You’re not too slow.
You are a real runner.
You don’t need the fancy watch.
You do need the fancy shoes.
If I could wind back the clock, look my 20 year-old self in her big terrified blue eyes and give her a little wisdom before setting out on that first attempt at running…I’d say nothing.
She figured it out. She hit a lot of potholes, shed some tears, lost some weight, learned about food and ultimately, it all brought me here.
BUT if you did want to save yourself some heart ache, I asked this question on Facebook and received some answers that I thought MUST be shared.
Advice to Your Beginner Running Self?
What I loved most about these notes is not that they recommend speed work or gels, but understanding that running is about so much more than losing weight or even marking a race off a bucket list. If you want those tips, read this post.
But if what you need is a kick in the pants or motivation that goes beyond the basics…read on. You will see life in a new light, embrace it. You will run amazing races that you never knew existed, remember them always. You will discover true mental toughness, be proud of it. And you will unlearn excuses to quit, no matter how tough the challenge that lay ahead of you. Self, you got this; I promise. — Tabatha Park
Getting in shape is a gradual thing–a crock pot, not a microwave experience. But if you stick with it, one day (about six weeks later) you’ll find yourself running faster and farther than ever before and feel happy doing it. The journey has begun. — David Ray Duncan
Not to worry what anyone else thinks of your running. The running community is super supportive, and non-runners are just amazed that you run. So the only person thinking you’re too slow is you. – Monica Deanne Taylor
At 62 which is my age when I started, I would tell myself to just run. You are a runner even if you only can run a 1/4 mile at a time, you are a runner. I would tell myself that there will come a day when you will feel better about your running, just run.
I would tell myself that age is something to consider, go slow, train differently than others much younger do, listen to your body, just run. — Dianne SmithGet more running affirmations to propel your runs!
And because we know I can’t stop without putting in my two cents, their words inspired me and I did in fact write a letter to my new runner self…which amusingly is fairly needed as I return from knee surgery too.A letter to every new runner, what we wish you knew... #runchat Click To Tweet
Dear New Runner,
Don’t worry about the road ahead, it will come filled with potholes, mountains climbed and skinned knees.
You don’t have to cross the finish line first, though for some reason people may well ask you “did you win?”
You don’t need the fanciest gear or the most scenic trail. Those are bonuses that we find along the way by simply showing up and being willing to explore what’s available. They’re the things that enhance what we already love, but aren’t what make you love it.
Don’t worry if you don’t love it at first. That’s the dirty little secret long time runners keep locked away…most of us hated it too. But even in that loathing of the discomfort there was a tiny spark that caught our hearts or maybe our egos, who knows. But it reminded us that we could in fact do the hard thing.
No one has to run. You certainly don’t. But every time you make you the choice to run, you’re choosing the harder path and for that you may not earn a gold star or ever stand on the podium (or maybe you will!), but you’re earning something far more rewarding.
Which is really the long game of running. The way it shapes you in to a different person. One that’s more confident despite the size of your body. One that’s more willing to stand up for the wrongs you see. One that can step in to his/her power, strength and courage to live a bigger life.
Here’s to all the good runs, the bad runs, the solo runs, the group runs, the road runs, the trail runs, the injuries, the comebacks and the moments in between. File each on away because you’re going to make some stellar crazy friends who will want to hear about them all.
Is there anything you wish you’d known?
How has running surprised you?
Other ways to connect with Amanda
Thanks for letting me Think Out Loud today.