Following a very eventful and fun New Years Eve spent watching a ball drop in Market Square (hell yeah Knoxville has a ball drop) I spent the majority of my New Years Day napping, brunching, and sipping Gatorade in an attempt to relieve my relentless headache. By the time I was officially ready to call it a night, my headache subsided long enough for me to take some time and reflect on 2012.
Turns out, all kinds of crazy stuff happened! Firstly, I started this blog. That’s pretty big. Secondly, I got engaged. Also pretty big. Then there was BuiscuitFest & The Southern Food Writing Conference, The Kentucky Derby, Weddings and boat days. Oh and I took up a little thing called running.
This exact day last year was when I officially began training for my very first half marathon that would take place in April. I remember lacing up and running a daunting 2 miles on a chilly January 2nd morning. My how far we’ve come…8 races, 2 pairs of shoes, and a PR later here I am. One year wiser and chomping at the bit to see how far I can go this year.
While considering all my little legs have been through, I got to thinking if there were things I wish I would have known before I started on my running adventure. Well duh, isn’t there always shit you wish you knew before you started something? So for all you newbies looking for a reason to run this year, or you veterans looking for some insight, here are the 5 things I wish I would have known about running:
- You will be amazed, astounded, and probably disbelieving at what your body can do. Chances are when you start to think you can’t do something – that you’ll never be able to reach that time, or run that fast, or catch that person – you will. Oh you will and it will be one of the greatest feelings when you do.
- It will hurt – Physically and emotionally. It takes a lot to run through and injury. It takes even more to realize when you need to call it a day. It also takes a lot of willpower to get out of your warm toasty bed on a particularly chilly morning to go out and run. But see #1 because those moments make it worth it. I promise you.
- Sometimes things go wrong. It can be a stupid mistake on your part (wearing new shoes for a half marathon…) or it can be something that is completely out of your hands and you won’t be able to achieve what you wanted to that day. It’s not the end of the world and even though nobody likes to be told this: you will learn from your mistakes.
- It’s such an adventure! Finding new places around town to run, going to races in places you’ve never been, running has taken me all around Knoxville and the South East. Would I have ever gone to Roswell, GA before this? My guess is no, but I’m really glad I did because J and I had an unexpected blast.
- It will not always be fun. There are days it will suck and you will hate running. You won’t want to do it and you’ll even resent it. These days are the worst. But be aware that the feeling will pass (eventually) and you may even (gasp) start to enjoy some of your runs. But don’t expect that to always be the case.