It Get’s Easier…TRUST Me! Running Life Lesson #2
Whenever I begin a new season of running, the first training run is my hardest. My legs scream and whine at me as I try to take my first steps. My heart rate shoots through the roof and pounds in my chest within minutes of taking my first stride. My ankles hurt, my knees hurt, my lower back aches and my mouth becomes instantly dry.
My pace is typically very slow. I just focus on each stride and try to concentrate on my form. Eventually, my body begins to warm up and I get into a familiar groove and work through a 4-5 mile easy run at about an 8:30/mile pace. When I finish, I am breathing a little heavy and sweating profusely. It feels good to finish and get that first run under my belt, but it’s also a little disconcerting.
I wonder if I have lost my running ability. Is it over for me? Could I ever get back in decent shape? I suck it up the next few runs and force myself to get out there and get some mileage in over the next few weeks. Inevitably, I begin to feel much better during my runs. I begin to get my breathing under control and I can start to enjoy the light wind in my face as the trees on the trail zoom by me. I feel free and fit during my runs and can feel the strength building in my body and soul. The best experience is when I get in top shape, in the middle of my season, and get that “second wind” feeling. This occurs in a point in my conditioning when my body develops the ability to recover during a run. It is like I am getting a fresh start in the middle of my workout and it feels glorious!
Towards the end of my season, when I am in great shape and at a high level of fitness, I laugh at my early runs a few months back and how I felt sluggish and doubted myself. Here is what I have learned after many shaky starts to a running season:
- Almost everything is hard in the beginning.
- Almost everything gets better over time, if you just refuse to quit!
- The human body has an extraordinary ability to adapt to whatever is continuously programmed into it.
- Pain is a part of the human experience, but the mind has the unique ability to overcome it, through training.
I challenge you to get started with that project you have been putting off. Yes it will be hard in the beginning, but trust me it gets much easier through perseverance. Don’t live a life full of regret. Put on your “running shoes” and take that first step towards the rest of your life!