just need to get out the door and off Facebook’ kind of days. Which I will admit came a lot for me. Running works every part of your being – your physical being like your legs, abs, shoulders, bum (and who doesn’t want a nice looking behind?) It also works you mentally – there are runs I do even now that are mentally challenging – especially when I am ‘just not feeling it’.
2. Time Commitment. This one is HUGE! Training for a 5k can put an average dent of 30 minutes to 1 hr into your day, between getting dressed, training and showering. Training for a half marathon? A large portion of my days (especially on the weekends) are filled with laundry, running, eating, showering, more laundry, more eating…. Even though I have been training/running for quite some time now, most of my workouts are minimally 50 minutes and the longest I’ve run is 2 hours. The more I train, the less time I have for friends, activities (such as this blog) outside of work and daily house stuff like the dog, dinner, cleaning, laundry etc.
3. It’s a mental game. Can anyone else vouch for me on this?On those days when the run is just so dang. hard. I have a little mantra I repeat to myself – usually starting around mile 7 and especially at mile 8. It goes something like this: ‘You are strong. You are beautiful. You can finish this.’ Sort of like a little pep talk in my head. Sometimes the word ‘you’ is replaced with ‘I’, which really only happens on those super hard ‘Why did I sign myself up to run a half?’ days when even breathing is being ridiculous.
4. It’s an investment. Not just in time and energy, but also in moolah. Going to a specialty running store to get shoes that fit your feet is the number 1 thing you can do to help get your running off to a great start. A watch that has a stop watch on it (bonus points if it can count laps). I decided the train in the winter (crazy idea right?) so I had to buy 2 pairs of running tights (one for above 30 degrees and one for below), a mid-weight long sleeved running shirt, heavier socks and a windbreaker jacket. I already had running shoes from the previous spring, as well as gloves and a head band for colder days. But I did shell out over $200 for the other gear.
I am a big believer in supporting local businesses, so outside of my jacket, I bought the rest of the clothes at locally owned businesses. It was a bit more expensive than if I went to Marshall’s or T.J. Maxx, but believe me when I say this: everything I have bought has already paid for itself more than double.