I can remember the day I started running. I was just three months shy of my 40th birthday. My goal was to become 40 and fabulous. I pulled out the motivation to get going and began running. I ran daily, sometimes twice a day (it became addicting as the pounds fell off quickly) but it was not an easy task. I could feel every ache and pain, every drop of sweat navigating through my scalp, every insect that invaded my space and every speck of dust that entered my shoes. Hypersensitive? You betcha!
A 2 1/2 year mental battle. It wasn't just the run, it was everything associated with the run. The conditions, the discomfort, the time, and the pace, constantly thinking, "when is it going to end?"
I am a sprinter who runs the mile so it should be easy, right? Not even close. Time and pace are increasingly significant in shorter bursts of sprints. My daily morning run is usually 3 to 4 miles to boost endurance. This was always the hard part. You put me on a track to run a 100 or 200-meter sprint, I'll be sure to smoke you but the thought of a 3 or 4 mile run is grueling. However, the extra distance makes a mile seem short.
What I’m trying to say here is that time heals all wounds. For many people, finding comfort and familiarity is the issue and they don't even realize it. They are doing something that's out of their comfort zone and it creates a terrible mental block. Time and repetition brings comfort. Isn't that in everything we do?
So, 2 1/2 years later, I can actually get out there in any condition or on any treadmill (which I often referred to as the "DREADmill."). I am focused on music, on the show that I am watching or even the simple sounds of nature. In time, you really come a long way but, as with anything, you have to start from the bottom and work your way up. Nothing comes easy. With that type of attitude and knowledge, you can assure yourself that "in time" you can reap the many rewards of running. In fact, it usually becomes an adopted lifestyle! Get out there, you know you want to!
~ FIND SOMETHING THAT MOTIVATES YOU. Place pictures around of yourself in a bikini or dress you once looked fabulous in. I place one on my bathroom mirror, one on the refrigerator door and one on the back of my steering wheel where I can't miss it, serving as a constant reminder of my goal.
~ I became a "RUNNER'S WORLD" sneaker tester and that has pushed me to go the distance. I now participate in 5k events, which at one time I had ZERO desire, seemingly unattainable.
~ JOIN A RUNNER'S CLUB. So what if you are in the back of the pack? You won't be alone, more people share the same goal as you and the bonus, you leave with new friends.
~ DIRECT A RACE OR JOIN THE COMMITTEE. I directed a race that put me on the running scene map. I now am on three other 5k race committees. I may be the only "miler" but committing to a good cause can also prove to be a motivational tool. We raised $15k (New Balance Mile of Saucon Valley, 2012).
~ PLAN A SPA DAY OR MIAMI VACATION IN ADVANCE. This is a great goal. So what if you make your plans a year in advance, it's attainable. No one wants to look frumpy at a spa or on Miami beach.
~ if the heat is what irritates you, sporting goods stores sell bandanas that have a built-in ice pack you store in the freezer. The bandana/ice pack is worn around the neck to keep your body temperature down.
~ everyone is different but I am more comfortable running in fitted clothing. The less I feel the fabric moving around, the better! Anything can distract you if you are sensitive to it.
~The opposite applies for some others; wearing loose fitting clothes can be as comfortable for many reasons. Some don't like the clothing too close to their skin, especially if they have a belly or something to hide, others prefer the breeze looser clothing may provide.
~wear a watch or pedometer when you run in addition to your cellular running programs, they are not fail-proof!
~ a headband or forehead bandana will help keep the sweat off your face.
~personally, I feel more grounded without wearing socks. Socks irritate and distract me terribly. Without socks, I feel one with the ground, almost barefoot. My sneakers get thrown in the wash once a week and actually feel as fluffy, and look as new as the day I purchased them.
~ the biggest tip today is interval train between the treadmill and your outdoor course. I have found that the treadmill encourages me to run at a faster pace because, of course, I'm in control! After being on the treadmill, when I hit the trail or road, I run a much faster pace/time and feel like a million dollars when it's done!